Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt despite missing most of the 2014 season due to injury holds the number 45 spot on the latest release of the Forbes list of the world’s highest paid athletes.
Bolt, with earnings of USD $23.2 million, is the lone track and field athlete on the list which includes 27 Major League Baseball stars, 18 NBA players, 17 from the NFL, 15 football players, six tennis players, six racers, five golfers, four boxers and one cricketer.
According to Forbes, Bolt earned $200,000 on the track with the other $23 million coming by way of endorsements.
The 28 year old won gold in his three signature events–100 meters, 200 meters and 4×100 meters relay–at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. It is the same trifecta he pulled off at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. Bolt plans to race at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Along for the ride will be his main endorsement partner, Puma. The German sportswear company locked up the world’s fastest man in 2013 with a contract extension through 2016 with a value approaching $10 million a year.
Top spot on the Forbes list is held by boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. with earnings of $105 million.
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is second with earnings of $80 million, Just ahead of third placed Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers who pocketed $72.3 million.
Barcelona ace Lionel Messi ($64.7m) and LA Lakers guard Kobe Bryant ($61.5m) complete the top 5 places with golfer Tiger Woods holding the number 6 spot with $61.2 million.
The top 10 is rounded out by Roger Federer ($56.2m), Phil Mickelson ($53.2m), Rafael Nadal ($44.5m) and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan ($43.8m).
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, ranked 22nd with $30m is the lone cricketer on the list which also has just 3 women – Maria Sharapova, Li Na and Serena Williams making the cut.
French Open champion Sharapova who is 34th on the list pocked $24.4m of which just $2.4 million was earned on the tennis court with the other $22 million being earned through endorsement deals.
Chinese number one Li Na is 41st with $23.6m while Serena Williams the world’s top ranked women tennis player holds down the number 55 spot with earnings of $22m.
The top 20 includes Manny Pacquiao, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Derrick Rose, Gareth Bale, Radamel Falcao, Neymar, Novak Djokovic, Mathew Stafford, Lewis Hamilton and Kevin Durant.