From a royal equestrian and a decathlon athlete who came out as a transgendered woman to a diver who before one of his greatest feats at the Olympics was diagnosed with HIV, our list of Olympians truly celebrates the spirit of human endeavors. These are some of the most iconic Olympians of our time.
1. Bruce Jenner (aka Caitlyn Jenner)
Net Worth: $100 million
A gold medalist at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, William Bruce Jenner was an all-American athlete, TV and social personality.
After Jenner graduated from Graceland University, he married then-girlfriend Chrystie Crownover. They moved to California where Jenner trained during the day and sold insurance at night making about $9,000 per year. Those were the days before state-sponsored athletes and American athletes were considered amateurs and were not allowed to accept payments or endorsement as sports celebrities, unlike Soviet ones who were state-sponsored and paid.
Of the 13 decathlons Jenner competed in between the years 1973 to 1976, he only lost once at the 1975 AAU National Championships. At the Montreal Olympics, Jenner achieved his five personal bests on the first day of the men’s decathlon. It was a home run for Jenner. Prior to the Montreal Olympics, Jenner represented the U.S. at the Pan American Games in Mexico City and took 1st position, although at the earlier 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Jenner finished in tenth place in the decathlon event.
Since Montreal, Jenner would go on to appear in numerous magazine covers as well as movies like Can’t Stop the Music about the Village People. He also appeared as a semi-permanent cast on the police series, CHiPs alongside Erik Estrada. In the later years since his Olympic victory, he appeared in Keeping Up with the Kardashians along with then-wife Kris Jenner.
The biggest news yet for Bruce Jenner was when he came out as a transgendered woman in 2015. Since then, Caitlyn, as she is now known, is the most famous transgendered woman in the world.
As of 2020, Caitlyn Jenner, a former Olympian is estimated to have a net worth of $100 million.
2. Usain Bolt
Net Worth: $60 million
Known as the fastest man on earth, Usain St Leo Bolt was a former Olympic sprinter who is the world record holder in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4 x 100 meters relay.
An eight-time gold medallist at the 3 consecutive Olympic games (2008, 2012 and 2016), Usain gained worldwide fame for his double sprint victory in world record ties at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. One of Bolt’s signature move during his sprints was to turn and smile at his audience, then bolted to victory.
His achievements as a sprinter have earned him the moniker “Lightning Bolt”, and his awards include the IAAF World Athlete of the Year, Track & Field Athlete of the Year, BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year (three times) and Laureus World Sportsman of the Year (four times). Bolt retired after the 2017 World Championships, when he finished third in his last solo 100 m race, opted out of the 200 m, and pulled up in the 4×100 m relay final.
After he retired formally from track and fields, Bolt wanted to play professional soccer, but after a few stints with various clubs, he announced in 2018 that his sports life was over. Since leaving sports, Bolt has been active in various business projects including Bolt Mobility, an electric scooter company he founded.
Bolt is also a keen music producer and in 2019, he produced his debut dancehall album called Olympe Rose.
As of 2020, Usain Bolt is thought to have a personal wealth of some $60 million.
3. Michael Phelps
Net Worth: $55 million
Phelps is said to be perfectly built as a swimmer being 6 foot 4 inches tall, with hands the size of dinner plates which act like paddles, size 14 feet which act like flippers and legs that are built for someone who is 6 foot tall rather than his 6 foot, 4 inches. This makes his legs more powerful in the water, carrying him to the finish line.
It is no wonder that he is a 23-time Olympic gold medalist and a 28-time Olympic medalist, won over five Olympic games. He is widely regarded as the greatest athlete of all time.
Since 2008, Phelps founded the Michael Phelps Foundation which promotes the sport of swimming and healthier lifestyles. He has also long had an endorsement contract with speedo and other brands.
As of 2020, Phelps is thought to be worth some $55 million.
4. Scott Hamilton
Net Worth: $30 million
Scott Scovell Hamilton is a gold medalist in the 1984 winter Olympics in Sarajevo. He has won four consecutive U.S. championships (1981–84), four consecutive World Championships (1981–84), and as mentioned a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics.
His signature move in skating is a backflip, which few figure skaters could perform. Actually, the move is against U.S. Figure Skating and Olympic competition rules, but Scott did it in his exhibition routines as an amateur to please the crowd and also in his professional competition routines. He is also recognized for his imaginative footwork sequences. Scott has appeared in Stars on Ice show in 2002 and has also appeared in other TV shows such as Roseanne and in the 2007 ice-skating comedy Blades of Glory.
In retirement, he has been involved in charitable work and is the author of three books.
As of 2020, Scott Hamilton is estimated to command a personal fortune of about $30 million.
5. Zara Tindall
Net Worth: $20 million
A modern-day princess, Zara Anne Elizabeth Tindall is a member of the British royal family, an equestrian, and an Olympian. She is the daughter of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips and the eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II.
Tindall won the Eventing World Championship in Aachen in 2006. The same year she was voted 2006 BBC Sports Personality of the Year by the British television viewing public (an award her mother won in 1971). In 2012, she carried an Olympic flame at Cheltenham Racecourse on her horse Toytown. As a member of the Great Britain Eventing Team, she won a silver medal at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, presented to her by her mother, Princess Anne.
Currently married to former England rugby union player Mike Tindall, she is better known by her maiden name Phillips.
As of 2020, Zara Tindall is thought to be worth $20 million.
6. Okasana Baiul
Net Worth: $20 million
Hailing from Ukraine, Oksana Baiul was an Olympian who competed in figure skating. She is the 1993 World champion and 1994 Olympian champion in ladies’ singles who won gold at the Winter Olympics. Her image has been used in an Ukraine stamp in 1995, in celebration of her 1994 win.
After winning the gold medal in 1994, she decided to turn professional in order to tour in the United States and to further her career there. In the U.S., she appeared in a variety of TV appearances and has lived in the United States since 1994. She married her manager Carlo Farina in 2015 and she now goes by Oksana Baiul-Farina.
As of 2020, this former Olympian has accumulated a personal wealth of some $20 million.
7. Carl Lewis
Net Worth: $20 million
Lewis is an American former track and field athlete who won nine Olympic gold medals, one Olympic silver medal, and 10 World Championships medals, including eight gold.
His career spanned from 1979 to 1996, which was when he last competed at the Montreal Olympics. He is one of only three Olympic athletes who won a gold medal in the same individual event in four consecutive Olympic Games.
Lewis was a dominant sprinter and long jumper who topped the world rankings in the 100 m, 200 m and long jump events frequently from 1981 to the early 1990s. He set world records in the 100 m, 4 × 100 m, and 4 × 200 m relays. His world record in the indoor long jump has never been beaten since 1984.
His accomplishments have led to numerous accolades, including being voted “World Athlete of the Century” by the International Association of Athletics Federations and “Sportsman of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee, “Olympian of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Athlete of the Year” by Track & Field News in 1982, 1983, and 1984.
Lewis now owns a marketing and branding company named C.L.E.G., which markets and brands products and services including his own.
As of 2020, this former super athlete is thought to be worth about $20 million.
8. Nadia Comaeci
Net Worth: $10 million
The first gymnast to be awarded a perfect 10.0 score at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, Nadia Comaneci was only 14 at the time. For those of us lucky to have seen her at the Montreal Olympics, when the judges all called out 10, 10, 10, …. it must have been one of the most unforgettable moments in gymnastics.
At the Montreal Olympics, she received six more perfect 10s, finishing with three golds. At the Moscow Olympics in 1980, she took two more gold with two perfect 10s.
During her career, Comăneci won nine Olympic medals and four World Artistic Gymnastics Championship medals.
She has lived in the United States since 1989, after defecting from the then-Communist Romania before its revolution in December that year. She later worked with and married American Olympic gold medal gymnast Bart Conner, who set up his own school. In 2001 she became a naturalized United States citizen and has dual citizenship, also maintaining her Romanian citizenship.
As of 2020, this perfect 10 gymnast is estimated to have a net worth of $10 million.
9. Greg Louganis
Net Worth: $5 million
Six months before the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Louganis was not only diagnosed with HIV, at the Seoul Olympics that year, he famously hit his head on the dive board, bleeding as he dove into the pool.
Widely regarded as perhaps the greatest diver in history, he is the only man and the second diver in Olympic history to sweep the diving events in consecutive Olympic Games. He took 2 golds at the Seoul Olympics notwithstanding his head injury and two golds at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Louganis came out as gay in a pre-taped announced shown at the opening ceremony of the 1994 Gay Games, and is today an LGBTQ activist. Greg is also an actor having acted, among other productions, in an Off-Broadway production of the play Jeffrey.
As of 2020, Greg Louganis is thought to have a net worth of some $5 million.
10. Sir Chris Hoy
Net Worth: $1.5 million
Hoy is a British racing driver and former track cyclist from Scotland who represented Great Britain at the Olympic and World Championships and Scotland at the Commonwealth Games.
Hoy is a six-times Olympic champion. With a total of seven Olympic medals, six gold and one silver, Hoy is the second-most decorated Olympic cyclist of all time.
Three of his gold medals were won in the 2008 Summer Olympics making him the most successful Olympic cyclist of all time. After winning a further two gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Hoy has won more Olympic gold medals (six) than any other British athlete.
In 2013, Hoy retired from competitive cycling and in 2020 published a children’s book titled “Be Amazing”.
As of 2020, Sir Chris Hoy is said to have a personal fortune of some $1.5 million.