List O’ Best-Paid Athletes In 30 Sports

List O' Best-Paid Athletes In 30 SportsThey race cars, eat hot dogs, throw darts, pound faces — and make a great living at it. How great? Take a look – you might be surprised. The category “money” below represents official base salary or earnings from the most recently completed season or calendar year, and excludes endorsements, appearance fees, sponsorship money and other sources of extra income, unless otherwise noted. Figures have been converted to U.S. dollars where applicable. For those spors not listed, official salary data were unavailable. Road-running data courtesy of Association of Road Racing Statisticians.

  • Lowest-paying sport: women’s bowling.
  • Highest-paying sports (tie): baseball and boxing.
  • Gender breakdown: 32 men, 11 women.
  • Total money earned: $238,536,500.
  • Average amount earned per athlete: $5,547,360.
Sport Athlete League/Tour Money Type Money
Auto Racing Kimi Raikkonen World Rally Championship 2010 Race Winnings (plus $12.7M from severed F1 contract) $26,333,333
Baseball Alex Rodriguez MLB 2011 Salary $32,000,000
Basketball Kobe Bryant NBA 2010-11 Salary $24,800,000
Beach Volleyball (Men) Philip Dalhausser/Todd Rogers FIVB 2010 Prize Money $387,700
Beach Volleyball (Women) Larissa Franca/Juliana Felisberta Da Silva FIVB 2010 Prize Money $351,300
Billiards (Men) Darren Appleton N/A 2010 Prize Money $118,494
Billiards (Women) Ga-Young Kim N/A 2010 Prize Money $67,930
Bowling (Men) Walter Ray Williams Jr. PBA 2009-10 Prize Money $152,670
Bowling (Women) Shannon Pluhowsky PBA 2009-10 Prize Money $40,300
Boxing (N. American Purse Fights) Manny Pacquiao N/A 2010 Estimated Purse (two fights) $32,000,000
Bull Riding Renato Nunes Professional Bull Riders 2010 Prize Money $1,594,527
Darts Phil Taylor Professional Darts Corporation 2010 Prize Money $1,044,000
Distance Running (Men) Samuel Wanjiru Various 2010 Prize Money $617,000
Distance Running (Women) Liliya Shobukhova Various 2010 Prize Money $695,000
Drag Racing Larry Dixon NHRA Top Fuel 2010 Prize Money $1,371,000
Eating Joey Chestnut Major League Eating 2010 Earnings $218,500
Equestrian (Men) McLain Ward Show Jumping 2010 Earnings $1,280,788
Equestrian (Women) Laura Kraut Show Jumping 2010 Earnings $627,907
Fishing Kevin Vandam Bassmaster Elite Series 2010 Earnings $915,500
Football Peyton Manning NFL 2010 Salary $15,800,000
Golf (Men) Luke Donald European Tour PGA 2010 Tournament Winnings $5,867,601
Golf (Women) Na Yeon Choi LPGA 2010 Tournament Winnings $1,871,165
Hockey (Tie) Vincent Lecavalier NHL 2010-11 Salary $10,000,000
Roberto Luongo NHL 2010-11 Salary $10,000,000
Horse Racing (Jockey) Ramon A. Dominguez N/A 2010 Earnings (not individual share) $17,411,880
MMA Brock Lesnar UFC Estimated Prize Money, ppv share $5,300,000
Poker Jonathan Duhamel Various Land-Based Tournament Winnings, April 4, 2010- April 3, 2011 $9,443,519
Racquetball Kane Waselenchuk International Racquetball Tour IRT 2010 Event, Appearance Fees, Earnings, Sponsorships $300,000
Rodeo Trevor Brazile Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association 2010 Earnings $507,920
Skiing (Men) Ivica Kostelic FIS World Cup Alpine skiing events 2010-11 Prize Money $464,440
Skiing (Women) Lindsey Vonn FIS World Cup Alpine skiing events 2010-11 Prize Money $509,542
Sled Dog John Baker Iditarod 2011 First-Place Racing Prize Money $50,400
Soccer Cristiano Ronaldo La Liga 2010-11 Salary $19,500,000
Squash Nick Matthew Professional Squash Association 2010 Prize Money $166,926
Sumo Hakuho Japan Sumo Association 2010 Salary $400,000
Surfing (Men) Kelly Slater ASP World Tour 2010 Prize Money $516,000
Surfing (Women) Stephanie Gilmore ASP World Tour 2010 Prize Money $140,700
Tennis (Men) Rafael Nadal ATP 2010 Prize Money $10,171,998
Tennis (Women) Kim Clijsters WTA 2010 Prize Money $5,035,060
Triathlon (Men) Tim Don International Triathlon Union 2010 Prize Money $223,600
Triathlon (Women) Emma Snowsill International Triathlon Union 2010 Prize Money $239,800
Source: May 2, 2011, issue of ESPN The Magazine.


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