Best-paid athletes in 30 sports
They race cars, eat hot dogs, throw darts, pound faces -- and make a great living at it
This story appears in the May 2, 2011, issue of ESPN The Magazine.
The category "money" below represents official base salary or earnings from the most recently completed season or calendar year, and excludes endoresements, 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
ESPN The Magazine: May 2, 2011
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