World’s Richest and Famous Athletes
Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods was on born December 30, 1975,in Cypress, California, is an American professional golfer, who ranked him among the most successful golfers of all time, World’s number one currently, and on the Forbes list, he has been one of the world’s highest-paid athletes for several years. In 1996,Woods became a professional golfer, and won his first major award in a breaking performance on April 1997, as the 1997 Masters and reached the world rankings number one position in June of the same year. Tiger Woods took leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage after he admitted infidelity from December 2009 to April 2010, followed by a loss of form in November 2011, when his ranking dropped to number 58. Woods is ranked No. 1 as of March 25, 2013, after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2013. In November 2003, Woods revealed his engagement with former Swedish model Elin Nordegren, daughter of Thomas Nordegren, a former minister of Barbro Holmberg and a radio journalist, Woods and Nordegren married on October 5, 2004, at the Sandy Lane Resort, Barbados and lived at Isleworth community in Windermere, a suburb of Orlando, Florida, and had a daughter, Sam Alexis Woods, was born on June 18, 2007 and a son Charlie Axel Woods, was born on February 8, 2009. Woods purchased a estate worth $39 million in Jupiter Island, Florida, and a 10,000-square-foot home, and moved in 2010 followed by their divorce on August 23, 2010. On March 18, 2013,Tiger Woods revealed his relationship with skier Lindsey Vonn. His father, Earl Woods, born in 1932, died from a heart attack at the age of 74 at his home in Cypress, California on 2006. In 1998, Earl Woods was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which he survived. Earl was buried in Manhattan, Kansas at Sunset Cemetery. His mother Kultida “Tida“ Punsawad-Woods (born 1944) from Thailand,a Thai, Chinese and Dutch ancestry, where Earl Woods, an African-American retired Lieutenant colonel and Vietnam veteran, met her in 1968 tour of duty, thus Tiger refer himself as Cablinasian ( syllabic abbreviation combination of Caucasian, Black, American Indian and Asian). Tiger Woods is the only child of Earl and Tida, but does have two half-brothers, Earl Jr. (born 1955) and Kevin (born 1957), and a half-sister, Royce (born 1958) from Earl’s first wife, of 18-year marriage, Barbara Gray Woods. Cheyenne Woods, who became a professional golfer in 2012 after she played for a golf team for the Wake Forest University,was Woods’ niece, making her pro debut in the LPGA Championship.
Tiger Woods, is the number one ranking for 5 years, in his early thirties made nearly $23 million on the golf course and was paid for his endorsements $105 million, with total earnings of $127,902,706 and as richest athlete, but might lost that title during his adultery scandal rumors in 2010, and some of his sponsors terminated his contract as endorser.
2) Phil Mickelson ((Pro Golf / $62 million)
Philip Alfred Mickelson (born on June 16, 1970) is an American professional golfer. Mickelson, became No. 2 golf player with $9.3 million in winnings, and his endorsements with overwhelming $53 million and a total earnings of $62, 373,685. Mickelson has won four major championships and on the PGA Tour, a total of 41 events, and became world ranking of second in multiple years. Mickelson, although he is right handed, he swings left handed, thus, he is nicknamed “Lefty“. In November 2011, Mickelson was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame, and was inducted in May 2012. Phil Mickelson revealed that his wife, Amy, was diagnosed with breast cancer, on May 20, 2009, following his announcement, that he would indefinitely suspend his PGA Tour schedule. Mickelson returned to play on the PGA Tour in June at the St. Jude Classic and the U.S. Open, since his wife’s doctors said the cancer treatment is easy because his wife’s cancer was detected in an early stage. On July 6, 2009 Then another sad news was announced that Mary Mickelson, Phil’s mother, was also diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a breast surgery, at the same hospital where his wife was treated with similar would have surgery at the same hospital where his wife was treated. Phil Mickelson was placed at the fifth spot with $46 million according to Forbes list in 2010, while David Beckham settled at sixth spot with $44 million. Lefty or Phil Mickelson has $46.5 million worth of wealth.
3) David Beckham (Soccer / $45 million)
David Robert Beckham, OBE, was born on May 2, 1975, is an English footballer playing currently for French Ligue 1 Paris Saint Germain. Beckham played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, Milan, Los Angeles Galaxy, and the National England Team holding the record appearance as an outfield player. Beckham was twice runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year and the world highest paid footballer athlete in 2004, and his endorsement earnings and advertising deals. In 2007, Beckham joined the MLS, and he was given the highest player salary in the league’s history of US$6.5 million a year. Beckham was the first British footballer to play 100 Champion League matches. In 2008, David Beckham’s fame invaded America, and was offered by high contracts and event with a lot of publicity, but due to his injuries, it kept him out almost the entire MLS seasons. Beckham is married to Victoria Caroline Adams-Beckham former Posh of the Spice Girls group singer, and the couple have four children. David Beckham’s wealth came from his endorsement ads deals, sponsored by Adidas, Motorola and Pepsi Co., and on loan to AC Milan ensuring a spot for 2010 World Cup in England team. David and Victoria’s joint wealth was about £125 million as estimated in 2009. David Beckham is in 6th spot in 2012 Legend English Footballer as the richest football athlete with total income of US$40 million.
4) Kimi Raikkonen (F1 Racing / $41 million)
Kimi-Matias Räikkönen born 17 October 1979, is a Finnish racing driver, which he won the Formula One World Driver’s Championship in 2007 after nine seasons racing in Formula One, and competed in the World Rally Championship in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Beckham returned to Formula One in 2012, driving for Lotus, and continued to drive in 2013. In 2002, Beckham joined McLaren Mercedes and became a title contender as finishing runner-up in the championships in 2003 and 2005 to Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso. In 2003 and 2005 Räikkönen‘s seasons were outbreak by not reliable from his McLaren cars. Räikkönen switched in 2007 to Ferrari, becoming the highest paid Motor sport driver with an estimated wage of $51 million per year. In 2008, on the same list, Raikkonen is listed as the 26th highest paid celebrity overall and the 5th highest paid sportsman after Tiger Woods, David Beckham, Michael Jordan and Phil Mickelson. Räikkönen was listed as the 2nd highest paid athlete in the world, in 2009, behind Woods. Räikkönen is married to a Finnish model and former Miss Scandinavia, Jenni Dahlman, on July 31, 2004, however in early 2013, it was speculated that she had moved out, ending eight years of marriage. Kimi Raikkonen was the highest paid driver by Ferrari, in motor sports and was given a three year-deal. After a bad season in previous year, he decided to “retire temporarily” from F1 and want to move to WRC.
5) LeBron James (NBA / $40 million)
LeBron Raymone James born December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio to Gloria Marie James, a 16-year-old mother, who raised LeBron on her own. nicknamed “King James”, is an American professional basketball player for National Basketball Association (NBA), the Miami Heat. LeBron James has accumulated his wealth and fame off the court, from numerous endorsement contracts. His public life has been the subject of much ” who search through piles of rubbish in the hope of finding something of”, and ranked as one of most disliked in America and influential athletes. James has two sons with his high school sweetheart, Savannah Brinson, his first son was born on October 6, 2004 named LeBron James, Jr. and the second, was born on June 14, 2007 named Bryce Maximus James. James purchased a three-story mansion overlooking Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove, a Miami suburb for $9 million. James was engaged to Brinson since December 31, 2011, proposing to her at a party to celebrate New Year’s Eve and his 27th birthday. As a result of his endorsement money and NBA salary, James has been listed as one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, aside from NBA salary and from endorsement’s payment. James was ranked by Forbes as the second most influential athlete after Lance Armstrong in 2010. LeBron James salary off the court and as business entrepreneur was $12, 455,000 and $28 million from endorsement fees ranking him to number 3 list of richest athletes with total wealth of $40, 455, 000, and in 2012, “King James”with listed of $48 million assets. In 2010, LeBron James and Roger Federer both were tie at the 7th place with total revenues of $43 million.
6) Manny Pacquiao (Boxing / $40 million)
Emmanuel “Manny” Dapidran Pacquiao born December 17, 1978, in Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines, is a famous Filipino professional boxer and politician. Pacquiao is the first eight-division world champion, in which he has won ten world titles, as well as the first to win the lineal championship in four different weight classes. He is also the world’s second highest paid athlete. He was known as Fighter of the Decade for the decade 2000’s by the (BWAA) Boxing Writers Association of America, (WBC) World Boxing Council and (WBO) World Boxing Organization. Manny Pacquiao dropped to number two in the rankings, in April 2012, after Floyd Mayweather, Jr. The Ring, however,declared the top position vacant and jointly ranked Pacquiao and Mayweather in the number two spot on May 7, 2012. Aside from boxing, Pacquiao was also a part time actor aside from boxing, music recording and politics when he was elected to the House of Representatives in the 15th Congress of the Philippines in May 2010, representing the Sarangani province. Pacquiao’s parents separated when he was grade 6, after his mother discovered that his father was living with another woman. Pacquiao is married to Maria Geraldine “Jinkee” Jamora, and they have four children: Emmanuel Jr. “Jimuel”, Michael, Princess, and Queen Elizabeth “Queenie.” Pacquiao and his family resides in General Santos City, South Cotabato, Philippines, but officially residing in Kiamba, Sarangani as a congressman of lone district of Sarangani, the hometown of his wife, Jinkee Pacquiao, who recently won in a political race in May 13, 2013. Manny Pacquiao is now known as the best pound per pound boxer in the world and the “favorite” target by any challenger in the world. According to Sports Illustrated annual survey Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino ring icon and non-US athlete was in sixth place (he ranked 6th place last year) in terms of total assets among the top 20 international athletes over the past year, with earnings of US$35 million, putting him just ahead of Irish golfer Rory McIlroy, who raked in US$33,336,796.
7) Lionel Messi (Soccer / $39 million)
Lionel Andrés “Leo” Messi born 24 June 1987, is an Argentine footballer who plays as a forward for La Liga club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team, serving as his national football team captain. By the age of 21, Lionel Messi had won his first Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards in 2009, followed by winning the inaugural FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2010, 2011 and 2012. At the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency(GHD) (a medical condition, caused by arising problems in the pituitary gland, in which the body does not produce enough growth hormones (GH) or known as somatropin, (is a polypeptide hormone which stimulates growth and cell reproduction). River Plate Local powerhouse showed interest in Messi’s progress, but were not willing to pay for treatment for his condition, which cost $900 a month. Lionel Messi was seen with the girl, Antonella Roccuzzo, a fellow native of Rosario, at a Sitges carnival after the Barcelona-Espanyol derby. Messi assisted and scored a goal in Argentina’s 4–0 win against Ecuador in a World Cup 2014 Qualifying match on June 2, 2012. He placed the ball under his jersey when celebrated scoring for Argentina, his 23rd goal, as reports spread that his girlfriend is 12 weeks pregnant, when she posted on Twitter that she is expecting to give birth in September, but she gave birth later than expected on November 2, 2012, and for the first time,Messi became a father following the birth of Thiago, his son. Messi was ranked by the France Football in March 2010, as the World’s richest footballer, ahead of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, with £29.6 million (€33 million) in combined income from salaries, bonuses and off-field earnings, making his net wealth is estimated at $110 millIon. In 2011 he became the best soccer player and currently holds the title, but due to his total worth earnings of $32.3 million he is at number 10 in the list.
8) Alex Rodriguez (MLB / $39 million)
Alexander Emmanuel “Alex” Rodriguez (born July 27, 1975), best known for his nickname as A-Rod, is an American New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB), baseball 3rd baseman, shortstop previous player for the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers and considered one of the best baseball players of all time. Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees agreed to a $275 million contract for 10-years deal in December 2007. This contract with Rodriguez, breaking the previous baseball contract of $252 million, was the richest contract in baseball history. After Rodriguez denied the allegedly use of performance-enhancing drugs previously in February 2009, and during an interview with Katie Couric on 60 Minutes show, however, he admitted to using steroids from 2001 to 2003 while playing for the Texas Rangers due to “extreme pressures” to perform. Alex Rodriguez was born to a Dominican family in the Washington Heights, New York City. Rodriguez and his parents moved to the Dominican Republic when he was age 4, then moved to Miami, Florida. Rodriguez have two half-siblings, Joe and Suzy, from his mother’s first marriage, who were born in the Dominican Republic. He lost contact with his brother, Victor Jr., an officer in the United States Air Force for a period of 23 years, until they met at a Texas Rangers game in 2003. Alex Rodriguez was married to Cynthia Scurtis, in 2002, a psychology graduate, whom he met at a gym in Miami, Florida. The couple’s two children, Natasha Alexander, was born on November 18, 2004, and Ella Alexander was born on April 21, 2008 in Miami, Florida. On July 7, 2008, Cynthia Scurtis-Rodriguez filed for divorce, citing an extra marital affairs, emotional abandonment of her and their children, and other marital misconduct by her husband. Cynthia Rodriguez sought alimony, distribution of assets, child support (and includes private school tuition fees), life and health insurance, her car, reimbursement of legal fees, and retention of the $12-million marital home in Coral Gables, Florida. Alex Rodriguez filed a countered that his ex-wife was only entitled to what their prenuptial agreement they had agreed from 2002, also acknowledging their marriage as “no-fault” ground”, and requested that all allegations of his “extramarital affairs” be disallowed from being legally considered from court records. In September 2008, the couple finally settled their divorce. In 2009, reports said, Rodriguez was dating actress Kate Hudson, and in 2010, he was romantically linked with actress Cameron Diaz, where she was seen in a candid TV shot feeding popcorn to Rodriguez was shown during the Super Bowl in 2011. Alex Rodriguez was listed richest and greatest baseball player with $29 million on the field and $6 million in endorsement with total income of $39 million, but he is at number 8 list of world’s richest sportsman in 2012.
9) Fernando Alonso (F1 Racing / $35 million)
Fernando Alonso Díaz was born on July 29, 1981, also known for his nickname as El Nano, a typical pseudonym for Fernando in his birthplace in Asturias, and he is a Spanish Formula One racing driver, and a two-time World Champion, racing for Scuderia Ferrari currently. At the age of three, Alonso started in karting. He won the karting championship three times, from 1994 to 1997 in Spain, and in 1996, Diaz became the world karting champion, and made his debut in the 2001 Formula One. Alonso acts as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Alonso was married to Spanish pop band El Sueno de Morfeo, lead singer Raquel del Rosario on November 17, 2006. In December 2011, the couple announced their intention to divorce. Alonso was under contract with the McLaren Team for 4 years contract from 2007 to 2010, but in the late 2007, he moved tp Renault and withdraw with McLaren’s contract. Fernando Alonso, formerly the double world champion has taken a £4million pay cut to help financially his Renault team to meet the cost of staying in Formula One. It was announced that Fernando Diaz will race with Ferrari this year.
10) Valentino Rossi (MotoGP Racing / $35 million)
Valentino Rossi, (born February 16, 1979 in Urbino), is an Italian professional motorcycle racer and MotoGP multiple World Champion. Rossi winning nine times as Grand Prix World Championships, seven wins are in the premier class, and named as one of the most successful motorcycle racers of all time. Valentino Rossi started racing in 1996 at the Grand Prix, following his father’s footsteps, Graziano Rossi. Valentino Rossi left Yamaha to join the 2011 season of Ducati, but in 2012, it was confirmed that he would rejoin the 2013 and 2014 Yamaha seasons. Rossi is first in all time 500cc/MotoGP race wins standings, with 79 victories, and place second in overall wins standings with 105 race wins, behind Giacomo Agostini with 122. According to Sports Illustrated, Rossi is one of the world’s highest paid athlete personalities, with estimated earnings as of 2007 with $34 million. Forbes ranked Valentino Rossi as number 9 among the highest paid athletes in 2009, an estimated $35 million in the previous year, that includes his Yamaha team salary and endorsement from Fiat and AGV helmet. Rumors spread that Rossi finished his contract, he will be moving to F1 after he won the MotoGP in 2009.
2011 -2012 Richest Athletes
11) Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (born Floyd Sinclair, born on February 24, 1977) is an undefeated American professional boxer, five-division world champion, won world titles 8 times, and the different weight classes Lineal championship. He won the award in 1998 and 2007 as Ring Fighter of the Year, Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), 2007 Fighter of the Year award and the 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012 Best Fighter ESPY Award. According to Forbes and Sports Illustrated lists, Mayweather topped the 2012’s 50 highest-paid athletes. His father, was a The former welterweight contender, Floyd Mayweatehr, Sr. who fought Sugar Ray Leonard, a Hall of Famer. Jeff Mayweather and Roger Mayweather were his uncles and both were professional boxers, with Roger works as Floyd Jr.’s current trainer, winning two world championships. Mayweather was born using his mother’s last name, but changed to Mayweather afterwards. During Floyd Mayweather’s childhood, it is already common to come home from school and find used heroin needles in his front yard, since his mother was a drug addict, and he had an aunt who died from AIDS because of her drug use. Mayweather narrated, “People don’t know the hell I’ve been through” and “I basically raised myself,” Mayweather says. “My grandmother did what she could. When she got mad at me I’d go to my mom’s house. My life was ups and downs”. Mayweather Sr., his father, says he knows how much pain his being detained in prison, caused his son, but insists he did the best he could. “I sent him to live with his grandmother”, he says. “It wasn’t like I left him with strangers”. Mayweather Jr., reported to the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas to serve his 87-day jail term for domestic abuse on June 1, 2012, and was released from prison on August 3, 2012, after serving two months.
12) Michael Jordan
Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials, MJ is an American former professional basketball player, entrepreneur, and head of basketball operations for the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats majority owner and chairman, when he won a bidding to buy controlling interest in the team form Robert L. Johnson, the founding-owner. On the National Basketball Association (NBA) biography website stated, “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.” His leaping ability, illustrated by performing from the free throw line slam dunks, in a slum dunk contests, and was nicknamed “Air Jordan” and “His Airness“. He also gained a reputation for being one of the best basketball defensive players. Jordan is also noted for his product endorsements and gained the success of Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers introduced in 1985 and remained popular today. Michael Jordan also starred in the Space Jam film in 1996 as himself. Jordan was married to Juanita Vanoy in September 1989, and both have two sons, Jeffrey Michael and Marcus James, and a daughter, Jasmine. Jordan. On January 4, 2002, Vanoy filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, but reconciled shortly thereafter, however, in December 29, 2006, the couple again filed for divorce and were granted a final decree of dissolution of marriage, with “mutual and amicable” decision was made. According to reports, Juanita received a $168 million settlement, making it the largest celebrity divorce settlement in history at the time on public record. A Cook County, Illinois judge settled that Jordan did not owe Karla Knafel $5 million, Jordan’s alleged former lover on July 21, 2006. According to some reports, Jordan had allegedly paid Knafel $250,000 to keep their relationship a secret, but Knafel claimed Jordan promised her $5 million for the agreement of remaining silent and not to file a paternity suit after Knafel learned she was pregnant in 1991. However, the DNA test result showed Jordan was not the father of the child. On 2011 Christmas Eve, Jordan proposed to Yvette Prieto, his longtime girlfriend, Cuban-American model Yvette Prieto and they were married on April 27, 2013. Michael Jordan was the third richest athlete with total earnings of $55 million followed by Kobe Bryant, ranking 4th with $48 million total earnings.
Kobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978), nicknamed the “Black Mamba“, is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the (NBA) National Basketball Association. Bryant entered the NBA directly from high school,playing for the Lakers his entire career, winning NBA championship five times. Kobe Bryant is an All-Star 15-times, All-NBA Team 14-time member and All-Defensive team 12-time member. Bryant ranked third and fourth on the all-time postseason scoring league as of March 2013. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive championships from 2000 to 2002, however the duo had a heated argument and a loss in the NBA Finals 2004 was followed by O’Neal’s trade from the Lakers after the 2003-2004 season. Kobe Bryant became the Los Angeles Lakers franchise cornerstone after O’Neal‘s departure from the team. Bryant at the age of 34, became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points, and the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault in 2003, after having sex with a hotel employee in Edwards, Colorado, but the prosecutors dropped the case in September 2004, after his accuser refused to testify. A civil suit was later filed and settled out of court. Kobe Bryant was famous for his high-flying moves. Bryant’s total network is estimated $53 million, making him the world’s richest basketball player and world’s second richest athlete in 2012.
Derek Sanderson Jeter born June 26, 1974, is an American baseball shortstop who has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) 18 seasons for the New York Yankees, and a five-time World Series champion. Derek Jeter has been one of the most in-demand marketed athletes of his generation and is involved in numerous product endorsements. Jeter’s personal life and relationships has been a frequent topic in gossip columns and celebrity magazines since his rookie year in 1996. Derek Jeter drawn public and media attention and well-publicized relationship with Mariah Carey, pop diva from 1997 to 1998, Lara Dutta Bhupathi much known as Lara Dutta, an Indian Bollywood actress,and former 2000 Miss Universe, Joy Charity Enriquez better known as Joy Enriquez, an American singer and actress, Jordana Brewster, a Brazilian-American actress, Vanessa Joy Minnillo-Lachey, an American television personality, television host, fashion model, and actress and former 1998 Miss Teen USA, Jessica Claire Biel or Jessica Biel, an American actress, model and singer., and Minka Dumont Kelly (born Minka Dumont Dufay ) or better known as Minka Kelly, an American actress. Jeter’s teammates and opponents, regard him as a consummate professional and one of the best players of his generation. Some sportswriters anticipate, following his playing career that he will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Jeter owned homes in Marlboro Township, New Jersey, Greenwood Lake, New York and the Davis Islands neighboorhood of Tampa, Florida, (this state has no state income tax), he also owned previously a penthouse apartment in Trump World Tower in Manhattan as his official residence. In 2008, Derek Jeter settled a tax argument with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Jeter allegedly failed to pay the state income tax from 2001 to 2003, according to New York State, during Jeter’s stay in the Manhattan apartment he purchased in 2001, however, he claimed that since 1994, he have already established his residence in Tampa, Florida and at that time he was still a resident of Florida.
Yao Ming was born on September 12, 1980 in Shanghai, China, is a retired Chinese professional basketball player who last played for the National Basketball Association (NBA) Houston Rockets. At the time of his final season, Yao Ming was the NBA tallest active player, 7 ft 6 in. Yao,was a teenager when he debuted as basketball player for the Shanghai Sharks, and played on their senior team for five years in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), winning a championship in his final year. After some negotiations with the CBA and the Shanghai Sharks to secure his release, Yao Ming was chosen by the Houston Rockets as the first overall pick in the NBA Draft in 2002. Yao was chosen to begin in the NBA All-Star Game Western Conference for eight times, and was named to the All-NBA Team five times. Due to foot and ankle injuries,Yao missed 250 regular-season games in his final six seasons. Yao Ming is one of China’s best-known richest basketball athletes, with sponsorships with several major companies, and became the subject of a documentary film during his NBA rookie year. Yao is married to (6 ft 3 in) tall, Ye Li, a China’s women’s basketball player on August 6, 2007 in a ceremony attended by relatives, close friends and close to media. Yao and Ye met her when he was 17 years old. Yao Qinlei or her English name as Amy Yao, the couple’s daughter, was born on May 21, 2010 in Houston, Texas. Yao Ming had led the 2009 Forbes’ Chinese celebrities list in popularity and richest person for straight six years, with total earning in 2008, US$51 million or CNY357 million. Majority part of his income comes from his endorsement or sponsorship deals, as he is under contract with numerous major companies endorsing their brands and products. Yao was under contract by Nike until the end of his rookie season, and signed with Reebok, when Nike decided not to renew his contract. He also had a deal with Pepsi, and in 2003, Yao sued Coca Cola when they used his image on their bottles while promoting the national team. However, Yao Ming signed with Coca-Cola for the 2008 Olympics. Yao Ming has other deals including partnerships with Visa, Apple, Garmin and McDonald’s.
Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player ranking No.1 by Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) currently , and No.1 in Women’s Singles Tennis on 6 separate occasions. On July 8, 2002 Serena Williams became the World No. 1 for the first time, and regained this ranking on February 18, 2013 for the sixth time, becoming the oldest world no. 1 player in WTA’s history. She is the only female player to have won over $40 million in prize money. Williams has won four Olympic gold medals, one in women’s singles and three in women’s doubles. Serena Williams began dating Common, rapper and actor in 2008, but according to media reports the two broke up in May 2010. Williams has appeared on television and also provided voice work on animated shows. Serena Williams and Lance Armstrong tied at 13th place with total earnings of $20 million each.
Lance Edward Armstrong, born Lance Edward Gunderson, was born on September 18, 1971, is an American former professional road racing cyclist, who won seven consecutive times in the Tour de France between 1999 and 2005, before being disqualified from those races and banned from cycling for life for doping offenses in 2012 by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Armstrong is the founder of formerly Lance Armstrong Foundation, now known as the Livestrong Foundation, providing support for cancer patients. Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 1996, that had spread to his brain and lungs. He undergo several cancer treatments included brain and testicular surgery and extensive chemotherapy. He was declared cancer-free in February 1997 and he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation on that same year. Armstrong announced his retirement on February 16, 2011 from competitive cycling, while facing a US federal investigation into doping allegations. USADA charged Armstrong in June 2012, with using illegal performance-enhancing drugs, and announced a lifetime ban from competition on August 24, 2012, applicable to all sports which follow the World Anti-Doping Agency code, as well as the stripping of all titles he achieved since August 1998. In June 1997, Armstrong met Kristin Richard, and they married on May 1, 1998, and had three children, Luke David, born October 1999, and twins Isabelle Rose and Grace Elisabeth, born November 2001, and these pregnancy was possible through Armstrong’s sperm banked three years earlier, before undergoing chemotherapy and surgery. The couple filed for divorce.In the late 2003, Armstrong started dating Sheryl Crow, singer-songwriter, and in September 2005, they announced their engagement and their break-up in February 2006. From 2006 to 2007, Lance dated a few women each with brief 2 to 4 month long relationships with celebrities like, Kate Hudson, Ivanka Trump, Ashley Olsen, Tory Burch and Danielle Overgaag. Armstrong announced that his girlfriend, Anna Hansen, was pregnant with his child in December 2008 whom he started dating since July 2008, after meeting through Armstrong’s charity work. Anna Hansen conceived naturally, although Armstrong have undergone chemotherapy and testicular cancer treatment and was believed that he could no longer father children. Maxwell Edward Armstrong, the baby boy was born in 2009 in Aspen, Colorado posted by Armstrong via Twitter. Armstrong, announced again via Twitter, that Anna Hansen was having his fifth child in April 2010. On October 2010, the couple’s daughter, Olivia Marie Armstrong was born.
Michael Schumacher born January 3,1969, is a retired German racing driver, a seven-time Formula One World Champion and is widely regarded as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time. Michael Schumacher is an ambassador for UNESCO off the track and a spokesman for driver safety. The Germany regulations require a driver to be at least 14 years old to obtain a kart license. To get around this, Schumacher obtained a license in Luxemburg at the age of 12. He obtained his German license, in 1983, a year after he won the German Junior Kart Championship. From 1984 on, Schumacher won many German and European kart championships. Michael Schumacher married Corinna Betsch in August 1995, and have two children together, Gina-Maria (born on 20 February 1997) and Mick (born on 22 March 1999). Schumacher has always been very protective of his personal or private life and prefer to live a simple life, thus he is known to dislike the celebrity spotlight. Forbes magazine listed him as the 2nd world’s highest paid athlete in 2004. In 2005 While the Eurobusiness magazine named Schumacher as the world’s first billionaire athlete. His 2004 salary was reported to be around US $80 million. He is ranked as the 17th in its “The World’s Most Powerful Celebrities” list by Forbes magazine. He donated $10 million for aid after the Indian Ocean earthquake in 2004. His donation surpassed that of any other sports person, most sports leagues, many worldwide corporations and even some countries. Burkhard Cramer, Schumacher’s bodyguard was killed in the tsunami along with his two sons. Schumacher’s personal fortune was estimated at £515 million in 2010, and reportedly received a salary of £21 million each year from the Mercedes team, plus a £9 million in endorsements. In some list, he is at number 9, but the richest racing driver in the world, and named with excellent driving skills.