The Highest-Paid Olympians Include Kevin Durant, Naomi Osaka | Forbes

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Billions of viewers. The moral support of nations. Weeks of gushing coverage from media outlets around the world. Olympic glory is a heady dream-come-true for almost every athlete who makes it, but few are doing it for the money and it's certainly no easy way to get rich.

Paying for trainers, facility time and state-of-the-art equipment that can cost tens of thousands of dollars can turn the chance to compete on the world stage into a money pit. The cost of a trip to the Olympics can be so high for some that they turn to GoFundMe campaigns to help pay their way. In 2016, thousands of donors donated $750,000 to help fund the trips of more than 140 athletes. Winning helps defray some of the costs with each gold medalist bringing home $37,500, silver medalists $22,500 and bronze $15,000.

While some champions are backed by lucrative endorsement deals – including returning Olympians gymnast Simone Biles and swimmer Katie Ledecky – and arrive with the possibility of landing even more in victory, the surest way to leave Tokyo with a windfall this summer is to arrive with one. Thanks to a decision made decades ago that allows professional athletes to compete, this year’s games will once again host not just struggling hopefuls but also some of the world’s top paid athletes. Among the top earners in Tokyo: three professional tennis players, a golfer and five NBA players (two less than last week as an injury and Covid-19 protocols already forced a pair of Team USA drop-outs; the NBA finals, still being played out, may knock out a few others before the games even start).

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