A gold medal at the Olympics not only represents the pinnacle of an athlete’s career, it can also lead to a golden path to fame and fortune that would have previously been unthinkable. Here’s a countdown of 20 Olympians who became millionaires almost immediately after making it to the top of the podium.
20. Joseph Schooling — $1 million
Joseph Schooling became an instant millionaire when he floated to victory in the 100m butterfly final at Rio 2016. The swimmer benefited from an initiative in his native Singapore which offered a seven-figure sum for any athlete who picked up gold at the Games. Furthermore, Schooling did it in style — leaving the usually invincible Michael Phelps in his wake.
19. Sanya Richards-Ross — $1.5 million
Sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross won a gold medal at her very first Olympics as part of the 4x400m relay team at Athens 2004. The U.S. international later repeated the feat at the next two Games, and also gained individual gold in the solo 400m at London 2012. After retiring from the sport in 2016, Richards-Ross joined NBC’s broadcasting team to help cover Rio 2016.