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Thread: Yu-na Kim tops Forbes highest paid athletes at Winter Olympics

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    Yu-na Kim tops Forbes highest paid athletes at Winter Olympics

    Forbes just published the top 10 highest paid athletes, excluding professional hockey players, at Vancouver Olympics. Some highlights here:

    Co-No.1 Yu-na Kim $7.5 millions (that's 7,500,000)
    Co-No.1 Shaun White (skateboarder) $7.5 millions
    ...
    No. 3 Lindsey Vonn (skier, the Sports Illustrated cover girl) $2.5 millions
    ...
    No. 5 Apolo Onno (speed skater, winner of Dancing with the Star) $1.5 millions
    ...
    co-No. 7 Gretchen Bleiler (skateborder, was in FHM) $1 million
    co-No. 7 Hannah Teter (skateboarder, is in current SI Swimsuit special) $ 1 million

    I believe Kim has earned more money than all other active figure skaters combined. And she hasn't won the Olympic gold medal yet. (Sorry, I am rooting for Mao Asada.)
    Last edited by clonesheep; 02-11-2010 at 04:25 AM. Reason: fix a typo

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    Go marry the quad if you love it so much DesertRoad's Avatar
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    How is Mao not on this list? Her agent is asleep on the job.

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertRoad View Post
    How is Mao not on this list? Her agent is asleep on the job.
    There are only six athletes listed on the first post here so Mao could be in the top 10. But in Japan, Mao is not the only skater earning endorsement money. Think of their three top male skaters plus Miki, Fumie, Yukari, Kanako, Akiko not to mention Shizuka. Shiz may not be competing but I am sure she still makes a considerable amount of money.

    Yuna is not only wildly popular in Korea, she is also the only skater earning big endorsement money in her country. Japan is sharing endorsement money between 10 skaters and probably more that I didn't mention so it is doubtful if any of them will earn as much as Yuna.
    Last edited by janetfan; 02-11-2010 at 07:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    There are only six athletes listed on the first post here so Mao could be in the top 10. But in Japan, Mao is not the only skater earning endorsement money. Thinking of the three top male skaters plus Miki, Fumie, Yukari, Kanako, Akiko not to mention Shizuka. Shiz may not be competing but I am sure she still makes a considerable amount of money.

    Yuna is not only wildly popular in Korea, she is also the only skater earning big endorsement money in her country. Japan is sharing endorsement money between 10 skaters and probably more that I didn't mention so it is doubtful if any of them will earn as much as Yuna.
    Mao probably doesn't earn as much as Yuna, but she definitely earns much more than her teammates because the amount of exposure she has in Japan rivals their pop stars. I think she and Miki probably declined to reveal their earnings to the public.

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    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miki88 View Post
    Mao probably doesn't earn as much as Yuna, but she definitely earns much more than her teammates because the amount of exposure she has in Japan rivals their pop stars. I think she and Miki probably declined to reveal their earnings to the public.
    Mao is a symbol athlete of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC). The JOC supervises the portrait rights of the athletes and gets funding from the cooperations for the use their portrait rights in their commercials. These athletes may contribute to the JOC as a significant source of the JOC income. For the athletes who have a greater earning potential than the amount that the JOC pays back to them (10,000,000 yen - 20,000,000 yen = USD 111,000-USD222,000), this contract may restrict their own income. But I am not sure how flexible their contracts could be.

    In any case, people are making a lot of money out of Mao regardless of the proportion that goes to her own pocket. But I wonder if the amount of income matters the quality of life of the athletes themselves, after they come to earn more than enough needed to compete at the elite level.

    Miki is hired by Toyota and does not appear in any commercials. So her earning potential would be much limited.

    But she used to be a symbol athlete four years ago and appeared at a numerous commercials. People made a lot of money out of Miki. But the publicity did not seem to make her happy at all.

    As a side note, people speculated that appearance of Miki at so many commercials might have affected the selection process of the Olympic team four years ago because the JOC earned so much funds from cooperations that used Miki's portrait rights. Their rationale for picking Miki was in a way legitimate because they announced earlier that they would use the point system in which athletes who accumulated higher points during the past two years or so would be picked. So Miki legitimately fulfilled this condition. But her low placement at the Nationals made it very controvertial and called for a lot of speculations.
    Last edited by Bennett; 02-11-2010 at 09:48 AM.

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    Go marry the quad if you love it so much DesertRoad's Avatar
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    Of course, who knows what Forbes methodology for ascertaining the athletes' earnings are. It could be they are unable to get the records of Japanese athletes, or they missed something. But given that Mao is the most popular female athlete in Japan, by a big margin, and one of the most famous and beloved figures in the country, she should be leveraging that for some sweet, sweet piles of yen. I remember seeing two different ads starring Mao during the broadcast of the Japanese nationals. She must be making some kind of bank. Of course, a corrupt JSF or JOC could be robbing her blind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertRoad View Post
    Of course, who knows what Forbes methodology for ascertaining the athletes' earnings are. It could be they are unable to get the records of Japanese athletes, or they missed something. But given that Mao is the most popular female athlete in Japan, by a big margin, and one of the most famous and beloved figures in the country, she should be leveraging that for some sweet, sweet piles of yen. I remember seeing two different ads starring Mao during the broadcast of the Japanese nationals. She must be making some kind of bank. Of course, a corrupt JSF or JOC could be robbing her blind.
    Sigh. This could be true, considering how corporate culture operates in Japan~~~~~~~~

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    What is it about Dai and Nobunari that they are not mentioned in the Japanese scheme of things? Both deserve it. Maybe like the US, it is considered a feminine sport. If you notice Apolo Onu is mentioned in a more masculine sport.

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    There are reports that Japan has strict laws about disclosing money, so I doubt anyone knows how much money Mao or Miki for example are making. Mao is reportedly I believe the most popular athlete in Japan and is everywhere just like Yu-na is. She could be making as much money as Yu-na (or more) its just not on the list.

    I believe Kim has earned more money than all other active figure skaters combined. And she hasn't won the Olympic gold medal yet. (Sorry, I am rooting for Mao Asada.)
    As said earlier Mao/Miki probably make really good money as well. But that kind of attention comes with a price too. Kim donates a lot of money to charity and also finanicially supports a lot of young junior skaters in Korea.

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    Today's newspaper reports that Lindsey Vonn is injured (deep shin bruise while practicing last week) and is worried that she might have to withdraw. Considering her high profile in the U.S., that might cost her millions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post



    As said earlier Mao/Miki probably make really good money as well. But that kind of attention comes with a price too. Kim donates a lot of money to charity and also finanicially supports a lot of young junior skaters in Korea.
    Is this from the new Hersh article about Yuna? It says that Yuna funds the junior skating program in Korea. What a great lady!

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-...,7592977.story

    Although, I don't agree with some parts of the article: I don't think Koreans are penning all their hopes on for a gold medal on Yuna since they have other chances to earn a gold medal. (It seems more like Olympic mania to me.) Hersh seems to have done a lot of research for the article, even translating her last name. Hilarious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Today's newspaper reports that Lindsey Vonn is injured (deep shin bruise while practicing last week) and is worried that she might have to withdraw. Considering her high profile in the U.S., that might cost her millions.
    There is a thread about Lindsey and her injury in the Cafe.....

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    Go marry the quad if you love it so much DesertRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    There are reports that Japan has strict laws about disclosing money, so I doubt anyone knows how much money Mao or Miki for example are making. Mao is reportedly I believe the most popular athlete in Japan and is everywhere just like Yu-na is. She could be making as much money as Yu-na (or more) its just not on the list.
    That could be it. I have a tough time believing Mao isn't at least making a couple of million each year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Today's newspaper reports that Lindsey Vonn is injured (deep shin bruise while practicing last week) and is worried that she might have to withdraw. Considering her high profile in the U.S., that might cost her millions.
    I'm sure she's already earned millions from her endorsements. She may lose out on money she's yet to earn, but unless she's taken out some monstrous loans, she should be ok financially. It's probably more devastating to her emotionally that the medals she worked so hard for may not materialize.

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    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    An interesting article on Mao's economic effects, reporting Mao's financial role as a "symbol athelete" of the Japanese Olympic Committee.

    (In English)
    http://www.japantoday.com/category/f...cts-businesses
    Last edited by Bennett; 02-11-2010 at 10:07 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Today's newspaper reports that Lindsey Vonn is injured (deep shin bruise while practicing last week) and is worried that she might have to withdraw. Considering her high profile in the U.S., that might cost her millions.
    That's awful. Lindsay is pretty much the poster child for the 2010 Olympics and she's one of the biggest hopefuls for winning multiple gold medals--thereby upping the gold count for the US. Hopefully, she'll be able to compete.
    Last edited by Figure88; 02-11-2010 at 10:32 AM.

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