Usain Bolt is widely regarded as the fastest man in the world, and will be gunning for his third-straight gold medal in Rio this summer. The unprecedented win, known as the “triple triple”, will be awarded to the Jamaican sprinter if he wins the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay for the third consecutive Olympic Games. On Sunday, the 29-year-old won his third straight gold medal in the 100m, and on Tuesday, he’ll be competing in the 200m. But how has Bolt’s speed paid off? Does being the fastest man necessarily mean he has a bigger paycheck?
Read on to find out.
1.He Has an Estimated Net Worth of $60 Million
It turns out that yes, being the fastest man in the world does have its monetary benefits. Bolt has an estimated net worth of about $60 million– over half of which stems from endorsement deals. Prior to the 2008 Olympics, his only sponsors were Puma, who signed the 6’5″ runner in 2003, and Digicel, a Jamaican mobile company. After setting records in the 100 and 200m Olympics, though, that all changed.
In a 2012 article, Forbes ranked Usain Bolt as No. 63 among the world’s highest-paid athletes, in a league with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Phelps. His income is more than 20 times what other elite runners usually make in a year.
2. He Charges $250-300,000 for a Track Meet Appearance
As one of the highest paid athletes in the world, it’s no surprise that Bolt charges up to $300,000 for track meet appearances. In 2010, 55,000 fans came to watch him run at the Penn Relay, which, according to Celebrity Net Worth, “[smashed] previous track and field attendance records.” As a comparison, Andre Agassi and Ken Griffey Jr. both charge in the $30,000-$50,000 range.
3. Puma Pays Him $9 Million to Wear Their Shoes
Bolt has a number of endorsement deals with impressive brands, one of which is Puma, who pays him $9 million to wear their shoes. Forbes writes, “Bolt’s biggest paycheck comes courtesy of Puma, where he is the global face of the German sportswear company. Puma re-signed Bolt in 2010 to a deal worth $9 million annually. It is an astronomical sum for a track athlete and on par with what only a handful of the most marketable basketball, soccer and tennis stars receive from shoe and apparel contracts.”
After proving himself in Beijing, he also scored deals with Swiss watchmaker Hublot, Gatorade, and Virgin Media. After signing with Visa, his face was plastered over billboards all across Europe, where track and field is a popular sport.
4. He Earns $20 Million per Year
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Bolt typically earns abut $20 million in a year. While a majority of his income comes from his endorsement deals, Bolt is also part of the Samsung Diamond League, which consists of 14 events around the world annually. Athletes who win individual races in the Diamond League earn $10,000, and the winner at the end of the year is awarded an additional $40,000. Bolt typically races in anywhere from seven to nine Diamond League events each year, boosting his paycheck even more.
5. He Throws Wild Parties at His House in Jamaica
He may be the best runner in the world, but Bolt is not a man you want to live next to. In a 2015 article, The Telegraph writes, “…Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt is… a world-beater when it comes to hosting noisy parties, according to his neighbours on the Caribbean island.” One of his neighbor’s, a model named Jodi Stewart-Henriques, says that Bolt’s parties run all night, and she can hear screaming, bikes, and loud music blasting until the early morning hours. Another resident from the same area in Kingston, Jamaica, called Bolt the “neighbor from hell.”
His five-bedroom home in Kingston, Jamaica, has a garden with fruit trees and space for his cars. In 2013, Bolt told the Telegraph, “I have installed a new Jacuzzi to chill out in and I now have a heated swimming pool.” Though he enjoys his home now, he intends to retire to a bigger house one day. “When I retire I plan to build a big house. I’m already working on that now so I will be very involved in the design. My dream house will have everything – and I mean everything.”