Kim and White top Forbes rich list

Kim Yu-Na pocketed $8 million last year. (GETTY IMAGES)

South Korean pin-up Kim Yu-Na and American Shaun White are the top earning athletes at the Winter Olympics, each of whom pocketed $8 million (Dh29.4m) last year, according to Forbes magazine.

Figure-skating star Kim, 19, made top dollar for her dynamic aerial skills on ice skates, and the commercial spin-offs that come with being not just a world champion, but a highly marketable one at that.

Kim banked nearly $8m from a line-up of major sponsors including Hyundai Motor, Kookim Bank, Nike and Procter and Gamble, Forbes said in a list released on Tuesday.

Her Samsung Electronics 'Yu-Na Haptic' style phone, launched in May last year, broke a company record in December when unit sales passed the one million mark in less than seven months.

Snowboarder White, who won gold at the Winter X Games, only earned $40,000 in prize money but, like Kim, bagged huge amounts from sponsors such as Burton, Red Bull, Target and AT&T.

White is one of the biggest and most recognised stars in action sports. Such is his celebrity status that energy-drink maker Red Bull built him his own half-million-dollar half-pipe in Colorado – so remote that he needs a helicopter to shuttle him there.

Rounding out the top five were American skiers Lindsey Vonn with $3m and Ted Ligety on $2m.

Speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno made $1.5m, according to the Forbes list.

The Winter Olympics get under way in Vancouver on Friday and run until February 28.

 

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