Top 10 List: the World's Highest Paid Athletes from 2002

Here is the top 10 list of the highest earning sports people from 2001-2002, according to Forbes magazine. This list was published in July 2002, and is for the period June 2001 to June 2002. There has been a change in reporting period - the previous list and all before that were for a whole calendar year - e.g. the previous list published in March 2001 was for the whole year 2000. Therefore there is no list for 2001.

Earnings estimates (in US dollars) include salaries, bonuses, prize money, endorsements and appearance fees. See also the top earning lists from other years since 1990.

Rank Name Sport Nationality earnings
($ million)
previous year
1. Tiger Woods Golf USA 69 2
2. Michael Schumacher F1 Motorsports Germany 67 1
3. Michael Jordan Basketball USA 36 4
4. Lennox Lewis Boxing USA 28 8
=5 Grant Hill Basketball USA 24 5
=5. Shaquille O'Neal Basketball USA 24 7
=7. Mike Tyson Boxing USA 23 3
=7 Kevin Garnett Basketball USA 23 10
9. Kobe Bryant Basketball USA 22 >10
=10. Jacques Villeneuve Auto Racing Canada 20 >10
=10 Jeff Gordon Auto Racing (Nascar) USA 20 >10

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Lists Extra

Football/Soccer is clearly the world's most popular sport, and has the most popular athletes, but which sport has the fittest players (but not necessarily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most. The best of the best have made it to our 7 Sporting Wonders Lists.

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