Kim Yuna Ranked Sixth on List of Highest-Paid Female Athletes

In their annual rankings of the highest paid female athletes, Forbes magazine announced that Kim Yuna took the number six spot. Korean netizens applauded the continued success of the beloved figure skater, in particular praising her for donating much of her income to charity. They also compared Yuna’s success as a representative from a small country in an unpopular sport with the kind of advertising deals American athletes can make.

The annual Forbes rankings put Yuna at number five in 2010, number seven in 2011, and number seven in 2012, and are regularly dominated by elite tennis players.

Article from Daum:

Yuna Kim Ranked 6th-highest Paid Female Athlete, Sharapova First

by Yeong Joon Cho
The twenty-three-year-old “Queen of Figure Skating”, Kim Yuna, has become the sixth-highest paid female athlete in the world. “Russian Beauty” Maria Sharapova, twenty-six-years-old and world number 2 in tennis rankings, ranked number one for income and was far ahead of the rest of the field.

Forbes, the American economics magazine, published a report on August 5th which ranked the highest paid female athletes for 2013. Between June 2012 and June 2013, Sharapova reportedly made $29 million, (approximately ₩32.3 billion). The money came from numerous advertising and sponsorship deals, while her prize winnings only added up to $6 million.

Thirty-two-year-old Serena Williams, currently the number one ranked female tennis player, was number two on the income list with $20.5 million, followed by Chinese tennis star Li Na, (age thirty-one), with $18.2 million. Victoria Azarenka ranked number four, the twenty-four year old tennis player from Belarus won the Australia Open this year and earned $15.7 million.

While the top four highest paid female athletes were all tennis players, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick held the number five spot with an income of $15 million.

While the article did not specify how much prize money factored into figure skater Kim Yuna’s sixth-ranking $14 million, it mentioned her income from numerous advertising and sponsorship deals.


The remainder of the top ten, in order, was filled with tennis stars Caroline Wozniacki, (Danish, age 23, $13.6 million), Agnieszka Radwnska, (Polish, 24, $7.4 million), Ana Ivanovic, (Serbian, 26, $7 million), and the only golfer on the list, Paula Creamer, (American, 27, $5.5 million).

Comments from Daum:


But how much did Yuna donate to charity? Mr. Reporter, please mention how she ranks among female athletes who donate to charity vs. athletes who never let go of their money~


And even that is not enough, it’s too bad she isn’t paid more


All those ignorant Koreans who are crazy about football might not know this but tennis is the only sport where there is equal pay for men and women. Only men get rich playing golf. In figure skating, far from the most popular sport in the world, Yuna has managed to make a huge amount of money with her incredible popularity in Korea. Anyways, the most popular women’s sport in the world is still women’s tennis. Although, of course, men’s tennis is still many times more popular..


And Yuna is also donating a lot of money to charity at the same time. From her support for cultivating the next generation of figure skaters to helping the hungry children of the world… Even just going by the amount she has publicly donated, it is significant… I think that she also makes many donations that are not disclosed publicly. She has always been a donor to charity, whether other people know it or not.



What I’m curious about is how much money the Korean Skating Union skims off her income…


take a look at the rankings for charity donations from athletes, she will be number one


Honestly, if a figure skating star with the popularity of Yuna had appeared in America, she would have received as much as ₩100 billion (USD $89.7 million) in sponsorship money. It’s too bad she never got to make that much. When I listen to American media or sports commentators talk about Yuna, I know that they are wishing that she could have been an American. It’s enough to make them cheer on Yuna more than their own skating stars like Rachel Flatt or Ashley Wagner.


And she donates a lot as well


It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say she has the number one best appearance and athletic ability


Even in this hot weather, any time I hear a Gershwin piano concerto [like the song Yuna skated to in the finals] I think of her. I wish her continued success in the future.


And that is just how much has been reported publicly…she must have made even more…so great…so amazing


If she had been American she would have been a clear number 1 and been on par with male athletes. Then again, if she had been American her podium record might have been all gold


make even more


Not being from America or China, just a Korean athlete from a small country, it makes sense she would be ranked sixth…


Why doesn’t Son Yeon-jae appear on this list…is it just meant for an American audience?


And she donates so much of it! It is a blessing that she has been able to donate so much to people in difficulty now that she had become a world-class athlete.


Always money! money! money! makes me sick. How much longer are we going to go on measuring a person’s worth by their income~ pathetic bullshit.


Uh oh… ₩15.6 billion in a single year…who is man enough to marry her….whoever it is will be so dae-bak


I want to marry Yuna…

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  • Jen_in_NY

    I liked her a lot on “Running Man.” She seemed really down-to-earth and sweet.

    • Mighty曹

      LOL. There are Yuna haters who actually downvoted this.

  • ShortBusOppar

    Pretty much nobody in Korea and the world cares about figure skating. That’s why Kim Yuna earns adequately little price money. She only recieves attention (and through that money) becomes she beat her Japanese competitor and won a gold medal. Therefore she symbolizes the whole KOREA IS STRONG nationalism bla bla.
    If you asked all the people who say that Kim Yuna is the greatest representative of Korea and/or the woman of their dreams, how many do you think could tell you even the basic principles of figure skating?

    • Yu Bum Suk

      “Pretty much nobody in Korea and the world cares about figure skating”

      Lots of little girls in Canada do, but that’s not exactly a lucrative market. I’m sure you’re right that beating a Jap in front of a world audience at the Quadrennial Winter Pissing Contest had a lot to do with it, but even without that I think she would have gained quite a bit of publicity domestically. Anorexic-looking yet athletic, cute if not really sexy, good-girl image, mama’s girl, well known to the 0.?% of the world that follows figure skating more than once every four years – she’d be worth at least a few million in endorsements even without the gold medal.

    • Jen_in_NY

      While not the man of my dreams, I can say without hesitation that David Beckham is white hot. I can also say without hesitation that I know/care fuck all about soccer.

      • Zappa Frank

        Beckham is worldwide famous , Kim Yuna is just a local celebrity..despite money. i guess her income are mostly from koreans advertisments

    • Guest

      “Pretty much nobody in Korea cares about figure skating. ”

      precisely because of her, figure skating is really popular in korea

    • dk2020

      what the fuck do you do? ole hater ass bitch ..

  • Sillian

    Star athletes don’t always come from the select few popular sports that everyone talks about all year round. There are many Olympians who get fame through limited impressive moments. Any great athlete can be inspiring even if you are not particularly into that sport. There are also fans who just enjoy watching hot athletes. Kim Yuna came out of nowhere without much support and climbed to the top. Her contribution to society is respected.

    Son Yeon-jae was the second biggest money maker in 2012 in Korea although she is the top rhythmic gymnast only in the country. She got popular more as a celeb for her cute looks.

  • commander

    A stellar performance by star figure skater Kim Yuna on the ice gained public attention for its beautiful moves along with her abundant facial expressions.

    By taking sixth place among athletes on the income scale, she prove once again that she can stand shoulder to shoulder with who’s who in the sport world.

    Besides medals and money, she contributes to a flourishing figure skating in South Korea by inspiring many youth to be another Kim Yuna.

  • Mighty曹

    What exactly does this mean? Success at her sports or big sponsors willing to (over)pay?

  • Kiwi

    I could use some of that money

  • kpopwillneverstop

    You can really see how sour they are of Kim Yuna not being number one by trying to bring up the “She donates to charities, so she would number one among the list of athletes who donate to charity” card.

    Besides that though Kim Yuna is an amazing figure skater and congrats to her making the list.

    • Sillian

      Two things. She gets respect because she has achieved a lot in her career and donated a lot. She also gets sympathy because she has been pioneering figure skating in Korea under poor conditions.

    • john freyan

      That’s not really a “card”. That’s more of a “fair observation”.

  • RaphaeI

    well, at least mao asada is nowhere to be seen…

    • someone

      Dude her mom died, give her a break…

  • dk2020

    I love Yuna Kim, she’s the queen .. I always watched figure skating so graceful and elegant .. I grew up watching Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan going for gold for the US. Idiots wanna hate that it’s not a world class sport smfh .. I’m suprised none of the women from the LPGA are on the list ..

  • dave

    she’s a great skater

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