KEY POINTS

  • Michael Phelps made history after winning 28 Olympic medals throughout his career, including 23 gold
  • He announced his retirement in 2016
  • Phelps earns millions from his endorsement deals with brands such as Speedo and Colgate

Michael Phelps is not only the most decorated Olympian of all time, but he's also among the highest-paid athletes in the world.

Considered by many to be the greatest swimmer of all time, the 35-year-old Maryland native has won 28 Olympic medals between 2004 and 2016 — 23 gold, three silver and two bronze. 

Before bonus payouts were increased in 2017, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) rewarded American Olympians with $25,000 for each gold medal, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. This means that Phelps took home over $600,000 just from his Olympic Games performances.

However, the majority of Phelps' fortune, estimated to be around $80 million by a 2020 Celebrity Net Worth estimate, comes from his brand image and endorsement deals, which net him around $9.8 million annually, according to South China Morning Post.

The retired Olympic swimmer has deals with brands such as Colgate, Kellogg, Louis Vuitton, Omega, Speedo, Under Armour and Visa, the outlet noted.

Part of his income comes from book and film deals, speaking engagements and his social media accounts, where he boasts over 5 million followers across platforms.

He made his first international appearance in 2000 at the Sydney Summer Games when he was only 15 years old. He didn't take home any medals at the time but placed fifth in the 200-meter butterfly.

But in the 2001 spring nationals in Texas, Phelps made a name for himself when he became the youngest male swimmer in history to set a world record at 15 years and 9 months. His performance in the 200-meter butterfly beat the previous record set by Tom Malchow in 2000.

The swimmer then broke his own record at the 2001 World Championships, where he won his first international medal.

Phelps continued his dominant streak by winning six Olympic gold and two silver medals in Athens in 2004. Four years later, the swimmer won another eight gold medals in Beijing, surpassing the record for most gold medals won in a single Games previously held by swimmer Mark Spitz, who won seven gold medals in the 1972 Summer Olympics.

Phelps continued to collect medals through the years, including seven at the London Olympic Games in 2012 and six at the Rio Games in 2016, which marked his last appearance on the international stage, according to the Olympics website.

After setting 39 world records, the most of all time, Phelps announced his retirement in August 2016. He now works for his own charitable foundation, which focuses on the mental health of children.

In 2018, Phelps, who struggles with depression and ADHD, announced a partnership with Talkspace, an online and mobile therapy company based in New York City.

“I believe I have experienced a state of depression after every Olympics I competed in. For a long time, I only saw myself as a swimmer, not a person,” Phelps said in an interview with Talkspace.

Michael Phelps Micheal Phelps in the Men's 200 m Individual Medley heat at the Gold Coast Aquatic Center, Gold Coast on Aug. 24, 2014. Photo: Getty Images/Patrick Hamilton