Salary raises, lucrative sponsorship deals and attractive contracts are all part and parcel of the life of an exceptional athlete, although from time to time some struggle to maintain their fortunes once their careers are over.
But how does it all go so wrong, so fast?
Generally, women are rare on the list of the highest paid athletes in the world, and so is the record of those who declared bankruptcy later in life.
Here, we’ve taken a look at four sports stars who have made the drastic transition from having it all to being completely broke.
The former American basketball prowess Swoopes was the first player to sign in the WNBA. Swoopes went on to an illustrious career, winning numerous titles, accolades and even partnering with Nike to create a signature shoe named in his honor.
However, the three-time Olympic champion filed for bankruptcy in 2004, admitting she mismanaged her newfound fortune. It was reported that Swoopes’ financial downfall occurred as a result of bad investments that ultimately left her unable to pay the rent on her apartment.
Jones was a strength to be reckoned with in 2000, where she won five medals at the Sydney Olympics – the first woman to do so in history.
Although once considered the “fastest woman in the world”, Jones’ career took a sharp turn after years of allegations that eventually led her to confess to her doping violations.
The American sprinter was sentenced to six months in prison and had to return her Olympic and world medals. With debt accumulating in her name, Jones was forced to sell her house in order to pay off the money owed.
In her prime, Sánchez-Vicario was a phenomenal tennis player. The former world number one was unrivaled on the court, as she won four Grand Slam singles titles and four Olympic medals, to name but a few.
Inevitably, Sánchez-Vicario has accumulated a large sum of money during his illustrious career, with his retirement estimated at over $40 million. However, the tennis ace blamed his parents for his misfortune. According ForbesSánchez-Vicario opened up about his financial troubles in a memoir, speaking candidly about his problems with tax evasion.
Skating legend Hamill is best known for his world and Olympic gold medal performances in 1976, which earned him numerous money-making endorsements.
Hamill went on to rake in millions performing in ice skating shows including Ice Capades. However, shortly after buying the rights to Ice Capades, Hamill was forced to sell the drowning company and eventually filed for bankruptcy in 1996.