Women were the top three earners on this year’s World Cup circuit. The International Ski Federation released the circuit’s earnings table on Monday.
Athletes are not paid a base salary on the World Cup circuit. They must rely on competition results and personal marketability for income as a professional skier. Team donations and other outside funding can also improve their budget. However, endorsements, sponsorships, and personal branding are the real moneymakers in the sport. With so many talented skiers on the circuit, prize money comes as a secondary source of funding for tour expenses and income.
This season, Lara Gut-Behrami was the highest earner across both the men’s and women’s divisions of the World Cup circuit. She placed first in six races, and her winnings totaled $523,000. Although she earned the most money on the circuit, Gut-Behrami finished second in the standings for the women’s overall title.
Petra Vlhova was the winner of the women’s World Cup circuit. Her total prize money gained her the second spot in the earnings standings. She brought in $479,000 during the season.
Mikaela Shiffrin placed third in the prize money list, winning $444,000 on the circuit. She won the most valuable women’s race: the night slalom at Flachau, Austria, which pays nearly $68,000.
With prize money at about the same amounts for both men’s and women’s competitions, ski racing is ahead of the rest of the sporting world. Payouts vary by venue according to the race organizers and crowd attendance. Usually, a win will pay about $48,600, second place will pay $21,300, and a third-place finish will earn $10,650. These figures continue on a decreasing scale all the way to $200 at 30th place.
Alpine skiers competing in different disciplines can increase their earning potential. Shiffrin is a great example, challenging for top spots in the slalom, giant slalom, super-G, and downhill. On top of that, she’s done an excellent job using her own personal brand to earn her fair share of income. Her endorsements include companies like Bose, Adidas, Barilla, and Land Rover.
Compared to other individual sports, the winnings in alpine skiing are not incredibly lucrative. Despite that, we have to applaud the equality within the sport. Not to mention, athletes have a chance to make a good living competing in some of the most beautiful places in the world.