By Darren Rovell
Posted 26 Feb 2010
As the 2010 Winter Olympics come to a close, CNBC’s Darren Rovell takes a look at the athletes who made the most of their Olympic opportunity.
Who are the biggest names for business, which athletes are in prime position for corporate endorsements and how much money-making potential do they have? The top 25 names coming out of the Vancouver games stand to turn Olympic Gold into cold-hard-cash. Keep in mind that hockey players (such as Ryan Miller and Sidney Crosby) have been left off the list because of their professional status.
So, who are the most marketable Winter Olympians in 2010? Click ahead to find out!
Davis came through by successfully defending his 1000 meter speedskating gold from Torino. Like Torino, he also picked up the silver in the 1500. As the first African-American to win Winter games gold, Davis -- who does have a deal with Nike -- could be more marketable, but the bottom line is that he chooses not to be.
Spillane definitely is not a name you heard before the games, but he surprised by picking up two silvers in the individual and then team nordic combined. Spillane is hurt by the obscure nature of his sport, but he should at least get a bump in his niche sport deals.
Upcoming Olympic host Great Britain only mustered one medal in these games and it was Williams' gold in the skeleton. Although it's a summer games in London, Williams should get a boost from her gold in these games.
This ice dancing pair took silver at these games and the upside is enormous given how young they are.
The United States might just be getting in to curling, but Canada loves watching and playing the sport. Bernard and Martin, both 43, are its stars and both have a good chance of winning gold.
These two women took gold in snowboard cross and ski cross, respectively. Given the rising profile of their sports, expect them to collect some cash from corporate America.
Ammann is only 29, yet he just participated in his fourth Olympics. This Swiss ski jumper added to his two golds from Salt Lake City with two more golds on the normal hill and large hill jumps.
Two straight golds in men's snowboard cross leads to marketing gold. Wescott, who has a deal with Visa, would be ranked higher if he weren't 33 years old.
Lost in the Lindsey Vonn hype, Mancuso -- who won gold in '06 -- surprised some by picking up two silver medals in these games. She's only 25, so it's not hard to see how some companies might choose to bet on her over Vonn.
Looking to latch on to the next great star, Nagasu might be the pick. With a fourth place finish in women's figure skating, expect companies to come after the 16-year old with Sochi 2014 in mind.
Sure it's a silver in the halfpipe compared to Torino gold, but Teter is an incredible personality who isn't scared to speak her mind. Her Hannah's Gold maple syrup has raised a nice chunk of money for charity and her Sweet Cheek panties, with profits going to Haiti, should do well.
Her only medal is a figure skating bronze, but it just might be the most valuable bronze in Olympic history. With her mom dying of a sudden heart attack the week of the competition, Joannie prevailed and won the hearts of her nation in the process. Expect her to make some money on the speaking circuit if she wants to do it.
Already a $1 million a year athlete, according to Forbes, Riesch guaranteed her income for another four years thanks to her gold in the combined.
These golden ice dancers not only danced with passion, but won with passion. Endorsements that previously went to the Canadian golden pair from 2002, David Pelletier and Jamie Sale, will now wind up in Moir and Virtue's hands.
This halfpipe champ is 23 and gorgeous and stands out thanks to being one of two gold medalists hailing from Australia from these games. Expect Bright to pull in well north of $1 million a year.
She didn't beat out Kim Yu-Na for the gold, but this figure skater is still a star with the silver. She already has endorsements with the likes of Olympus, Lotte and United Airlines.
This country loves its speedskaters and this short track legend is the man, having taken home the gold in both the 1000 and 1500 meters. Marketers have to love his upside as he's only 19 years old.
The flop of the '06 games wins three alpine medals, including that elusive gold. Those that stuck with him including Nike, Superfund and Head will be rewarded. Miller might be higher on this list if he weren't 32 years old and believed to be near the end of his career.
Canada's freestyle mogul skier not only became Canada's first gold medalist of these games, but their first gold medalist to win on Canadian soil. Bilodeau, who already has deals including with McDonald's, has amazing story to tell involving his brother Frederic, who has cerebral palsy.
Vonn was so hyped coming into the games, so it's hard to call a gold and a bronze anything but a disappointment. But with another Olympics ahead, expect Vonn to keep deals with the likes of Red Bull, P&G and Rolex that will keep her endorsement portfolio around $2 million a year.
Remember that China had 100 medals in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. So far in Vancouver? Only nine. Zhao and Shen -- who won bronze in 2002 and 2006 -- won the gold in pairs figure skating, breaking up the Russian monopoly that had dated back to 1964. The two have a deal with Nike, but they can expect more to come their way.
This 24-year-old has it made after becoming the first American male to win gold in figure skating since Brian Boitano did it in 1988. Lysacek has deals with Vera Wang, Coca-Cola and AT&T, but his big money will come on being able to tour the country as Olympic champion.
This short track speedskater is now the most decorated American Winter Olympics athlete with seven medals and two more chances to go. Even though Ohno is expected to retire, don't expect many of his partners, including Coca-Cola, AT&T, Nestle and Omega to ditch him. He'll be seen as an Olympic embassador for a long time.
Already the most famous Korean athlete came through with a perfect performance on Thursday night. Deals with Hyundai, P&G, Samsung and Nike will only get bigger and those who want to use her in the future will have to pay a pretty penny.
Simply put: Participated in one event, in which he came in extremely hyped, and defended his gold in the halfpipe live in prime time. Those companies that have partnered with White -- like Red Bull, Target, Oakley and HP -- pay a premium because he competes year round and can be pumped up at the X Games.