On average, depending on the sport of choice, raising an Olympian sets parents back between $50,000 to $400,000 over a lifetime. In some instances, families of Olympians have gone bankrupt. That's why sponsorship can be the difference between living the dream and just dreaming about it.
In Bolt's case, Puma sponsored him at the age of 16 to take the enormous financial pressure off his family.
According to Forbes Magazine, Usain Bolt's earnings as of June 2012 are reported to be $20.3 million. Like other top athletes the lion's share of his earnings come from sponsorship deals. Back in 2010 he inked a three-year contract extension with Puma, which is worth an estimated $24 million. On the other hand, he has earned a mere $300,000 in prize money.
So just what is Bolt's recipe for success? Apparently, a "healthy" mix of fast food and yams fuels his lightning bolt speed. He eats six meals a day consisting of 60% protein, 30% carbohydrates, and 10% fat. What else does the world's fastest man do, and how much does it cost, to keep his edge? Click on the photo below to see the cost of living (and training) like Usain Bolt.
SLIDESHOW: HOW MUCH DOES IT COST...
For these amazing amateurs, there has been years of blood, sweat and tears to get to this prestigious competition.
But what happens when you stop being an athlete? Do you fade away into the past or can it help you become a successful entrepreneur?
For these Canadians, their time as an Olympian put them on a path for continued success as adults.
Click through the photos to see those who've gone the distance to stay in the spotlight and stay connected to the sports world that made them who they are.
SLIDESHOW: CANADIAN OLYMPIANS STILL CONTRIBUTING
Some advertisers are up in arms after being shut out of sport's most prestigious event, the 2012 Olympic Games. In their minds this means war minus the shooting. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has frowned upon ambush marketing for decades, but this year, the battle to preserve Olympic sponsorship integrity is fiercer than ever.
The history of Olympic sponsorship
When the Olympic games began in ancient Greece, the athletes of the day did not have brand name sponsors to finance their pursuit of athletic perfection. As well, this pursuit of perfection didn't cost billions of dollars. The final bill for London 2012 has ballooned to an estimated £24 billion; for the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing spent £25 billion; and in 2004, Athens spent £10 billion to host sport's most heralded event.
With these staggering costs the need for financial support is clear.
So what is it we like to watch? Turns out it is sports, more sports, and a bit of celebrity. But what's missing from the list is just as telling. What don't Canadians like to watch?
Unfortunately, the answer is Canadian TV shows.
With the exception of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics which dominated the year -- even if it was just a one-off historical blip -- only four Canadian broadcasts in a list of 70 programs made it into CTV's list of most watched TV shows and events. No homegrown sitcoms made the list.
The two best performing Canadian broadcasts were both sports related. The Grey Cup garnered a respectable turnout of 5,027,200, making it the fourth most watched broadcast of the entire year (excluding the Olympics). Meanwhile, the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship twice made it into the list of most watched sporting events for 2010 -- once for the gold medal game vs. the U.S., and also for the playoff against Switzerland. Even so, it came in behind the Superbowl showdown between New Orleans and Indianapolis with an audience of 6,297,400.
The countdown to an interest rate hike is on. Expectations of a rate rise grew even stronger Friday after official figures showed that the cost of living is rising faster than it should be.
The surprising news caused the Canadian dollar to jump above US99 cents as investors began to bet that an interest rate rise is close at hand. With the way the Canadian economy is going, it looks like U.S. dollar parity is inevitable.
The Bank of Canada has previously promised it would keep the key interest rate on hold at the record low level of 0.25% until at least the end of June, but the promise came with a 'Get Out of Jail Free' card that basically says it can raise rates sooner if inflation, or the rising cost of living, becomes a problem.
The moment was not only golden for Canada, but also for television broadcasters - in particular CTV, which tripled its average daily audience during the Vancouver Olympics and won every prime-time time slot. TSN also tripled its full-day audience to become the 2nd most-watched network in Canada during the Games, while Rogers Sportsnet came in third.