Michael Phelps stands to make billions, Stephanie Rice millions

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Washington, August 19 : Olympic glamour girl Stephanie Rice can make millions on the back of her gold medal, while swimming wizard Michael Phelps is set to earn billions, says a celebrity agent.

Max Markson says that even Rice's racy spread in men's magazine FHM would not impair her earning potential.

"From a marketers point of view you want to have the athletes in the news pages as well as the sports pages so if that can happen for the good reasons, the right reasons (that's great)," Fox News quoted Markson as telling the Nine Network.

"Stephanie's got a sensational body, all those swimmers have got bodies ... because they train so hard.

"So they're fit, they're healthy, there's nothing wrong at all with doing a spread in FHM," he added.

Rice demonstrated her mass appeal when she appeared on the cover of a pair of women's magazines this week.

"She's on the front cover of New Idea and Women's Day this week so she's hot," Markson said.

"When was the last time we saw a local swimmer, who's not getting married, on the front cover of a magazine? You just don't see it," he added.

According to him what adds to Rice's appeal is the fact that she is a new kid on the swimming blocks.

"Stephanie's like a bullet from nowhere as far as the public's concerned," he said.

Markson said that Rice's fate would be quite unlike Leisel Jones who, despite winning gold, would not fetch the same big bucks.

"We've know about her for eight years so she's not suddenly a new star on the block," he said.

"She'll probably still earn a quarter of a million dollars a year, or more, but all the money, those rivers of cash, will go to Stephanie Rice," he added.

Markson also estimated that Rice's former flame and fellow hottie Eamon Sullivan could make about 150,000 to 200,000 dollars.

However, he feels that Sullivan could have earned much higher amounts had he brought home gold.

"(He won't earn) as much as he could have done if he'd won a gold medal," Markson said.

"So not winning a gold medal has probably cost him millions of dollars.

"He's not on the scale of say Stephanie Rice who has three medals (or) Libby Trickett, they're much hotter and that's what the marketers will go to, where the advertisers will put their money," he added.

Markson even reckons that Aussie girls are hotter than the boys, and have more monetary value.

"Sex sells. Even Grant Hackett is not as hot as Stephanie Rice at the moment," he said.

"The time for her is now and she'll maximise her earning potential by locking in long term deals and she'll take them through to 2012," he added.

However, Markson just cannot keep himself from Michael Phelps the greatest Olympian of all time.

"He's the world's greatest ever Olympian - he'll be a billionaire, I'm telling you," he said.

ANI

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