Michael Phelps at the 2012 Olympics
Courtesy of: Michael Madrid-USA Today Sports
PHOENIX, Arizona, May 6. MICHAEL Phelps isn't leaving the public eye anytime soon.

Forbes just released its list of the Top 10 Most Influential Athletes of 2013. Surprisingly, performance wasn't the biggest factor in question when Forbes compiled the list. Case in point: recently cut New York Jets NFL quarterback Tim Tebow was named the most influential athlete of the year.

Rather, Forbes ranked athletes based on how influential they are as a public figure and how ingrained they are in the public consciousness ("awareness").


Phelps ranked second on the list behind Tebow, with a remarkable 70% awareness rating. Soccer star David Beckham was the only other athlete of the list to come close to Phelps' number, at 59% awareness.

The only female on the list was Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, who ranked eighth.

Forbes' Most Influential Athletes 2013