Gaius Apolaus Diocles: The Wealthiest Athlete in Ancient Rome

TLDR Gaius Apolaus Diocles, the most famous charioteer in Ancient Rome, was not only a skilled racer but also a master showman who intentionally fell behind in races to create dramatic finishes. With a career spanning 24 years and over 4,000 races, Diocles amassed a fortune estimated to be worth around $15 billion in today's money before retiring at the age of 42.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Gaius Apolaus Diocles, an ancient Roman athlete, was the wealthiest athlete in history.
01:44 Top modern professional athletes can make hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, primarily through endorsement deals and investments, with Michael Jordan being the only confirmed billionaire athlete.
03:03 In Ancient Rome, the biggest sport was chariot racing, which took place in the Circus Maximus and could hold a quarter of a million people.
04:28 Roman chariot racing was a popular sport in Ancient Rome, with races organized by aediles and charioteers winning prizes based on their performance, and Gaius Apolaus Diocles was the most famous and successful charioteer in history.
05:48 Gaius Apolaus Diocles was a skilled charioteer who won or came in second place in 75% of his races, and he used showmanship by intentionally falling behind in the last lap to create dramatic finishes and draw larger crowds and purses.
07:06 Gaius Apolaus Diocles had a 24-year career as a charioteer without any major accidents, and he switched teams at the age of 27 to become the undisputed best on the less successful red team, ultimately winning 1,462 races and taking second place in 1,438 more out of a total of 4,257 races he competed in.
08:35 Gaius Apuleius Diocles was one of the richest people in Rome when he retired, with a fortune estimated to be worth around $15 billion today, and he disappeared from history after retiring at the age of 42.
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