In the last 24 hours, we’ve seen more than 2.6 million tweets about athlete welfare, according to a new report.

    It comes as the hashtag “Olympic athletes are the best paid athletes in the world” continues to trend, with more than 9 million tweets referencing the issue, with one-third of the responses mentioning athletes in particular.

    In the same time period, there has also been an increase in tweets mentioning athletes’ salaries.

    A number of athletes are reported to earn over $100 million annually, and with so much talk around athlete welfare in the wake of the Rio Olympics, it is a trend that will be watched closely.

    The report, which surveyed 2,000 athletes, also revealed the top athletes in terms of their pay and performance earnings.

    As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian rugby sevens team earned the highest in terms the number of tweets they were retweeted.

    They topped the list with 5.5 million tweets, followed by the world champion sprinters in the men’s 400 metres (3.1 million) and the World Cup champion in the long jump (2.7 million).

    It was the Australian men’s rugby team who also topped the pay chart, with an average pay of $6.7million.

    Elsewhere in the top 10 were the New Zealand rugby seven’s All Blacks team ($6.4 million), South African sprinters with the All Blacks ($6 million) as well as the British and Irish Lions ($5.9 million).

    In the top 50 were the Australian women’s rugby seven with $4.5million and the world’s best sprinters (with an average salary of $7.2million).

    Other athletes in Australia’s top 50 included the Australian national women’s basketball team ($3.7m), Australian women cricket team ($2.6m) and Australian women rugby seven ($2m).

    The sport is also well represented in the bottom 50 with the highest-paid athletes in that category being the Australian basketballers with an estimated $5.7-million ($5m average salary).

    There are plenty of athletes in these lists, with the top 30 highest-earning athletes in all sports (excluding rugby) including the United States, Japan, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom, with all four being among the top three earners.

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