Translation:Those athletes have a lot of money.
Hi, why isn't this "Azoknak a sportolóknak sok pénze van" ... I just came across the other sentences in this lecture like "Azoknak a franciaknak a macskáje beteg" or "ezeknek a turistáknak a repülógépe ..." and reminded myself that in the case of third person in plural and when I state that person by name (not ók), the possessed word is like in third person singular... why doesn't this work here? Is it becuase there is this "van", so in the case of TO HAVE, this doesn't work? Thanks :)
Your assumption is correct, yes. :)
Technically the owner, "a sportolóknak", is not part of the subject here, but instead it's a part of the predicate (if I'm not completely off the track here with my grammar terms). Anyway, it functions as a different part than the possession "sok pénz" does, so you have to treat owner and possession as separate entities, like you do in sentences where these parts are separated:
A franciáknak a macskáje beteg. -> A fraciáknak beteg a macskájuk.
If you move the possession behind van, it'll seem more obvious:
A sportolóknak van sok pénzük. Or even: Sok pénzük van a sportolóknak.
English is being weird again.
Usually when talking about mass nouns, you say there's a lot of money, water, sand. Unless you negate it. Then you can say "There is not much water left".
I fall for that trap on a regular basis, too, so don't worry.
I don't think it's wrong, but it's not very common in everyday speech. However, I could imagine someone writing an article that says, "these sports figures have much money."
I believe there is still a distinction between an "athlete" and a "sportsman", though a disappearing one. The one with a lot of money is a sportsman, though
In German I would call anyone, who does any sport "Sportler", while "Athlet" is the professional competitive one, usually with an athletic Greek statue body. So I would think the athlete should earn money with sports.
Hungarian has also the word atléta. Like in English and German, in its narrower sense it is used for people who do athletic sports, like forms of running, jumping, throwing, wrestling, and whatever else was popular in Ancient Greece. Players of sports games (football, tennis, horse racing, etc.) should not be called atléta.
Sportoló is anyone who does sports, like the German "Sportler".