Olympic medalists are among the extraordinary human beings on the planet. Unsurprisingly, these outstanding individuals often continue to excel later in life. Check out some of the greatest Olympians and how they’re doing nowadays.
Michael Phelps, youngest of three children, was raised and came from a family of swimmers and joined the North Baltimore Aquatic Club when he was seven years old because of his mother and sisters’ belief that swimming is an outlet for his energy. At 15, he became part of the U.S. men’s swim team. Phelps became the youngest world-record holder in men’s swimming when posted 1 minute and 54.92 seconds in the 200-meter butterfly in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, finished fifth, making him the youngest in the nearly seven decades to represent the U.S. at the biggest multi-sport extravaganza. After that, he broke his record at the World Championship in Fukuoka, Japan, and won his first medal. In 2004 Olympics in Athens, Phelps won six gold and two bronze medals, which was the second-best performance during a single Olympics, behind his fellow American Mark Spitz’s records with a total of seven gold medals achieved in the 1972 Olympics. Phelps took his already exceptional performance in a higher degree in the 2007 World Championship in Melbourne, where he joined in seven events and won gold medals in each of them with five world records. The highlight of his career was the very first time he joined the Olympics in Beijing last 2008. He became the first athlete to win eight gold medals at a single Olympic surpassing Spitz’s previous record. Phelps continued to lead during the 2009 World Championship in Rome, where he got five gold and one silver medals. During the 2011 World Championship in Beijing, he won four golds. It was in the 2012 London Olympics where Phelps won four gold medals and two silvers making his Olympic medal to 22. The same year, the international swimming federation, FINA, awarded him with the Swimmer of the Year, acknowledging his status as the most decorated Olympian. After 2012, regarded that he was already retired, until it was 2016 when he joined the Olympic Games in Rio again, he bagged five golds and a silver. He is remarkably winning 23 Olympic gold medals that brings him a total of 28 Olympic medals. Other than winning medals, he committed a $1 million bonus from Speedo as he started the Michael Phelps Foundation in 2008, which encouraged swimming as a sport to promote health ever since. When he leaves the competitive swimming after the 2016 Olympics, Phelps has been enjoying retirement in Arizona with his wife, Nicole, and his sons, Boomer, and Beckett. He also became an advocate for water conservation and mental health awareness.
At the 2014 and 2018 Olympic Winter Olympics, Kaetlyn Osmond won three medals for Canada with a complete set of Olympic medals. During her career, the skater won gold, silver, and bronze medals. Osmond had an ice skate rink named after her in 2014 following her Olympic success. After winning first place at the 2018 World Championship, the skater ended her career with a high note. Osmond decided to take the bold move in 2019 at the age of 23 and announced her withdrawal from competitive skating.
Biles is considered one of the greatest gymnasts in the world, with four gold medals and many other gymnastics medals that make her the most decorated American gymnast. At age 19, she already made history as the first African-American gymnast to become the world all-around champion, aside from being the first female gymnast to win the three world all-around titles in a row. Since she brought home golds in Rio 2016, she took a break but couldn’t stay away from her sport forever. Biles won nonstop since the 2013 P&G Championships. Three years in a row, she became the world all-around champion and world floor champion. Biles became the world balance beam champion in 2014 and 2015, as well as the national all-around champion for four years in a row. With ten gold medals out of her remarkable fourteen total, she’s already reached greatness — and she’s still just a teen. With the Tokyo Olympics postponed until 2021, there’s still uncertainty over what will happen, but Biles will likely be the most prominent face of those competing.
Ryan Lochte has appeared in the media in recent years with several controversies, including one claim from the Brazilian police that the authorities vehemently denied and which cost him his spot on the US Team in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Despite this, he’s a champion swimmer that holds the record in the 200-meter and 400-meter individual medley. All in all, he has 12 Olympic medals to his name, six of them gold. Besides swimming, Lochte appeared on TV in 2019 for Celebrity Big Brother. Lochte is now a family man, a husband, and a father of two children.
Venus & Serena Williams
Both the sisters, Venus and Serena Williams, had become big names all over the world and what helped them launch their career into stardom was the Olympics. They competed in doubles, and as a team won three golds. Each of the sisters has their own gold to their name. Serena won 23 Grand Slam individual titles, and in the Open Era, most women won. For decades the unstoppable duo has played tennis together and had no plan on stopping soon. In fact, Serena continues to make headlines and is very involved with social media.
After pulling a silly face at the 2012 London Olympics, the Gymnast McKayla Maroney became the global sensation. In all the team all-round events in the same games, the American athlete took the gold. Sad to say, because of an injury Maroney had to cut short her gymnastic career. Even when she is unable to participate, she is still very involved in the sport, and will eventually begin her career as an artist. And on March 7, 2020, Mckayla released her first official single Wake Up Call.
Chad Le Clos
During the Michael Phelps period, Chad Le Clos was a serious contender and made it abundantly clear of his intention to take on the royal crown. At last, he fought and defeated his rival and win gold, bringing it back home to cheering crowds in South Africa. He decided to retire that year yet came back to participate again in 2016. Maybe it is not supported, and it is also speculated that it is one of the reasons why Phelps decided to compete when he already retired.
Even prior to the 2016 Olympics, Aly Raisman was on her road to success. The highlights of Raisman’s gymnastics are her power, mental toughness, consistency, and ability to link many difficult combinations. She is most well known for her floor exercise routine. In 2012, she was the first American to be awarded the Individual Floor Routine gold, and is known to be one of the “Fierce Five”. She is among the most highly qualified members of a team, and often she finds time to enjoy her life. Raisman centered most of her attention on being a member of the Olympic team in 2016 and happened to find time to compete in competitions like Dancing with the Stars.
Even though she was one of the greatest American athletes ever, Bruce Jenner – Caitlyn Jenner. Bruce was later dubbed an “All American Hero” after winning the decathlon in 1976 and destroyed completely what many deemed the toughest Olympic sport. Caitlyn Jenner has now inspired millions as one of the world’s most famous transgender individuals. The name of Jenner is connected with the Kardashians since she and Kris Jenner were married. Now she has named her first TV show, Caitlyn.
Tara Lipinski was just 14 years old when she became the 1997 World Figure Skating Champion. She is the youngest person ever to be a U.S., World Olympic, and World Professional Champion. The following year, the American skating sensation converted this success to Olympic gold in the 1998 Nagano Olympics, she went on to tour. She became professional that same year that meant she could no longer compete in competitions. CBS Television paves the way to give her a break by having a primetime special, “Tara Lipinski: From This Moment On,” and led to subsequent cameo TV appearances and acting roles on different primetime series and a TV movie. These also allowed her to appear as a guest on top of several national TV talk shows, like Oprah, Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and many more. Tara married Todd Kapostasy, a sports producer, in July 2017 in Charleston, South Carolina. In 2002, Lapinski became a sports commentator. Today, we can regularly see Lapinski as a TV Analyst for the World Figure Skating Championships, the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, and The U.S. Figure Skating National Championships.
Mary Lou Retton
Mary Lou Retton wowed the world with her all-around performance at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, which was another gold for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team. It was the first time that an American woman won the all-around during her time, and it has certainly not been the last. A couple of years later, she retired and became a motivational speaker and a television commentator. She wrote an inspiring book in 2000, where she shares her formula for happiness. Retton has been living a rewarding life as a wife, mother, sports commentator, and motivational speaker in Houston, Texas. Retton is also a spokesperson for a national educational program sponsored by Pfizer that aims to raise awareness of overactive bladder (OAB). Most notably, she was also a competitor on Dancing with the Stars in 2018, but she eliminated early on.
Kerri Strug didn’t disappoint the Americans’ hope for gold, as she is one of the “Magnificent Seven” during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. It was during the finals when she injured herself, yet she overcame that and took gold in the team event. Strug’s story helped her to become a national heroine because of overcoming that difficulty to help win the gold was one of the most memorable of the tournament that year. Kerri was up last on vaults as the team competition neared its end. After shocking spectators by falling and injuring her ankle on her first vault, she managed to perform the landing on her second vault before collapsing in pain, helping to secure gold for the American team. Kerri was then eighteen years old when she became the front page of newspapers around the world and led her into the spotlight. Now retired, she became an elementary school teacher, a correspondent for later Olympics, and more. She currently resides in her hometown of Tucson, Arizona, with her husband and their child.
Dominique Moceanu, eldest daughter of two athletic Romanian immigrants, she was thought to be destined to follow the footsteps of her parents. At age three, gymnastics introduced to her until she became the youngest to compete for a medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta by being part of the “Magnificent 7”, which is also the United States’ first-ever Olympic Team that won the gold. Shortly after her 14th birthday, she arrived in Atlanta, winning gold in the all-around competition. Unfortunately, because of a bone chip in her right knee, Moceanu forced to retire only four years later. She then wrote a book about how training so hard from such a young age affected her. Moceanu published her Memoir “Off Balance” in 2012. And in 2016, Dominique had a cameo as herself in the gymnastics related movie, “The Bronze”.Dominique had a dream come true with the establishment of The Dominique Moceanu Gymnastics Center that designed to combine the principles of Yoga and Gymnastics. She named the yoga studio after her daughter, Carmen. It offers yoga lessons for adults and children, summer camps, empowerment workshops, and birthday parties.
Matt Biondi’s first Olympics was in 1984, where he won gold. He was overshadowed in his generation by Mark Spitz. Biondi has eleven Olympic medals, and eight of those are gold, one less than Spitz. Aside from competitive swimming, he also played water polo. Biondi swam at the Olympic games from 1984 to 1992, yet another athlete who decided to stay in his craft. His wife persuaded him to finish his studies. Biondi now lives a quiet life with her and their kids in California, where he is also a math teacher. Biondi did not only focus on the academic aspect of his students’ lives, after classes, he also coaches the swim team, passing on his skills beyond the water, which are teamwork, discipline, hard work, dedication, and determination.
Born in Silver Spring, Maryland, Dominique Dawes, introduced to the world of gymnastics at age 6. She isn’t just one of the “Magnificent Seven,” she was the one who took home the all-around medal, and therefore the first American gymnast to win for 3 consecutive Summer Olympics after she came out of retirement to compete within the 2000 Sydney Games. There’s no one of African descent before her had won a gold medal at the Olympics for gymnastics. Since then, Dawes has only become more of a national asset as she appointed as a sports advisor to the U.S. government. Outside of gymnast competition, Dawes’s career has varied from motivational speaking to Broadway’s one-time stint, appearing as Patty Simcox in Grease. Serving as president of the Women’s Sports Foundation and as part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Active Schools” campaign, Dawes worked to encourage young people to be active. She also became co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition in 2010. Dawes served an inspiration to the untold number of girls with her success when she entered the USA Gymnastics’ Hall of Fame in 2005. Dawes fully realized the power of the example she had set when she watched Halle Berry win an Academy Award (Berry win a Best Actress Oscar, for 2001’s Monster’s Ball and was the first African American too ) Dawes remained involved in gymnastics during the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games by providing coverage. It was 2012 when she was able to see Gabby Douglas became the first African American to win an individual gold medal in the all-around competition.
Brooke Bennett, an American swimmer, was only sixteen years old when she qualified for the 1996 Olympics. Bennett had lost her grandfather a few days before winning big at Atlanta 1996. Despite what happened, she won the gold, but her success overshadowed by swimming star Janet Beth Evans’ last appearance at the Games in 1998. During the 2000 Olympics, she won two more gold medals but was unable to qualify for the 2004 Olympics. She had two shoulder surgeries in 2001 that put an end in her swimming career. She retired from competitive swimming and decided to coach high school, opened and runs the Brooke Bennett Swim School, and swims marathons. Bennett is now a mother of two and was busy running the said swim academy.
Gregory Louganis started to win an Olympic silver medal in 1976. He was then 16 years old. Louganis was the first diver in history to receive a perfect score from Olympic judges for one of his dives, so it’s no surprise that Louganis has won four gold medals. He won the first two in 1984 and the rest that he got in 1988 as he swept the men’s events. An LGBT activist whose endorsements initially dropped when Louganis came out of the closet announcing that he was gay and disclosed that he had AIDS in a 1995 appearance on “Oprah.” Since then, he found acceptance and become a mentor for the U.S. diving team. Now, Louganis is an LGBT rights advocate.
Nancy Kerrigan, born in Massachusetts in 1969, already showed figure skating talent at an early age. Kerrigan became controversial when rival Tonya Harding’s husband ordered someone to attack her. Despite the injury that she has, she bravely came back to win a silver medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Many believe that Kerrigan has a significant chance of winning the gold if the attack didn’t happen. Despite the circumstances, she continued to compete in several different ice shows. Kerrigan also started a foundation to support and raise awareness for the visually impaired as her mother is also one of them. Kerrigan now appeared in movies and TV as guest appearances, and she is now enjoying her motherhood, raising three children, and living with her husband in Massachusetts.
Dorothy Hamill started skating when she was eight, which isn’t the youngest the world has seen, but by the age of twelve, she was beating other girls at competitions. Hamill was known for her moves on the rink as well as she bobbed haircut. She was nineteen years old when she wowed the world with her routine and won a gold medal in the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Hamill has this own very move called Hamill Camel, where the skater changes a camel spin to a sit spin. She remained one of the most famous athletes decades after her performance and made quite a lot of TV appearances over the years. In her professional career, Hamill toured with the Ice Capades from 1977 to 1984. Her performance in Romeo & Juliet On Ice won a Daytime Emmy. Hamill later revealed in January 2008 that she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She moved to Nantucket, Massachusetts, for the therapy and currently works with Nantucket skating club. Hamill also continues her work with several charities. She has one daughter.
Inge de Bruijn
Inge de Bruijn is a Dutch swimmer, who began swimming at age seven and participated in her first international meet at the age of twelve. De Bruijn tried several different sports before she found the love for swimming. It took her a long time before she became a champion, but hard work always pays off when she won four gold medals. She became the oldest Olympian to win gold before she retired in 2007, as she is also the oldest one to do so. Matthijs de Bruijn, a fellow Olympian who played water polo in the 2000 Games, is her brother. De Bruijn once became the face of Sapph, a Dutch lingerie company, and now lives in Eindhoven.
In 1994, Carly Patterson attended her cousin’s birthday party at Elite Gymnastics in Baton, Rogue, where her interest in gymnastics started. Less than a decade later, she won back-to-back American Cup titles in 2003 and 2004. It leads her into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame because of her performances in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, which was also the first time an American won the all-around competition in a non-boycotted Olympics. After this, Patterson forced to retire because of an injury she realized she had in her back. Her doctor advised her that if she wants to walk when she gets older, she must stop performing. Since then, Patterson shift to a music career as a singer and as a songwriter.
Shannon Miller was eleven years old when she begins her gymnastics career. Miller scored three firsts at the 1988 U.S Classic. She was thirteen when she won the all-around title at the Catania Cup competition in Italy. Miller back then gained gold medals in the vault, beam, and floor-exercises events and a silver in the uneven bars. In 1996, Miller was one of the “Magnificent Seven” who competed in Atlanta. She returned after bringing home five medals in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and took home two more golds in 1996. Miller is rightfully considered one of the greatest gymnasts who competed at the Olympics. She officially retired last 2001. Miller then earned a law degree from Boston College in 2007 and established the Shannon Miller Foundation, whose purpose is to end childhood obesity. In 2006, when she inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and 2008 for individual and team achievements, respectively. In 2010, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and undergone aggressive chemotherapy followed by surgery, which became successful. Miller currently travels the country as she shares her cancer story and encouraging women to take care of themselves.
Nastia Liukin is the daughter of two Russian gymnastic champions who had moved to the U.S. Liukin represented the U.S. in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, where she won gold in the all-around, silvers on bar and beam, and bronze on floor. Liukin didn’t make the team for the 2012 Olympics, though this didn’t stop her from branching out. She’s made many appearances at special events and on TV, including Dancing with the Stars and Ninja Warrior.
Larisa Latynina was born in 1934, grew up in Ukraine, where the brutality of Stalin’s repression and Hitler’s invasion occurred. It started in Melbourne, Australia, in 1956, Latynina got a staggering nine golds, five silvers and four bronze medals throughout three Olympic Games. In 1958, Latynina joined the World Championships while she is almost three months pregnant and even won five gold medals. After she retired from competition, she became a national gymnastics team coach of the Soviet women’s team who won gold in 1968, 1972, and 1976, Latynina then decided to retired from coaching. Then, Latynina was an organizer for the 1980 Moscow Games’ gymnastics competition. Latynina from the Soviet Union was a record-holder, having won no less than 18 Olympic medals, five of them gold. It was 2012 when Michael Phelps defeated her. After winning the Olympics between 1956 and 1964, she became the coach of the Soviet team. Today, she lives in a rural estate in Russia.
Paul Hamm became the first U.S. male gymnast to win the gold of the 2004 Athens Olympics all-around. He also became the only American gymnast to have won the all-around in both the Olympics and the Gymnastics World Championships. This gold medal was controversial because of a scoring error that happened to one of his competitors, but it remained with Hamm, who also won a pair of silvers. After failing to make the team in 2008 and 2012, he made appearances on the Japanese version of Ninja Warrior. Hamm also has shown us some of his spectacular acting performance in the movies The Vampire Diaries and Sasuke.
Annia Hatch was born in Cuba, and she represented her homeland since she was four years old. Hatch is a dual citizen of the U.S and Cuba. She is a seven-time national champion in Cuba. Despite qualifying for the 1996 Olympics, the Cuban Olympic Committee didn’t have enough funds to send her to the games, even though they were close by in Atlanta, Georgia. But in 1997, she met Alan Hatch, an American, and married him. She had already moved to the U.S. and gotten naturalized, so when the 2004 Olympics rolled around, she wowed judges and won two silvers. She was 26 years old and was considered the oldest American gymnast to medal at an Olympic Games and became the first naturalized American citizen and Latin American gymnast to medal. After the games, Hatch officially retired from gymnastics and pursued a career in fashion. She studied fashion design and merchandising. Since then, she has coached and designed her fashion line.
Tonya Harding is an American figure skater whose career became ruined after she got accused of being involved in the attack of a fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 Winter Olympic trials. Harding was considered the best ice skater until 1995 when the said incident happened. Tonya pleaded not guilty as her ex-husband was the one who planned the attack. Eventually, she claimed guilty to hinder the investigation into Kerrigan’s assault, which allowed her to plea. That time her career was over as she got banned from competing as a professional skater for a lifetime by the United States Figure Skating Association. Since then, Harding has made guest appearances on TV shows like Rosanne, Larry King Live, and many more. Harding then returned to the public eye with the big-screen release of her movie I, Tonya, in late 2017. She then competed on Dancing with the Stars the following spring. She has since chosen to focus on being a mother and wife and resides in Washington State.
Kyla Ross was born in Hawaii, the oldest of three children in the family. Ross, at the age of fifteen, is the youngest American gymnast heading to London to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Along with her childhood friend, McKayla Maroney both competed as part of the “Fierce Five” on Team USA, bringing back a gold medal in the team event. She later started going to school at UCLA, where she continued with gymnastics and competed on their collegiate team. The 11th NCAA gymnast to achieve a perfect score in 2019, she became only the second person with the distinction of earning excellent marks in a competition a week later. Ross’s role model is former Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller. She believes that Miller is a powerful woman who has faced personal hardships but continued to stay involved in the gymnastics world.
Jordyn Wieber, a Michigan native, became the first Michigan girl to join the US Olympic Women’s Gymnastics team. Wieber, at the age of 3 three, was taken by her parents to gymnastics tutor. At the age of seven, she joined the 2002 National Top 7-8-year-old Diamond Team. At age 8, Wieber participated in the Early State Championships, where she garnered bars, vault, beam and all-around. Early in 2004, Weiber joined Michigan State Championship, where she competed with an all-around position. In the mid of 2011, Weiber joined the American Cup, where she won against an artist gymnast, Aliya Mustafina. She earned a gold medal in London at the 2012 Games, which became all the more impressive once she revealed a developed stress fracture that she soldiered through during the team event. Wieber retired from professional gymnastics in 2015 but couldn’t be kept from the sport when in April 2019, during her senior year of college at the University of Arkansas, she became the first Olympic champion to take on the coaching job for the Arizona Razorbacks.
Bart Conner, a native Illinois, began his interest in gymnastics while he was in grade school during his gym class, where he excelled at acrobatic moves. It was in 1976 when Conner moved to Norman, Oklahoma, to attend the University of Oklahoma. While at O.U., he earned 14 NCAA All-America honors and led his team to two national titles. Conner is the only American male gymnast to win gold medals at every level of the national and international competition in the 1984 Olympic Champion. Conner was a member of the U.S. Olympic teams in 1976, 1980 and 1984. Conner came back on the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. He was from his second torn biceps injury to win two gold medals, one as a member of the U.S. team. Conner earned his second gold with a score of perfect ten on the parallel bars. Bart Conner took home two gold medals in 1984 for the American team, solidifying his place among the country’s preeminent gymnasts. Inspired by Nadia Comaneci, Conner arranged to appear on The Pat Sajak Show after learning that his idol was due to appear on it. The two met, and Comaneci was impressed by Conner. They started dating and married in 1996. He founded the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy, which he runs with his fellow Olympian wife. On June 3, 2006, the couple welcomed their son, Dylan Paul Conner, to the world. They continue to travel the world, delivering inspirational speeches and promoting charities, gymnastics, fitness, and healthy lifestyles.
Gabrielle Douglas became both the first American to claim gold medals in the team and individual all-around events and the first African American to win the all-around title. Douglas grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where she started to practice gymnastics from the age of six. She then left her family and moved in West Des Moines, Iowa, to train with prominent coach Liang Chow. In 2011, She was named to the senior national team and helped the United States earn the team gold at the 2011 world championships, where she also placed fifth on the uneven bars. Douglas was only 16 when she won the individual all-around gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England. In November 2014, Douglas returned to the U.S. national team after taking two years off from competitive gymnastics. At the 2015 artistic gymnastics world championships, she won a gold medal in the team event and a silver in the all-around. The following year she won the team gold at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games but failed to win an individual medal. She continued to make splashes as she grew older and helped the American team take home gold that year. The next Olympics, the 2016 Rio Games, Douglas took home another gold medal. That was the same year she starred in her TV show, Douglas Family Gold, a reality show that ran for one season.
She represented the United States at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, becoming a hero for her four medal-winning performance. She also won eight national championships. After her swimming career ended, Sanders became a broadcaster, working on several sports-related programs. Sanders became the most decorated US swimmer at the 1992 Olympics, winning four medals: two gold, one silver, and one bronze. The first memory you may have of Summer Sanders might be when she appeared on TV as the host of a Nickelodeon show Figure It Out, which premiered in 1997. Her start, though, was winning four medals swimming at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. The camera liked her a lot and, with her experience as an Olympic champion, she is the perfect sports commentator. Sanders was still competing when she began giving commentary for various sporting events, but she’s since retired from competitive swimming. Sanders became an advocate of skin cancer when she was diagnosed and undergone surgery. She is now enjoying her life with her two kids with her husband, Erik Schlopy, who is an Olympic skier.
Dara Torres, born in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of eight she entered competitive swimming. Torres was 12 when she set a national age-group swim record. Upon entering her teens at Westlake School in Los Angeles, she received a “Most Likely to Break a Record in the Guinness Book” citation. She has more medals than most Olympians with 12 to her name, four of them gold. That’s more successful than most of us can hope for, and she decided to cut her off because of her injuries. Torres had to undergo surgery for her knees and stopped competitive swimming. In 2012, she pursued modeling as a career, in addition to being a TV correspondent. Torres still swims as a celebrity swimmer for a cancer research-funding charity called Swim Across America. She was considered the oldest swimmer on Olympic history at 41 years old. Commentator TV sports, NBC, ESPN, TNT, Fox News, Fox Sports, and CNN; research assistant, NBC Sports; spokesperson Tae-Bo workout tapes; host, Discovery Channel.
Allison Schmitt has won eight Olympic medals by swimming for the US team so far, and there’s a chance we’ll see even more medals in the future. In 2008’s Beijing Games, she won only a bronze medal, but in 2012 in London, she won five medals. Three were gold, and Schmitt helped set a world record in a relay race. Besides international competitions, she was a four-time NCAA swimming champion in the 200 and 500-yard dashes. Schmitt has one more internship left before earning her master’s degree and preparing for a career in the mental health field.
American Katie Ledecky currently holds records in several races, the 1500-meter, 800-meter, and 400-meter freestyle. Throughout her career, she’s broken 14 world records, many of them her own, and Ledecky is still young enough to cut more before she’s done. Just 15, when she debuted in London 2012, she won a gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle race and broke Janet Evan’s longstanding America record in the event. The next Olympics, the 2016 Rio Games, Ledecky won four more gold medals. Simone Biles and Serena Williams came before her to vote for Associated Press’s Female Athlete of the Decade. She has won 5 Olympic golds, 15 World Championship golds, and holds the world record in the 400,800 and 1500. At present, she was one of the athletes to be featured in one of the first season’s episodes of new docuseries by Apple TV, “Greatness Code,” that is set to highlight the careers of seven different superstar athletes.
Chen Ruolon began diving at age four and joined the Chinese National Team at eleven years old. Ruolin is a five-time Chinese Olympic gold medalist diver who recently announced her retirement at the age of 23 due to a neck injury. She made her first Olympic appearance in Beijing 2008 when she was fifteen years old. A powerhouse in the diving world, with five gold medals under her name. Ruolin’s neck injuries in 2016 have forced her out of competing for good, it seems. Ruolin has competed in three Olympics, though, and is one of only three Chinese athletes with five gold medals. The 10-meter dive is a severe competition, but she dove ahead of the other contenders and won a gold pair at each of her Olympic appearances except for her final one.
Gary Hall Jr.
Gary Hall Jr. came from a family of swimmers. At a young age, he already started to be trained by his father Gary Hall Sr., a 10-time World Record Holder, 3-time Olympian, and 1976 Olympic Games US Flagbearer and The Race Club co-founder. Hall Jr. won five gold medals in three different Olympic Games, but he may best remember because he used to warm up like a prizefighter. Completing his look with a robe and boxing shorts, Hall would even start shadow boxing and flexing for his fans. He got fined at the 2004 Games. These warm-ups came in handy when he saved his sister’s life in a shark attack by repeatedly punishing the animal until it swam off. His success gave him a total of twenty-four medals, thirteen of that is gold, eight of them are silver, and three are bronze.
Amy Van Dyken
Amy Van Dyken won four Olympic medals in the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, which was the first time a woman had won so many at one of the tournaments. Four years later, Van Dyken was struggling with injuries, yet still managed to overcome her competition and win gold two more times in Sydney. In 2014, Van Dyken suffered an awful ATV accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. She hasn’t let this get in the way and, currently, competes in adaptive CrossFit competitions Amy has a foundation named after her, who raises money to provide wheelchairs for children in need. She works directly with hospitals, therapists, and caseworkers to trade poor-fitting wheelchairs for those that fit children’s growing bodies and allow them better movement and freedom. Her foundation also donates assistive devices to individuals with spinal cord injuries across the country.
Melissa “Missy” Franklin
Melissa “Missy” Franklin is an American swimmer who won five gold medals and kept some records, some broken since. Melissa Franklin is only 17 years old when she started her career at the London Games 2012. She had a tough choice whether to represent both Canada or the U.S as she is a citizen in both countries. Franklin won four of her five Gold medals in her Olympic debut, snagging, which she won four of her five Olympics.
Janet Beth Evans
Janet Beth Evans was destined to do great things and was able to compete against her unorthodox swimming style from the beginning. This vast’ windmill ‘ style helped her to be a champion, although she was short for a swimmer. In the 1988 Olympics and the 1992 Games, Evans won two gold medals, strengthening her position in American swimming by defeating bigger competitors, who some have found themselves using illegal performance enhancers. Evans has since helped bring the Olympics back to the US, as the 2028 Games in Los Angeles will be held.
Ian Thorpe is allergic to chlorine, so that his race in competition may not have been what the doctor ordered from first. Still, his ability was so undeniable after debuting at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, he won 5 gold medals, most of them an Australian. The great Michael Phelps said Thorpe is his hero. Although he has retired from the sport, he is still one of the world’s most famous athletes. Thorpe is now an LGBT rights activist. In addition to his swimming career, he’s an Armani ambassador.
Before she joined the Olympics, Natalie Coughlin was the NCAA champion, and she shone at the 2004 Athens Olympics by winning two U.S. gold medals. She is the first woman to swim in less than a minute for a 100-meter backstroke race, an achievement at the following Beijing Olympics. In addition to modeling, she became a CO2 Coconut Water speaker after her swimming career and made TV appearances. Coughlin was an Iron Chef America judge and competed in Chopped.
In 1968, two years after becoming the World Champion, Peggy Fleming was the Olympic figure skating champion. She has been skating professionally since then, performing shows. Fleming was also a US Ambassador of Goodwill, who skated the Soviet Union as well as China during the Cold War. She remains one of the most famous athletes in America. In the winter games, there always seems to be a place where she can comment whenever she rolls. In addition to skating, she owns with her husband a winery.
Many people can’t even make a backflip, but Scott Hamilton can do a skate! It runs counter to the rules of competitive skating, so he isn’t on this roster. Not only an acrobat, in the early 80s, but his footwork also wowed judges at international competitions. After years of dominating the competition, he won his gold at the 1984 Olympics. Since that time he has skated with Stars On Ice and the like, and he has been involved in charity and writing books.
Sarah Hughes began skating at the age of three, following her dad, a hockey college player, onto the icy creek. She is one of the youngest skating gold medalists to win before her 17th birthday. Hughes is also the only American woman to win Olympic Gold without first winning a world or a U.S. sports title. Her mother’s a survivor of breast cancer, and Hughes said, “I always said that if I can get mammography from a person, I’ve done something.”
Sasha Cohen is the latest American woman to receive an individual Olympic medal in the 2006 Games after winning silver. Actually, before starting in gymnastics, Cohen began to figure skating at the age of seven. After 2006, she announced she would retire from skating competitively and go for entertainment and skate with Stars on Ice. Cohen was not selected for the U.S. team after retiring for the Olympics 2010. Since then, she has pursued her financial interest and work at Morgan Stanley as an associate.
While she is not an individual skate champion, Ice dancer Meryl Davis, together with Partner Charlie White, won the gold medal in Sotchi 2014, improving on the silver of previous Games. It was the first time that an American team had won the event, and it was a great victory for the USA that consolidated both their historical positions. Since 1997, the couple has skated together, making them the longest-lasting American dance team. Davis is still performing in ice shows with him since they retired competitively in 2017.
The first American team to win gold in the ice dance competition at the Olympic Games, Meryl Davis partner, Charlie White, has made history. He’s an old hockey player, and ice dancing came to him naturally. They also performed on ice shows while picking up a resumé like this. In 2014, the same year he won Davis gold, they competed when they performed in Dancing with the Stars.
Katarina Witt, who has won several gold medals at both the 1984 and the 1988 East Germany Olympics, is one of the most legendary names in figure-skating. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the secret police gave her cars, accommodations, and tour guards to prevent her from being defective. Now defunct, the archives of East Germany opened up, and Witt found 3,000 pages on her going all the way back when she was eight years old. She’s been modeling and had cameo appearances in several movies, like Jerry Maguire.
In recent years, Yuna Kim has had one of the most remarkable skating runs, winning gold in 2010 and silver in individual competition in 2014. “Queen Yuna,” as it is dubbed, raised her home country, South Korea, to a status previously unknown in the skating world and became one of the most widely recognized South Korean athletes in the world. While she retired in 2018 and did not compete when the Winter Games went to South Korea, that year, she lit the Olympic cauldron. Her many endorsements and television appearances keep her busy.
Long before Brian Boitano was commemorated in South Parks by Trey Parker and Matt Stone: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Brian Orser played in the Winter Games in 1988. The two personal skaters won the World Championships, and Boitano came first. Boitano said that South Park changed his life when children who were utterly unaware of figure skating now saw him as a hero. Parker and Stone were delighted with him, and Boitano benefited from this. In addition to skating, now he’s a motivating speaker and chef who appeared on the TV show What Brian Boitano Would Do?
Only a few years after an independent Ukraine joined the international sporting community, Oksana Baiul was the first Ukrainian to win gold at the Olympics. She is still the only Ukrainian skater to win gold at the Olympics. She took skating because she was told that she was not suitable for ballet. After returning home from the Games, she moved to America and started her professional ice skating career, including Broadway on Ice. She also began her lines of fashion and jewelry.
Gracie Gold has a name that forecasts gold, but gold that eluded her is a medal for Olympic gold. She had to be a confusing name when she was summoned to stand on the podium after winning bronze at the team event in the Winter Olympics in 2014. Gold did not compete and began coaching at the 2018 Games. It did not last, however, and soon she was back in training, intending to make the U.S. team for the Winter Olympics 2022.
Tessa Virtue and her partner Scott Moir have skated together for more than 20 years and are the longest – standing ice dance team in Canadian history. At the beginning of her young career, Virtue was only eight years old when her coach and aunt were paired with Moir. Their accomplishments and versatility with ice and their lifelong relationships contributed to a dynamic duo winning Olympic gold in 2010 and 2018 dance competitions. At the 2014 Games, they won the silver medal. The pair stopped competing after 22 years together in 2019.
The accomplishments and deceptions of Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue have been shared because they were both very young. When he was paired with Virtue, Moir was ten years old–Over 20 years later, and many considered him to be the most excellent ice dancers in the world. The pair has won three Olympic medals and have come to understand each other that they want to conclude their careers together. Moir and Virtue have only recently left the ice, and their future is still the mystery of their many fans.
Making a fantastic impression, Evan Lysacek was bound to glory when he went to the Olympic Rink in 2010. That same year, he took men’s singles of gold and was then named sportsman of the year for the United States Olympic Committee. The 34-year-old was the last American solo skater to win an Olympic medal, and since his big win in 2010, he hasn’t returned to the winter games. Lysacek was honored to be inducted into the American Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2016.
Nobody can doubt that the destiny of Kristi Yamaguchi was to skate. Most of the skater spent her youth on ice, and her hard work paid off by becoming the Olympic skating figure champion in 1992. Yamaguchi quickly became a cultural icon in the United States and made good use of this fame after she announced her retirement. In 2005 she was brought to the United States. The Olympic Hall of Fame was the sixth famous champion of dance with the stars in 2008.
Michelle Kwan has won the Silver Medal in 1998 and the Bronze Medal in 2002. Her parents came from Hong Kong to the United States and immediately fell in love with figure skating. Kwan was only five years old when she tried her first couple of skates, and the young skater won her first skate competition within a year. At the age of 13, she finished eighth in the World Championship, winning five and nine times in the US.
Edwin Moses knows no defeat–he has won two gold medals in two Olympics both in 1976 and 1984. Hurdler’s championship was a 400-meter hurdle, and Moses won a total of 107 final rows from 1977 through 1987! In his life, the hurdler set four world records and retired in the early 2000s. Moses still likes to compete–he is now showing his work as he participates in bobsleigh events.
Usain Bolt was the world’s fastest man on his 100m victory when he broke the world record. The former sprinter has 100 m, 200m, and 100m relay records worldwide. He is considered the most prominent sprinter ever and won the Gold Medal of Jamaica for each Olympic event in which he competed, winning eight golds in total from 2008 to 2016. When Bolt retired, he tried his best to enter another game, even joining a professional football team. It turns out that football was not his strength, and in 2019 he formally retired from sports.
After winning a total of four gold medals at the 1984 Olympic Games, Carl Lewis became an American hero and is not easily forgotten. The former athlete has nine Olympic gold medals and a total of 10 Olympic medals. Lewis won a total of ten World Championships before deciding to retire, after more than 20 years on the track, hanging his running shoes in 1997. Due to the inadmissibility of residence, Lewis tried to run for the New Jersey Senate in 2011.
Sprinter Allyson Felix is unstoppable. The Olympian has won six gold medals so far in her career, but she’s far from over. In 2019, she won her 12th and 13th World Championship and planned to become the USA’s Tokyo Olympic Team by 2021. The athlete is determined to win and hasn’t stopped since the beginning of her career. Everything is on Felix as she gets to the next Olympics.
Maurice Greene, a former track and field sprinter, specialized in 100 m and 200 m sprints. He took gold for individual and relay events at the 2000 Olympics. In 2004, Greene won medals in Athens for silver and bronze. Only Usain Bolt exceeded his record worldwide. Greene’s career had been affected by several casualties, and, as he retired, he used his fame to be a TV figure who appeared on reality shows like Blind Date and Star Dance.
It’s hard to settle for nothing less when you win your first gold–that is true for Michael Johnson, who won three golds. In 1992, he won his first gold medal at 4X400 m, and then conquered the 400 meters and 200 meters of solo events in 1996. The final gold of Johnson came in 2000, holding the title of King of 400m. Since his retirement, Johnson has been working as an athletic commentator. In 2018 the former athlete suffered a stroke, but since the incident, he has struggled to return to normal.
Mohamed ‘Mo’ Farah
Sir Mohamed Muktar Jama Farah used to be Britain’s pride in the sport of distance running. In every competition he participated in, he represented his most beloved country. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, he won two gold medals coming from different events – 5,000m and 10,000m. He managed to bring home two medals from the same categories at the 2016 Summer Olympics. However, a few years later, he decided to shift into a new sport – marathon running.
Sanya Richards-Ross is a retired track and field athlete who competed in several competitions representing the United States of America. She won her very first Olympic medal, which happened to be a silver one, at the 2008 Summer Olympics that was held in Beijing, China. For years later, she was able to win a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics that took place in London, United Kingdom. Her career as a track and field athlete was going great until she was forced to retire due to a severe injury that she suffered from.
Joanna Dove Hayes is a retired professional and competitive hurdler. For those who are not familiar with what hurdlers actually do, hurdlers compete in a race by running as they jump over some obstacles. At the 2004 Summer Olympics that took place in the city of Athens, she won a gold medal from the 100 meters hurdles event. Years after she retired, she started coaching other hurdlers.
De’Hashia Tonnek “DeeDee” Trotter used to be a well-known track and field athlete. She got her very first Olympic medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics from the Women’s 4 × 400 meters relay. At the 2012 Summer Olympics that took place in London, she won a total of two medals from the Women’s 4 × 400 meters relay and the Women’s 4 × 400-meter run. After her retirement, she found herself a career as a motivational speaker. She also started working for Education First as their ambassador.
Bobsleighing is a sport where teams of athletes use a bobsleigh to race and do their best to reach the finish line first. Lauryn Williams is a well-known bobsledder, but before engaging in the mentioned sport, she used to be a professional sprinter and competed in different competitions all around the world. At the 2004 Summer Olympics, she won a silver medal in the Women’s 100 meters. In the same event, she won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Shalane Grace Flanagan used to be a well-known long-distance runner. With her impressive skills in the sport, she won a silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics, specifically in the 10,000-meter event. Later in her athletic career, she realized that she could do better at marathon running, so she left her career as a long-distance runner and competed in marathons. That choice led her in winning the New York Marathon that took place in the middle of 2017. Now a retired athlete, Shalane is keeping herself busy coaching other runners.
Before she was honored by Queen Elizabeth II and before becoming a dame, Kelly Holmes used to be a professional and competitive middle-distance runner. Her career in the mentioned sport reached its peak when she won a total of two gold medals at the 2004 Summer Olympics that was held in Athens, Greece. Her great performance at the event made the whole United Kingdom very proud. Now that she has retired from competing, she is currently focusing on her foundation, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.
Angelo F. Taylor is a retired track and field athlete who dominated in several competitions all around the world. If we are going to talk about his Olympic medals, he has a total of three. He got his very first Olympic medal, which happened to be a gold one, at the 2000 Summer Olympics that took place in Sydney, Australia. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, he won his second Olympic medal which was also his second gold medal coming from the Olympic Games. Before retiring, he managed to win his last Olympic medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics – a silver medal. Just like most of the retired athletes, he tried to start a new career as a coach.
Linford Cicero Christie is a retired professional and competitive sprinter. He won a gold medal in the 100-meter dash event at the 1992 Summer Olympics. His career as a sprinter thrived well as he dominated in other competitions such as World Championships. Now, he is working at the television network, BBC as a TV presenter. It seems like his career in the entertainment industry is also doing well as he just recently won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.
Jeremy Matthew Wariner is a retired track and field athlete. He dominated in the 2004 Summer Olympics and 2008 Summer Olympics as he managed to win a gold medal from the two. Aside from his Olympic medals, he won several World Championship titles. Now that he has already retired from the sport, he is keeping himself busy by diverting his attention to flag football.
Christine Ijeoma Ohuruogu is a retired track and field athlete. She dominated several competitions all around the world such as the Olympic Games. At the 2008 Summer Olympics that was held in Beijing, she won two medals from different events – one gold medal and one bronze medal. After four years, she won a silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics that was held in London. Everything in her career as a very talented track and field athlete was going great until she suffered from several injuries which eventually forced her to retire.
Carmelita Jeter is a retired professional and competitive sprinter. Her career in the athletic industry reached its peak in the middle of 2012. She won a total of three medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics that took place in London, United Kingdom. She won a gold medal in the Women’s 4 x 100 relay, she got a silver medal from the Women’s 100 meters event, and won a bronze medal in the Women’s 200 meters event. In the middle of 2017, she realized that her career already had to come to an end as she was suffering from a severe injury.
Dawn Harper is a well-known professional track and field athlete. At the 2008 Summer Olympics that took place in Beijing, she managed to win her very first Olympic medal which was a silver one. It seemed like finishing as a silver medalist really boosted her to work and train harder as she finally won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics that was held in London, United Kingdom. Now, she has changed her name into Dawn Harper-Nelson – in the middle of 2013, she got married to Alonzo Nelson.
Catherine Astrid Salome Freeman is a retired professional and competitive sprinter. In an event at the 1996 Summer Olympics, she finished as a silver medalist. She finally got her very first Olympic gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics that was held in Sydney, Australia. In the middle of 2003, the world received an announcement from the athlete saying that she would not participate in competitions anymore. Now, she is spending her time managing the foundation she has established ever since she retired, Indigenous Education Foundation.
Shaun Roger White is a well-known snowboarder. He has a total of three Olympic gold medals entitled to his name. One coming from the Men’s halfpipe event at the 2006 Winter Olympics, the other coming from the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the latest one coming from the 2018 Winter Olympics. Aside from competing in other snowboarding competitions, he is currently keeping himself busy by being a musician and a skateboarder.
Sir Chris Hoy
Sir Christopher Andrew Hoy is a retired professional and competitive track cyclist. At the 2000 Summer Olympics, he won his very first Olympic medal which happened to be a silver one. Four years later, he dominated in the same event and managed to win a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics. However, he suddenly announced his retirement and said that he would not join any competitions as a cyclist anymore. He diverted his attention to another sport – racing.
Sir Steve Redgrave
Sir Steven Geoffrey Redgrave is a retired rower who used to dominate in several competitions all around the world. All in all, he has a total of five gold medals coming from several Olympic Games. He got his very first Olympic medal in the rowing event at the 1984 Summer Olympics that was held in Los Angeles, California. He got his second gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics that took place in Seoul, South Korea. He won another gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics that was held in Barcelona, Spain. At the 1996 Summer Olympics, he got his fourth gold medal. Finally, to complete the list of his Olympic gold medals, he got his last one at the 2000 Summer Olympics that took place in Sydney, Australia.
Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee is a retired professional track and field athlete. She won her very first Olympic medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics that took place in Los Angeles, California. At the 1988 Summer Olympics, she was able to take home two medals coming from different events. She won two medals again at the 1992 Summer Olympics that was held in Barcelona, Spain. She got her last Olympic medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Now, she is focusing on managing the organization she has established ever since she retired, Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation.
George Edward Foreman is a retired professional boxer who dominated in several competitions all over the world. Before retiring, he managed to get himself an Olympic medal and he won it at the 1968 Summer Olympics that was held in Mexico. Now that he has retired from the boxing industry, he is allotting most of his time writing books and being an entrepreneur.
Birgit Fischer is a retired professional and competitive kayaker. All in all, she competed in eight Olympic Games and managed to collect a total of twelve medals from them. She won her very first Olympic medal in the Women’s K-2 500 meters canoeing event at the 1980 Summer Olympics. She got three medals at the 1988 Summer Olympics. Four years later, she won two medals at the 1992 Summer Olympics. She got another two medals coming from the 1996 Summer Olympics. Four years later, she won two medals again at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Finally, to complete the list of her Olympic medals, she got her last two medals at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Now, she is keeping herself busy by being a photographer.
Michael “Rizz, Rizzo” Eruzione is a retired ice hockey player who represented the United States as he competed in several competitions. His career in the sport thrived in the middle of 1980 when his team won the Winter Olympics beating the Soviet Union. He was the one who made the winning goal. The former professional ice hockey player is currently working at Boston University.
Mariel Margaret Hamm is a retired professional soccer player who used to take the forward position in the United States women’s national soccer team. In her entire career, she managed to win a total of two Olympic gold medals along with other championship titles coming from other competitions. Now, she is living by the name Mariel Margaret Hamm-Garciaparra as she got married to Nomar Garciaparra in the middle of 2003.
Michael Jeffrey Jordan is a retired professional basketball player who dominated in 15 NBA seasons. Along with all the NBA championship titles and other awards that he won in his entire career, he also managed to win a couple of medals coming from the Olympic Games. He got his very first Olympic medal, which was also a gold one, at the 1984 Summer Olympics that took place in Los Angeles, California. Eight years later, he won another gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics that was held in Barcelona, Spain. Now, the NBA legend is working as Charlotte Hornets’ principal owner.
At the Winter Olympics, Apolo Ohno won a total of eight medals, two gold, two silver, four bronze, including having won eight World Championships from 2001 to 2009. When he first became the American speed skating champion, the short track speed skater was only 14 years old. Ohno ended his career in 2013, following his winning streak. Ohno has worked as a motivational speaker, philanthropist, has launched a nutritional supplement company after gaining recognition through his sport, he has also appeared and won on the reality TV show Dancing with the Stars back in 2017. Ohno was even inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame In 2019.
Bjorn Daehlie is one of the most awarded Winter Olympic athletes in Norway, winning eight gold medals in cross – country skiing, plus four silver. He participated in the Winter Olympics in 1992 and rose to prominence in his home country. In the Olympics and World Championships, he had also won a total of 29 medals. Daehlie enjoys the rush of adrenaline from every competition and demands that he competes in the World Championships and oppose the advice of his doctor to avoid more participation. Ironically though, Bjorn is also an experienced fashion designer, in addition to his career as an athlete. Daehlie was included in advertising campaigns, he launched a signature ski apparel brand and co-hosted a television show called Gutta på tur. Daehlie also created Pilot Bindings for the Salomon Nordic System.
In the ski sport and all over the world, Jean – Claude Killy, French skier, has made a name for himself. In the Olympic Winter 1968, Killy competed and won three gold medals, making him the French skier with the most achievement. The athlete tied the knot with Danielle Gaubert, the late French actress. They even had a daughter together. Killy even adopted two children from a previous marriage of his deceased wife. Killy made two television series, with the exception of his exceptional ski career. Killy also continues his work as a member of the International Olympic Committee but he told John Fry in Ski that he thinks it’s time for him to retire and enjoy his time in private.
Basketball enthusiasts most certainly would include Charles Barkley with the NBA, in which they may possibly not know he is an Olympic gold medalist as well. In 1992 and 1996 he played for the United States team – winning in both competitions. In 1993, Barkley was the MVP of the NBA and in 2000 he retired. Barkley built a reputation for himself as being one of the best basketball broadcast analysts. He has written several books since his retirement and has shown a political interest.
In 1988, Sergey Bubka took home Olympic gold as the Ukrainian pole vaulter from the Soviet Union. All through his career, he achieved the same outstanding results and broke the world record 35 times. In 2012, Bubka was inducted as an official member of the International Association of Athletics Federations Hall of Fame and was named Athlete of the Year by Track & Field news twice. He had become President of the International Athletics Federations since his retirement. He is also an Honorary Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), having been involved since 1996.
Andre Agassi, Tennis legend and Olympian, have had good days and bad days throughout his 20-year-old career. Agassi is a Grand Slam champion eight times in singles and he has won first place in the Olympic Games. Not only is he known for his expertise in tennis, but he is also famous for his audacious fashion sense. In 2003, Agassi decided to retire, and with Steffi Graf, his former tennis player wife, they spent a life away from the competitive tournaments. He is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time by numerous sources. Agassi has also been called one of the greatest service returners ever to play the game, and was described by the BBC upon his retirement as “perhaps the biggest worldwide star in the sport’s history”.
During his career, Rulon Gardner, former American wrestler, achieved great things. He competed in the heavyweight category, winning a gold medal in the 2000 games to beat Aleksandr Karelin from Russia. In 2004, he won bronze and was unbeaten in an international competition for 13 years. Gardner’s life was difficult and challenging and his inspiring speeches were based on his personal experience. The separation with his friend, and after slipping through ice on a frozen river also overcoming being pierced by an arrow were some of the hardships he faced through most of his life. Now that’s a tough life!
Kerri Walsh Jennings
Thanks to her hard work and dedication, Kerri Walsh Jennings is one of the most successful beach volleyball players in the United States of America. She has won three gold medals and her long-term volleyball partner, Misty May-Treanor, they are also better remembered for the bond they happen to share. From 2004 to 2016, the team competed together in four Olympic Games. Jennings also had posed and shown on the reality TV, Celebrity Wife Swap, aside from her volleyball career.
Ronda Rousey seems to be more widely recognized for her line of work as a UFC fighter, but for longer than what most people might know. Her career began in the mixed martial arts and earning her bronze medal in judo at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Rousey then started training in all forms of combat just after the 2008 games. To become a UFC champion, she utilizes her experience in judo. As it got to professional wrestling and joining the WWE, she depended on those skills to become the Women’s Champion. Rousey revealed her first Facebook gaming stream on 18th of February 2020 and gave to charity all her stream revenue.
She started training when she was just eight years old and already competed a few years later. It seems that gymnastics have always been in her future prospects. At the age of 20, she represented Team USA and won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics. She is also the second-most decorated American gymnast in World Championship history, with ten medals. She has been active until 2012 and has since then have become a brand ambassador for CoverGirl. She married Brady Quinn, a former quarterback of the NFL, and had two children with him.
When they took her to the gymnastics class, Shawn Johnson’s parents realize they made a very fateful decision. She was only three years old, and she already began her stellar career which ended in grabbing gold at the balance beams and three silver medals in the 2008 Beijing Games. She has a torn ACL from a ski crash, that cut her gymnastic career short but she still managed to be seen in the eyes of society. In addition to Dancing with the Stars, Johnson regularly appeared on TV, be it talk shows or commentary. Johnson now runs a successful YouTube channel called The East Family with husband Andrew East, with 1.07 million subscribers and often millions of views on her videos.
When she competed for the Olympics in 1976 in Montréal, Nadia Comaneci caused quite a stir. After the judges gave her a perfect score since it was the first time it has ever happened she went down in history. During the 1976 and the 1980 games, she is widely known as one of the greatest Olympians, because she managed to hurdle a gold and a silver medal. Comaneci married Bart Conner, an American gymnast who is an Olympic gold medalist as well. The couple now owns a fitness center and participate in philanthropy. And in October 2017, an area in the Olympic Park in Montreal was renamed “Place Nadia Comaneci” in her honor.
Many might underestimate the incredibility of Michael Phelps breaking down the swimming records of Mark Spitz, but do not overlook the fact that the American superstar athlete of the seventies was once known to have been untouchable for decades. Hearing him speak may sound as American as apple pie, but he was born in Russia. When he was just two years old, he moved to America and dipped his arms and practiced strokes in Hawaii for the first time. He eventually moved and refined his art in Sacramento, California. He won nine gold medals all in all.
Amanda Beard won a gold and two silver medals at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta at the young age of 14. The photographs of her hugging her teddy bear on the podium are some of the most fondly remembered images from the Games when she became the second to the youngest American to win a medal in gold. Until 2012, Beard still competes in the Olympics, though she did not qualify. She succeeded in winning all seven Olympic medals. In addition to her sports career, she served as an animal rights activist, a sports correspondent, and a model.