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Let’s Take a Look at These 10 Famous Olympic Athletes’ Lives Then and Now

The Olympics has helped kickstart the careers of many athletes over the years, skyrocketing them to fame and fortune.

The world has witnessed the emergence of several champions through the Olympics in years past. While the competition avails athletes the opportunity to showcase their athletic talents to the world, it also serves as a money-making venture to those who choose to make a career out of it.

From gymnastics to water polo, no sport is left out in this event, which takes place once every four years. Therefore, everyone would likely find a niche to specialize in, increasing the chances of spectators finding an Olympian to idolize.

But what happens after an Olympian hangs up the hat? There is no one straight answer to this, as each person has a different route to ply. In honor of the upcoming Olympics 2021 set to debut on July 23, here are some all-time favorite Olympians and where they are today.

1. LINDSEY VONN

In 2010, Lindsey Von stamped her name in history by becoming the first American woman to win a gold medal in the downhill event at the Winter Olympics. That same year, she nabbed the bronze medal in the Super-G race.

WHERE IS SHE TODAY?

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Nearly two decades after making her Olympic debut, the Skier has fully retired from the games. Her last professional appearance was in 2019, at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Sweden, where she snagged the bronze medal.

In 2013, she disclosed her relationship with pro golfer Tiger Woods, but their relationship ended after three years together.

She also dated P.K Subban, to whom she was engaged until they called off the relationship in December 2020.

2. RYAN LOCHTE

Professional swimmer, Ryan Lochte, who hailed from New York made his Olympic debut in 2004. Eight years later, he snagged his first individual gold medal at the men’s 400-meter individual medley at the 2012 London Games.

WHERE IS HE NOW?

Ryann Lochte landed his own reality show, “What Will Ryan Lochte Do?” which followed his life as he prepared for the 2016 Olympics. Alongside teammates Michael Phelps, Conor Dwyer, and Townley Haas, he took home the gold medal in the 4* 200-meter freestyle relay.

After lying about getting robbed in Rio along with his teammate Jimmy Feigan, the U.S.A swimming suspended him from competing both locally and internationally for 14 months. The incident, which came to be known as Lochtegate, garnered vast publicity.

Outside the world of sports, the former reality star is married to model Kayla Reid. They share two children.

3. SHAWN JOHNSON

Legendary gymnast Shawn Johnson competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she won her first gold medal at sixteen. She also won three silver medals that year, easily making her way into people’s hearts.

WHERE IS SHE NOW?

Johnson retired from competitive gymnastics in June 2012 following a knee injury that ruined her chances of participating in the Olympic trials.

She went on to marry football player Andrew East in 2016. The duo runs a YouTube channel, and are parents to a daughter, Drew. Johnson announced in March 2021 that she had a second baby on the way.

4. SIMONE BILES

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles became everyone’s favorite when she snagged five medals at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. The feat set the record for the most medals won at a single Games. She also became the most decorated gymnast of all time.

WHERE IS SHE NOW

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Biles took a temporary hiatus from competitive gymnastics following her 2016 appearance at the Olympics. During her break, she authored a book, “Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance.”

She also competed in the 24th season of “Dancing With The Stars,” coupling up with Sasha Farber. The Olympic athlete returned to competitive gymnastics in 2018.

Meanwhile, the gymnast dated Stacey Evin Jr. for three years. Their romance ended in July 2020.

5. APOLO OHNO

Speed skater Apolo Ohno began competing at the Olympics in 2002 and nabbed a silver and gold medal. Four years later, he competed at the Olympics in Turi, taking home a bronze and two gold medals.

Following a brief hiatus from speed skating, Ohno made a remarkable comeback at the 2010 Olympics, snagging four medals. His 2010 accomplishment made the athlete the most-decorated American Winter Olympia of all time.

WHERE IS HE NOW?

Apolo Ohno retired from the games in 2013. Before that, he competed in the fourth season of “Dancing With The Stars,” and won. He later returned for the show’s fifteenth season but ended up eliminated in the ninth week.

6. KERRI WALSH JENNINGS

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Hardly can anyone forget the beach volleyball duo Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor who made the sport something to look forward to for years. Alongside her partner, Jennings emerged beach volleyball champion in three Olympic seasons consecutively from 2004 to 2012.

WHERE IS KERRI WALSH NOW?

Now a mother of three, Kerri-Walsh Jennings is determined to carry on her Olympic legacy, and prove herself as one of the leading women in sports. Following her partner’s retirement, she returned for the 2016 Olympics, introducing the world to her new “sister-in-sands,” April Ross. The Olympic athletes snagged the bronze medal at the end of the season.

7. ASHLEY WAGNER

By standing up for herself at the 2014 Winter Olympic tournament in Russia, Ashley Wagner set the stage for athletes all over the world to be judged fairly. The figure skater slammed the judges after falling behind three contestants who each flunked during their routines, despite hers being flawless.

WHERE IS SHE NOW?

Wagner went on to become the first American woman since Michelle Kwan to qualify for three consecutive Grand Prix Finals. She also landed a silver medal at the 2016 World Championship, becoming the first American woman in over a decade to win a medal at the tournament.

The legend announced her retirement in 2019.

8. BRUCE JENNER

Caitlyn Jenner ( formerlyBruce Jenner) competing at the 1976 Olympics | Image: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

Formerly known as Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner began a lasting tradition in 1976 when she waved the American flag after winning the Olympic decathlon event. As a result, she gained recognition as the all-American hero.

Since then, all U.S Olympic athletes have adopted the tradition, waving the country flag after each win.

WHERE IS SHE NOW?

Bruce Jenner came out as transgender in 2015, undergoing a gender reassignment surgery to become a trans woman. She has since starred in reality shows like “ Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” and “I am Cait.”

9. CARL LEWIS

Carl Lewis | Image: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

Track and field athlete Carl Lewis easily became an all-time favorite American Olympian by breaking several world records. Lewis snagged a total of nine Olympic gold medals and one silver medal.

The International Olympic Committee named him the Sportsman of the Century. Additionally, Sports Illustrated dubbed him the Olympian of the Century.

WHERE IS HE NOW?

Carl Lewis now | Image: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

Following his retirement, Lewis began making appearances in movies and TV shows. The former athlete is also an advocate for veganism and has tried his hands in politics, making a bid to run for New Jersey’s state senate.

10. MICHAEL JORDAN

Michael Jordan | Image: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

Widely recognized as the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan soared his way into people’s hearts for years. He competed in the 1984 and 1992 Olympics, playing in two different teams. Both times, the legend landed gold medals.

WHERE IS HE NOW?

Michael Jordan now | Image: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

Michael Jordan proceeded to stamp his name in the book of sports stardom, becoming an NBA champion. In 1993, he tried his hands in baseball but returned to the courts two years later as part of the Chicago Bulls.

Jordan retired from professional basketball in 2003. Years later, President Barack Obama honored him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A list published by Forbes in 2017 dubbed the legendary basketballer as the highest-paid athlete ever.

Through their passion for their respective sports, these ten athletes stood out at the Olympics, forging a legacy that would continue to thrive for generations. With new generations of athletes gearing up for the 2021 Olympic trials, the contributions of these champions have never been more cherished.

Judith
Judith is an experienced writer, a thespian, and a creator with background knowledge in science and environmental technology. Her love for science led her to obtain a BSc. Degree in Microbiology. She also boasts of a certificate in Desktop Publishing. Driven by her passion for sustaining the environment, she explored environmental health-related courses like Health Safety & Environment and Environmental Impact Assessment. Her knowledge in these fields has helped her organize events and seminars over the years to create awareness about the detrimental impact of global warming and climate change in a bid to save the planet. When she's not saving the world, you can find Judith exploring new places, meeting people, embarking on adrenaline-pumping adventures, and creating things. Judith's numerous interests informed her love for writing. To her, writing is more than information-dissemination. It is an art that enables her to live out the best of both worlds by putting them into words. She loves writing about entertainment gist, celebrity gossip, useful life hacks, DIY projects, scripts, educational pieces on environmental protection, and advancement in medicine.
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