There are few, if any, events that capture the attention of the world in the same way that the Olympics do. For the few weeks, it is on TV billions of people watch the best athletes on the earth do what they do best. But just as quickly as the Olympics comes and dominates the airways, it disappears just as fast until the next installment a few years later. This means that there are some great athletes we forget about or lose track of for years. Here we will take a look at where 18 past Olympic greats are today. Number 5 might just shock you…
#18 Michael Johnson
Johnson made history in 1996 when he won the gold medal in the 200M and the 400M, becoming the first ever man to do it. Since the Olympics, he has worked with major athletes from the NFL to soccer leagues around the world. To top it all off Johnson has his own performance company as well. Check out number 12 to see what another famous sprinter has been up to lately.
#17 Mary Lou Retton
Due to her great performance in the Olympics, Retton became America’s sweetheart. Since leaving the world of sports, she has become a motivational speaker. She is also a mother whose daughters are following in her footsteps. The next person is the almost-undisputed best athlete in their chosen discipline.
#16 Michael Jordan
While Jordan is well known as the best NBA player of all time, he is also a pretty successful Olympian and was on the 1992 Dream Team that won the Gold. Since retiring from basketball, he has remained in the industry as he is the owner of the Charlotte Hornets.
#15 Greg Louganis
This man has basically been a career Olympian and is a huge star in diving. He dominated the 1976, 1984, and the 1988 Olympic games. Since then, he has become an activist for the LGBT community, as well as for those with HIV and AIDS. Louganis is famously HIV positive himself.
#14 Marion Jones
Jones was one of the biggest stars at the 2000 Summer Olympics as she took home three gold medals. Unfortunately, her career has gone downhill from there. She was found to have been using PEDs and even spent some time in jail for check fraud. The next person was also a track star and made worldwide news a few years ago for a horrific crime.
#13 Oscar Pistorius
Pistorius is famous for competing in the Olympics and doing well, despite having no legs. He was a feel-good story for the ages until a story turned him into a criminal. He killed his girlfriend with a gun after thinking she was an intruder, which landed him in jail.
#12 Carl Lewis
Throughout the 1980s, Carl Lewis dominated the Olympics. He won 10 medals (9 of the being gold), and that all got him a humungous amount of fame. Since retiring, he has done a lot of different things, including a failed singing career.He currently works as the track coach at the University of Houston.
#11 Nadia Comenici
At the age of 14 (during the 1976 Olympics), Comenici became the first person ever to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics. This garnered her a ton of fame as you could imagine. After retiring, she married an American gymnastics star and created a business empire including a gymnastics academy and a variety of shops.
#10 Misty May-Treanor
From 2004-2012, Treanor won three gold medals in beach volleyball and probably became the most famous figure in the sport. Since retiring from the sport, she became an actress and has appeared in a number of different shows including CSI and even competed on Dancing with the Stars in season 7.
#9 Florence Griffith-Joyner
Known as Flo-Jo, this woman is considered to be the fastest woman of all time. Her world record time in 1988 has yet to be seriously challenged by anyone. Unfortunately, only a mere decade after setting the world record and collecting the fame that comes with it, Joyner passed away in 1998.
#8 Shannon Miller
Since she captured Olympic success many years ago, Miller has gone through some hard times but has refused to give up. She beat ovarian cancer and then went on to be the President of a few of her entities (Shannon Miller Lifestyle and the Shannon Miller Foundation) to keep herself busy.
#7 Edwin Moses
Edwin Moses was not only famous for his glasses, but also for his multiple gold medals in the hurdles. Since retiring from the sport, he has been a promoter of the many good things about sports. He has assisted with a lot of different organizations and charities, including the Laureus World Sports Academy.
#6 Princess Anne
Not only is Anne an Olympic great, she also has the distinction of being the first member of the Royal Family to ever compete in the Olympics. While this lady was famous in her time, I don’t know if the fame she had can touch the fame of our next athlete.
#5 Bruce Jenner
Jenner rose to fame as an Olympic champion decades ago when he won the gold in the Decathlon. But once they became involved with the Kardashians years and years later, that fame went to a different level. Jenner also famously became Caitlyn Jenner and now officially identifies as a woman.
#4 Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Kersee took home two gold medals in the heptathlon in 1988 and 1992. She became famous for this and has used that career to become a mentor. She was also responsible for mentoring a few people for the Rio games. The next entry has parlayed their Olympic success to a successful TV career.
#3 Shawn Johnson
Shawn Johnson won four medals at the 2008 Olympics, including one gold and four silvers. Johnson got a considerable amount of fame for this result and parlayed that into a lot of TV success. She competed on Dancing with the Stars and also on the Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump.
#2 Dan O’Brien
O’Brien was a star after his great performance in the 1996 Olympic games where he took home the gold in the Decathlon. But after being done with the Olympics, he went on to have a successful career in a number of industries. He became an author, a speaker and even a TV personality.
#1 Dave Johnson
Johnson was part of an amazing ad campaign ahead of the 1992 Olympics, and also did considerably well at the event themselves. Since his great performance at the Olympics, he became a teacher, a motivational speaker and even the director of the Fellowship of the Christian Athletes at one point for a while.
As you can see, many of your favorite Olympians of years past are still doing well, some even extremely well. Most have been able to get other opportunities of jobs as a result of their time in the Olympics, which is very good to see. And while these 18 are doing pretty well, there are some former legends that have simply faded away into obscurity after their time in the spotlight. It will be interesting to see what happens in a decade or so to the Olympic athletes of today and see what they get up to after their Olympic careers slow down or end.