12 Olympic Icons - Where Are They Today?

Olympic athletes train their whole lives for one moment on a world stage. We become invested in their stories and excited when they succeed. Here are what some of the most iconic Olympians are doing today.

1. George Foreman


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“Big George” competed in the 1968 games held in Mexico. He beat Soviet Union’s Jonas Cepulis to win the gold medal in boxing. He remains a household name as the promoter of the George Forman Grill which has sold over 100 million units worldwide. 

2. Charles Barkley


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“Sir Chuck” is one of the greatest power forwards of all time. Originally drafted by the 76ers in 1984, he was a part of the “Dream Team” of the 1992 Olympic Games. His successful career has earned him many accolades. Now retired, he is a prominent basketball commentator. 

3. Mia Hamm


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Soccer player Mia Hamm assisted her team in four Olympic Games, winning two golds, and one silver. She retired after the 2004 games. She remains active in soccer as a member of the FIFA World Cup Delegation. The Mia Hamm Foundation is dedicated to rare blood diseases. 


4. Bruce Jenner 


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Crowned the “All American Hero” after his decathlon win over Soviet champion Mykola Avilov in the 1976 games, Jenner went on to become a motivational speaker, then a reality TV star. In 2015, he announced: “for all intents and purposes; I’m a woman.” She now goes by Caitlyn.  


5. Usain Bolt


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Usain “Lightning” Bolt won 6 gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games making him the first to achieve a “double triple” in gold wins. He competed until 2015 and has since been coaching. In Early 2017, he had to relinquish a medal from 2008 due to a teammate’s doping. 


6. Jackie Joyner-Kersee


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Joyner-Kersee overcame asthma to win three gold, 2, silver, and two bronze medals during her Olympic career in women’s long jump and heptathlon. She now sits on the USATF, the governing board of track and field, and is a humanitarian dedicated to athletics, health, and life improvement. 


7. Kristy Yamaguchi


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Kristy Yamaguchi won the ladies individual ice skating title at the 1992 games. She toured with Stars on Ice for and won the 6th season of Dancing with the Stars. Kristy is a mom, children’s book author and founded the Always Dream Foundation committed to childhood literacy. 


8. Greg Louganis


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Greg Louganis competed in 1984 and 1988 winning two golds in springboard and platform diving. He was the first in an international competition to receive perfect 10s from all judges. An LGBT activist, he now commits his time to the GLSEN, and Point Foundations. 


9. Gabrielle Douglas


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“Gabby” Douglas was the first African-American athlete to win the Woman’s All-Around in Gymnastics at the 2012 games. Oxygen’s “Gabby Douglas Family Gold” chronicled her return to the sport. She helped her team defend the all-around gold medal at the 2016 games. She is a public speaker and corporate spokesperson. 


10. Mary Lou Retton


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Mary Lou Retton overcame hip dysplasia to be the first American woman to win the all-around gymnastics title in 1984. Today she is a motivational speaker, corporate spokesperson, and international fitness ambassador. She has been a commentator for subsequent games and has landed acting credits. 


11. Michael Phelps


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Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian with 28 medals. He holds records for most gold wins at 23, most individual golds at 13, and most individual Olympic medals at 16. This swimmer has competed in every game since 2000, announcing his retirement after the 2016 games. 


12. Bonnie Blair


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Bonnie Blair won 5 golds and one bronze as a speed skater for the American team. She was inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004. She has authored a book, coached, is a motivational speaker, engaged in charity work, provided commercial endorsements, and TV commentary for events. 


After spending a lifetime training, these athletes have found new ways to influence the public arena. While some have remained connected to their sports, others pursued different passions—many using their public influence to affect change for the disadvantaged.