12 Olympic Athletes Who Became Pop Culture Phenomenons

They went from the podium to primetime. (Or Broadway!) They’re not always competing, but we still get answers to very important questions like What Would Ryan Lochte Do?, Sundays 10|9c on E!

1. Kristi Yamaguchi

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Figure skating gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi won the sixth season of Dancing With the Stars and (more importantly!) had a cameo in the movie Go Figure.

2. Bruce Jenner

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In the Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics, he won the gold medal for the decathlon. Today, he continues to Keep Up With The Kardashians. (Decathlons seem easier.)

3. Johnny Weir

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This figure skater had his own TV-series titled Be Good Johnny Weir; he also attends red carpet events where he makes fabulous faces.

4. Ryan Lochte

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He’s won eleven Olympic medals, has his own show on E!, and gave us all the word “Jeah!”

5. Lindsey Vonn

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Vonn re-entered spotlight for announcing that she and Tiger Woods were dating, but this Olympian is most known for her numerous achievements in alpine skiing (and occasional Got Milk? ad).

6. Shawn Johnson

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She has an Olympic gold medal, three silver medals, and a DWTS trophy. Or perhaps you only know Shawn from her two appearances on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which is a completely acceptable place to recognize anyone.

7. George Foreman

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He’s a two-time World Heavyweight World Champion, Olympic gold medalist, and if someone could be a champion at selling kitchen grills, George Foreman would be the uncontested, super-duper winner.

8. The Winklevoss Twins


Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are more famous for not inventing Facebook, but they also got 6th place in Beijing for rowing.

9. Serena and Venus Williams

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Some celebrities only appear on our TVs. Others appear in our dreams. But these sisters do both.

10. Michael Phelps

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With a total of 22 medals, he’s the most decorated Olympian of all time. You might also recognize him from commercials for Subway sandwiches. Or from SNL where he also talked about Subway.

11. Apolo Anton Ohno

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While he did not win a second mirror ball trophy, his eight Olympic medals for speed skating will surely more than suffice.

12. Shaun White

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He has two Olympic gold medals, a small army of medals from Winter X-Games, and an IMDB page that goes longer than his hair.

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