From Releasing Pop Albums to Working in the White House: What Do Olympians Do After the Olympics?
SHAWN JOHNSON: DANCING WITH THE STARS
After scoring three silvers and a gold in Beijing in 2008, Johnson initially hoped to make the 2012 Olympic team, but ended up retiring just months before the Olympic trials due to a lingering injury. But even while training, she joined the 2009 cast of Dancing with the Stars – and ended up winning. After retiring from gymnastics, she went back to DWTS for the all-star season, finishing as runner-up. Currently, she is studying sports psychology and nutrition at Vanderbilt University.
CAITLYN JENNER: REALITY TV
Jenner may be better known for what she did after the Olympics than what she did at the games. The decathlon gold medalist of 1976 stars on Keeping Up with the Kardashians and after coming out as transgender in 2015, got her own show documenting her life living her true self, I Am Cait.
EDWIN MOSES: ACADEMIA
The gold medal hurdler (who had quite an impressive winning streak in 1976 and 1984) went on to get his Bachelor's degree in physics as well as his M.B.A. He worked for General Dynamics as an aerospace engineer, where he tested cruise missiles and space systems.
NASTIA LIUKIN: COMMENTATING
Liukin was the 2008 gymnastics all-around gold medalist, and has made a name for herself in gymnastics off the floor too: She's a frequent commentator at various gymnastics competitions and the Olympic games, both summer and winter, for NBC.
GREGORY LOUGANIS: ACTIVISM
When he competed in 1988, Louganis had tested positive for HIV, although had not gone public with his diagnosis yet. Seven years later, he discussed living with HIV in an interview with Barbara Walters, and a year later, released an autobiography Breaking the Surface. Since then, he's become an outspoken activist for HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention and the rights of LGBT people, as well as those living with HIV/AIDS. Oh, and he coaches young divers, too.
KERRI STRUG: THE WHITE HOUSE
After landing the vault that made America love her in Atlanta in 1996, Strug decided to give back to her country, working in public service. She started as a staff assistant in the Presidential Student Correspondence office at the White House and later worked at the General Counsel in the Treasury Department and the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
TOMMIE SMITH: THE AFL
He won gold in 1968 for his track skills, but Smith's life as an athlete didn't end after the Olympics: He later played for the American Football League, then an NFL rival, as a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals.
CARL LEWIS: PUBLIC OFFICE
The Olympic spotlight didn't make Lewis, who competed several times from the 1980s to '90s, shy away from the public eye. He attempted to run for New Jersey State Senate in 2011, but was ultimately disqualified because he didn't meet the residency requirement. He hasn't stayed still for long, however: Lewis owns and runs a marketing company called Carl Lewis Entertainment Group.
MICHAEL JOHNSON: ATLETIC MANAGEMENT
You can leave the Olympics as a competitor, but the Olympics never truly leave you – especially when you win gold at four Games in a row. That's the case for Johnson, who still works in athletics, helping to train and develop emerging athletes in the academy of Arsenal, the British soccer club.
AMY CHOW: MEDICINE
She rose to fame as a member of the 1996 Magnificent Seven, and today, Chow's still doing some pretty incredible work: She's a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in California, where she specializes in sports medicine.
JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON: MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKING
Like many of her fellow Olympians, the 1984 gold medal marathon runner has gone into motivational speaking since the end of her Olympic career. Also, she's a "congratulatory voice" on the Nike+ iPod app – and there's nothing more motivational than that.
CARLY PATTERSON: MUSIC
After taking home gold in Athens in 2004, Patterson embarked on a music career, releasing multiple singles and even an album, "Back to the Beginning." She signed with Joe Simpson's (yes, father of Ashlee and Jessica) record label.