Entertainment Sports Breakfast of Champions! Legendary Olympians Who've Been Honored on Wheaties Boxes Learn more about the athletes who've earned their spot on the iconic orange cereal box By Diane J. Cho Diane J. Cho Diane J. Cho was the Features Editor of PEOPLE Digital from 2019 to 2022. She worked at the brand for nearly four years covering news, features, human interest, evergreen, holiday gift guides and more. She launched the How I Parent and What It's Really Like to Be …. digital series and has interviewed several celebrities and influential leaders within the entertainment industry. Prior to joining PEOPLE, Diane worked at Bustle, VH1 and Complex. She received her bachelor's degree in Journalism from Rutgers University and her master's degree from Columbia Journalism School. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 4, 2022 01:20 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos 01 of 19 James 'Jesse' Owens Courtesy of the General Mills Archives The track and field legend won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The achievement was not only respected in the sports world, it was also seen as heroic during the politically charged Berlin Games. Owens was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1976 and was honored by the United States Olympic Committee in 2016 with the Jesse Owens Olympic Spirit Award, which honors individuals who've served as a powerful force for good in society. 02 of 19 Mary Lou Retton Courtesy of the General Mills Archives No American — female or male — had won a medal in gymnastics until the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. Retton took on the challenge and won a historic all-around artistic gymnastics gold medal at only 16 years old. She also became the first woman to appear on the front of the Wheaties box that same year. 03 of 19 Caitlyn Jenner Courtesy of the General Mills Archives The United States Olympic Hall of Famer took home the decathlon gold medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. The box has become a rare collector's item, and is selling for hundreds of dollars on ebay. 04 of 19 Greg Louganis Courtesy of the General Mills Archives Decades after winning two gold medals in both the 1984 and 1988 Games, the diving legend got his Wheaties debut in 2020. "It took over 30 years, but it finally happened – better late than never!" Louganis told PEOPLE at the time. "It is so iconic and the honor actually means more today than it would have back then. I feel like I am embraced as a whole person, and not just for my athletics." 05 of 19 1998 Women's Ice Hockey Team Courtesy of the General Mills Archives Although Canada was expected to win it all the first year women were featured in the ice hockey competition at the 1998 Nagano, Japan, Winter Games, Team USA came out on top and became the first country to win gold in women's ice hockey. Team USA's stunning achievement had a powerful impact on the growth of women's hockey, opening the doors for a new generation of female athletes to dream big with the sport. The team was inducted into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame in 2019. 06 of 19 1996 Women's Gymnastic's Team Courtesy of the General Mills Archives The "Magnificent Seven" were the main event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, having won the USA's first-ever team gold in women's gymnastics. No one can forget Kerri Strug's vault performance when she stuck her landing on an injured ankle. Dominique Dawes also became the first Black athlete to win an individual Olympic medal in women's gymnastics upon scoring her individual bronze medal. The women were collectively inducted in the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 2008. 07 of 19 Tommie Smith Courtesy of the General Mills Archives The track and field star won gold at the 1968 Games in Mexico City. While standing on the podium, he famously bowed his head and raised his fist in protest of racism and the treatment of minorities in the U.S. His actions got him banned from the Olympic Village and got him sent home. Years later, in 2021, Smith was honored by Wheaties with a limited-edition box to commemorate his win and his fight for racial equality. "As a world champion, I always wanted to be on a Wheaties box," Smith said in a news release, Reuters reported. "To now be recognized by Wheaties and selected to grace the cover of their box, in the class with other great champion athletes, is an honor." 08 of 19 Shaun White Courtesy of the General Mills Archives The Olympian was the first snowboarder to appear on the cover of the box. He's won three gold medals for his performance on the halfpipe: in PyeongChang 2018, Vancouver 2010 and Turin 2006. The Beijing Olympics of 2022 will be his last, he recently said. 09 of 19 Serena Williams Courtesy of the General Mills Archives In 2019, the tennis star announced that she would be the new face of Wheaties, and shared why her box was so significant to Wheaties history. "In 2001, Wheaties paid homage to a true champion and an icon by putting her on the cover of a Wheaties Box," she wrote on Instagram. "Althea Gibson was the FIRST Black Woman tennis player to be on the box. Today, I am honored to be the second." 10 of 19 Muhammad Ali Courtesy of the General Mills Archives The gold medalist at the 1960 Games in Rome became an cultural institution for his impact on advancing civil rights. Ali always represented excellence in and outside of the ring. He first appeared on the box in 1999 and was selected, along with basketball icon Michael Jordan, to appear in a limited-edition series of Century Boxes to celebrate the brand's 100th anniversary. 11 of 19 Michael Phelps Courtesy of the General Mills Archives The swimmer — the most decorated Olympian of all time, having earned 23 gold medals during his career — appeared on the box twice before Wheaties decided to make his third time extra special: Phelps was the first to receive a special Lifetime Achievement box in 2016. "I am honored to receive the first Lifetime Achievement box from Wheaties. For me it's another achievement that I've been able to accomplish that is still so wild to think of," Phelps said. "Every day I kind of pinch myself to see if this is real life. It's been amazing to be able to know that I've put my mind to these goals and been able to achieve them. This all started with a dream, and with hard work and dedication, anything is possible." 12 of 19 Michael Jordan Courtesy of the General Mills Archives The basketball legend holds the record for most boxes ever. Jordan has appeared on 19, with his first debuting in 1988. 13 of 19 Mia Hamm Courtesy of the General Mills Archives Known as one of the best female soccer players of all time, Hamm led Team USA to two gold medals: one in Atlanta 1996 and the other in Athens 2004. 14 of 19 Lindsey Vonn Courtesy of the General Mills Archives Vonn won gold in Vancouver at the 2010 Games and became the first female Alpine skier to appear on the box. 15 of 19 Kristi Yamaguchi Courtesy of the General Mills Archives The figure skater won gold at the 1992 Albertville Games, making her the first Asian American to win figure skating gold. She was also the second Asian American woman to win Olympic gold in any sport, according to the Olympics website. Vicki Draves was first to win two gold medals in diving in 1948. 16 of 19 Janet Evans Courtesy of the General Mills Archives The four-time gold medal winner is one of the greatest female distance swimmers of all time. She was featured on the box in 2016 and tweeted about the proud moment. "Look what I found in the cereal aisle this afternoon!" she wrote, tagging @wheaties and adding a photo of herself smiling while holding up two boxes with her photo on them. 17 of 19 Jackie Joyner-Kersee Courtesy of the General Mills Archives The legendary track and field star won gold in the heptathlon in Barcelona 1992 and once in Seoul 1988. She also won gold at the Games in Korea in the long jump, and was named the greatest female athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated. 18 of 19 Edwin Moses Courtesy of the General Mills Archives The two-time gold medalist dominated at the hurdles and joined Greg Louganis and Janet Evans in getting a box in 2016. "I was very impressed, because I know it's a very prestigious honor to be on the box of Wheaties," he said to General Mills. "Several icons in track and field, and people that I know, have been on the box ... so it's quite an honor to be included among that subset of athletes." 19 of 19 Apolo Anton Ohno Courtesy of the General Mills Archives The speed skater is one of the most decorated athletes in Winter Games history, having won eight medals — two of which are gold.