Then: Caitlyn Jenner
Bruce Jenner, now Caitlyn Jenner, became an Olympic star in the mid-'70s. She finished in tenth place in the decathlon at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. While she didn't medal that time, Jenner was inspired and motivated by Mykola Avilov who won the event and was determined to win. She trained for hours each day until the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976.
Jenner had broken several personal records in the first day of the Olympics, alone. Jenner got second place behind Guido Kretschmer of West Germany. In Jenner's final event, the 1500 meter, Jenner set another personal record and won the gold medal and set a world-record score of 8,618 points. In 1980, she was inducted in the United States National Track and Field Hall of Fame, followed by the Olympic Hall of Fame in 1986.
Now: Caitlyn Jenner
Jenner would have a successful career in business, television and other enterprises that would give her a comfortable life for years to come, famously marrying Kris Kardashian in 1991. Although it was a surprise to many, Jenner came out as a transgender woman in April 2015 in a 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer. She described her gender dysphoria that she had since she was a child and how she was now ready to be herself.
Jenner underwent cosmetic surgery at first and in 2017 underwent sexual reassignment surgery. She began calling herself Caitlyn Jenner and was a hero to the trans community for a time. Then, due to certain political leanings, much of the trans community felt betrayed. As of 2021, Caitlyn Jenner announced that she would be running Governor of California in the 2021 recall gubernatorial election.
Then: Nadia Comaneci
Nadia Comaneci was a five-time gold medalist representing Romania at the 1976 and 1980 Olympics. At the age of 14, she was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score at the Olympic games. She earned six more perfect scores at the very same Olympics in Montreal and ended up earning three gold medals. In 1980, at the Olympic games in Moscow, she earned two more perfect 10 scores and won two more gold medals.
Winning a total of nine medals, Nadia Comaneci is undoubtedly one of the greatest Olympic gymnasts of all time. She is widely credited with popularizing the sport around the world, and has been an inspiration to numerous Olympic hopefuls. But what happened to Nadia and where is she now?
Now: Nadia Comaneci
Since 1989, Nadia Comaneci has been living in the United States. She married a fellow gymnast and became a naturalized citizen in 2001. She has been retired from gymnastics as of 1984, officially.
Today, Nadia Comaneci is all grown up. She resides in Norman, Oklahoma with her husband Bart Conner. In 2006, they had had a son together and has been an active participant in the Olympic games, serving as a commentator at the 2008 Olympics and carrying the torch for the 2012 Olympic games in London. She is 59 years old as of 2021.
Then: Muhammed Ali
Muhammed Ali was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. From the age of just 12 years old, he began training as an amateur boxer. When he was just 18 years old, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics. That very same year he turned professional fighter.
Formerly known as Cassius Clay, he would not become Muhammed Ali until 1964, after converting to Islam. Considered to be one of the greatest boxers of all time, he was the very first fighter to win the world heavyweight championship on three occasions. In addition to his fight in the ring, he hlso fought the good fight out of the ring, championing for social change while also refusing to serve in the armed forces.
Now: Muhammed Ali
At the end of his life, Muhammed Ali was active in politics, humanitarian efforts and philanthropy. He donated millions of dollars to charity and it has been estimated that he helped feed more than 22 million people suffering from hunger around the world. In the '80s, Ali was recruited as a diplomat by President Jimmy Carter to persuade Africa to boycott the Moscow Olympics – although the mission was a failure.
Ali became affected by Parkinson's disease in the late '90s, and working alongside Michael J. Fox, they raised awareness of the disease together. His health continued to decline and by 2013, Ali's brother said he could no longer speak. In 2016, Ali was hospitalized due to a respiratory illness and dies shortly after.
Then: Lindsey Vonn
Lindsey Vonn was the first American woman gold medalist to win the downhill at the Olympics in the winter of 2010. In addition to her Olympic victory, she has won four World Cup overall championships. On top of this, she's one of only six women to have won the World Cup races in all five disciplines of alpine skiing.
While Vonn had planned to compete in all five women's alpine events, she had bruised her shin while training. Many believed this to have an affect on her ability to compete. Vonn suffered from a few crashes and falls. She would compete at the Olympics again in 2018, where she won a bronze in women's downhill.
Now: Lindsey Vonn
In 2019, Lindsey Vonn announced that she was retiring from competition, regardless of any success she may have had that year. And indeed, she did retire and has not been back to skiing again. HBO released a documentary about Vonn in 2019 titled Lindsey Vonn: The Final Season. The unscripted documentary covers her final World Championship season and her journey as a child prodigy to how she became a world champion skier.
In 2020, Lindsey Vonn had announced an engagement to hockey player P.K. Subban. Their breakup, however, was announced in December of that year, on Instagram.
Then: Shawn Johnson
Shawn Johnson was a former artistic gymnast and more importantly a 2008 balance beam gold medalist in Beijing. She also won a silver medal for the all-around and floor exercise competition. In 2009, she competed in the dance competition show, "Dancing with the Stars."
After the Olympic games, Johnson suffered an injury while skiing that would ultimately lead to the decline of her career. She tore her left ACL while skiing and had to have reconstructive surgery. Recovery from the surgery would take a while and her knee would never be the same.
Now: Shawn Johnson
Despite her plans to return to the Olympics in 2012, she just couldn't given her knee problems. She decided against competing in the 2012 Olympics. She would once again appear on "Dancing with the Stars" in 2012, however.
Shawn Johnson East is now married to football player Andrew east. They both run a Youtube channel that they both star in. In 2019, they announced their first child together, a daughter named Drew and in March 2021 they announced they were expecting a second child.
Then: Venus and Serena Williams
Venus and Serena Williams are among the most recognizable names in tennis. Alone, Venus has won seven Grand Slam titles, while Serena has won 23 Grand Slam titles. In doubles, the pair earned 14 Grand slam titles. And given their record, it's no surprise that they have played at the Olympics.
Venus and Serena Williams went to the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and the London Olympics in 2012. Together they earned a gold medal in the doubles tournament for both Olympic games. They also each won gold medals in the singles tournament at both games, which means they have four Olympic gold medals between the two of them.
Now: Venus and Serena
In 2021, Venus made her 90th record-breaking Grand Slam appearance, while also winning 90th match at Wimbledon. She continues to play tennis, while also running some businesses on the side, such as running an interior design firm. In 2010, she released her first book, Come to Win; on How Sports Can Help You Top Your Profession.
Serena Williams took a break from tennis back in 2017, although not a long one, to give birth to her daughter Alexis. She attempted to return to tennis that December but recognizing it was too soon, didn't return until later in 2018. In 2020, she won her first title since her pregnancy. In May 2021, Serena played the 1000th match of her career at the Italian Open. In addition to her successful tennis career, she's also an activist, philanthropist and writer.
Then: Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps is widely considered to be the greatest Olympic athlete of all time - with more medals than any other athlete. Michael Phelps competed at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics and the 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics.
With 28 medals total, Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time. he even has the most Olympic gold medals with 23 total. He won his 23rd gold medal at Rio de Janeiro when he was 31 years old, which is beyond the typical peak for most male swimmers.
Now: Michael Phelps
In addition to his obvious swimming talents, he also holds a record for the longest putt in golf at 53 yards. He's also done some philanthropic work, raising money for the Michael Phelps Foundation, which helps promote healthy, active lifestyles for children.
Michael Phelps is now married to Miss California USA Nicole Johnson and has been since 2018. They have three sons together. In 2018, Phelps revealed that he struggles with both ADHD and depression, a revelation that has helped others who suffer the same, proving that even the most successful people are not invulnerable to mental disorders.
Then: Tonya Harding
Tonya Harding is a former American figure skater who became an Olympic star in the 1990s. Born in Oregon, Tonya Harding trained as a figure skater at a young age, even dropping out of high school to train full-time. She climbed the ranks of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and won the 1989 Skate America competition.
In January 1994, Tonya Harding competed at the 1994 Winter Olympics. There, her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly had orchestrated an attack on Nancy Kerrigan. It didn't help Harding win, however, as Kerrigan won the silver medal and Harding finished in eighth place. the assault also resulted in Tonya Harding getting banned from the United States Figure Skating Association.
Now: Tonya Harding
Harding had confessed to knowing about the attack but has insisted that she had no role in planning the attack. Nevertheless, it effectively ended her career as a skater. And despite the fact that she never actually won any gold medals, the historic moment in the Olympics has made her famous.
Harding was recently the subject of a film, "I, Tonya" and even the subject of many memes on the internet. She occasionally has television appearances, including interviews and competition shows like a celebrity edition of "Worst Cooks in America" and "Dancing with the Stars."