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Famous People who were Olympians

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No mention of Bob Mathias yet? Two time winner of the Olympic decathlon and former US Congressman?

Well, some Olympians eventually move on to some position of appeal and renown. They've used their golden Olympic moments as a springboard to do other things in life.

Mathias was a film actor too before he went into politics. Two big roles of his:

- as Theseus in the first "Minotaur: the Beast from Crete" film (like 1960); and

- IT HAPPENED IN ATHENS (1961 or '62) a very droll comedy about the 1896 Olympic Games!!

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Actually is kind of surprising how few Olympics go on to other major endevours. Since Barcelona roughly what? 35 to 40,000 athletes have taken part. And very few Olympians have achieved fame outside of the realm of sport. You would think such driven people would achieve more.

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Actually is kind of surprising how few Olympics go on to other major endevours. Since Barcelona roughly what? 35 to 40,000 athletes have taken part. And very few Olympians have achieved fame outside of the realm of sport. You would think such driven people would achieve more.

well, while others become coaches, I think they settle into more humdrum lives -- academia, profession or some self-business. The years training for an Olympics takes the best years of your life.

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@int...I CAN READ. And at least he qualified who that Vanessa person was. Don't assume that everyone knows or had heard of her. Besides the thread is ABOUT Olympians who have become famous afterwards in OTHER fields. But you inserted something that is the opposite plus somebody I never really heard of!

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@int...I CAN READ. And at least he qualified who that Vanessa person was. Don't assume that everyone knows or had heard of her. Besides the thread is ABOUT Olympians who have become famous afterwards in OTHER fields. But you inserted something that is the opposite plus somebody I never really heard of!

You really didn't acknowledge it and you directed the point towards me so what would you expect me to assume?

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I know Jenner did. Spitz may have guested in a couple of shows but he concentrated on his dentistry career and just indulged in celebrity spotlight when I think it made him some extra $$.

Spitz attempted a comeback in 1992 but that didn't work out so well when going head to head with Matt Biondi and Pablo Morales on ABC.

The acting stuff Jenner did that I know of were of course, the "so bad it's good" Can't Stop The Music movie (featuring the Village People and Steve Guttenberg) and the movie involving the first white Grambling University white football player--Jenner was the main protagonist in that. Jenner just didn't age very well as that then and now shot displays.

Dennis Weaver tried out for the Olympics as a decathlete and finished sixth in the US Olympic Trials before becoming MacLeod on TV.

Anita DeFrantz's greater legacy was after her rowing days to be in the IOC.

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u peepz forgot about the greatest one.

The great, the only: Giant Silva! (gianto silba in japonese)

My eyes fill with tears just by talking about such a legend!

Video about him:

He played basketball for Brasil in the '88 and '92 Olympics IIRC.


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Yeah, sort of. Altho the film is a lie because he and the GB team knew MONTHS in advance that that competition was going to be held on a Sunday. The screenwriter just used his 'artistic license' to create some drama. But for the most part, the whole conflict was manufactured.

Just read something in David Wallachinsky's book: the idea of Anglo-Saxons' aversion to competing (then) on the Sabbath (which is the crux of the CHARIOTS OF FIRE film) apparently first took place in Paris 1900 when the T&F competition was thrown into confusion because some of the US athletes refused to compete on a Sunday.

Sound familiar?? :rolleyes:

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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What about Magic Johnson, from the '92 Dream Team?

Does he really count though? Him and his teammates (except for Christian Laettner and how he was chosen ahead of Isaiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins and Shaq O'Neal still puzzles me, although I heard that Michael Jordan hated Thomas)were pretty famous heading into the Olympics. Among the American athletes, they were among the most famous coming in. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Charles Barkely, Clyde Drexler, Scottie Pippen, Chris Mullin, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing and Christian Laettner (the only one on that team who's had a mediocre NBA career) were the team.

I'm not sure, but I think the topic is about those who became famous after the Olympics.

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I'm not sure, but I think the topic is about those who became famous after the Olympics.

yes, that's why MJ, etc., haven't been mentioned because they were already mid-career famous when they jumped on the O bandwagon. Leave some spotlight for others. All those vain, dumb NBA, NFL 'names' can't hog all the spotlight all the time.

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  • 3 months later...

This would be a really nice one to add to the list...

As motorsport continues to come to terms with the death of Dan Wheldon in an Indycar accident a few weeks ago, this weekend there was a heart warming story of a driver who himself was once caught up in an accident on an oval, lost his legs as a result, but has found a new outlet for his competitive drive.

Former Lotus, Jordan and Williams driver Alessandro Zanardi won Sunday's New York City Marathon's handcycle division yesterday with a time of 1 hour, 13 minutes and 58 seconds.

Zanardi lost his legs in an accident in 2001 and since then returned to racing with the World Touring Car championship. He started racing in marathons in 2007 and finished fourth on his first attempt in New York two years ago. He won the 2009 Venice Marathon and 2010 Rome Marathon.

Zanardi is hoping to compete in the London 2012 Paralympics representing Italy and to do that needs to accumulate enough points from events like the New York Marathon, in order to be invited to compete in London. It appears he's well on his way to achieving his goal.


Alex Zanardi has been confirmed as a member of the Italian team for this year's London Paralympics.

The two-time CART champion and former F1 driver, who has spent the past few years competing successfully in marathons and time trials in the handbike class, will be one of 10 athletes to make up Italy's paracycling team.



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Noted percussionist Vinx was good enough to qualify for the 1980 US Olympic team as a triple jumper out of Kansas St. with the second-best jump of that year only to have been denied by Jimmy Carter's boycott. He later signed to Sting's record label Pangea and performed on the Arsenio Hall Show and in Montreux.

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Olympic Gold Medalists Who Lost Their Lives in World War II

A theme of the Olympics is to encourage peaceful competition among nations. The five interlocking rings of the Olympic logo are in colors represented in the flags of every nation. However, since the first modern games were held in 1896, there have been many wars. The most devastating was World War II, which lasted from 1939 to 1945. During that time, when millions of people died, among them were Olympians who had won gold medals.

U.S. Olympians Who Died In World War II

The most famous was General George S. Patton, Jr., who led American troops to victory in African and European campaigns, earned his gold in the 1912 Pentathlon Equestrian event in Stockholm. General Patton, who also served in World War I, survived combat in WWII. However, in 1945, he was killed in a Heidelberg automobile accident several months after Germany's surrender (but before Japan's surrender ended the war).

Charles Paddock, who also served in WWI, won gold medals in 1920 in Antwerp and 1924 in Paris in track events. He lost his life in a WWII Army Air Corps aircraft crash in Sitka, Alaska, in 1943.

Foy Draper was a relay race teammate of Jesse Owens when the American team won a gold medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He was an Army Air Corps pilot, and was killed when his plane was shot down during the African Campaign in 1943.

The German Who Helped Jesse Owens Win Gold

Popular opinion at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin was that German long-jumper Carl Ludwig Long would easily win the event. In initial heats, he noticed his main rival, American Jesse Owens, fouling on his first attempts. Long took Owens aside and showed him how to correct his approach. The result was that Owens won the gold, and Long had to settle for silver. Long, an officer in the German army, was killed in Africa in 1943.

The Japanese Gold Medalist Who Died On Iwo Jima

Takeichi Nishi won an equestrian gold medal at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. Japanese Army Colonel Nishi was killed in combat on Iwo Jima in World War II. A character in the 2006 Clint Eastwood film, "Letters from Iwo Jima" was based on Nishi.

Gold Medalists Who Perished In WWII Prisons

Four Hungarians who won Olympic gold in fencing died in World War II German concentration camps in 1944. Oszkar Gerde earned two, one each in 1908 in London and 1912 in Stockholm. Janos Garay won his gold in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. Endre Kabos earned a gold medal in the 1932 Los Angeles games and two more in 1936 in Berlin. Attila Petschauer won gold in the 1928 games, and again in the 1932 Olympics.


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However, just this past August, M. Quinon committed suicide. Was he feeling guilty that he denied 2 Americans what should have been theirs in 1984? I sure hope he was!! cool.gif

One of the most disgusting posts I've ever seen. You are sick; get help.
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Pál Schmitt

President of Hungary from 2010 to 2012. He was a successful fencer in his youth, winning the team épée gold medal at the 1968 and 1972 Summer Olympics. Later, he became a diplomat, serving as an ambassador during the 1990s and was a Vice President of the European Parliament from 2009 to 2010. After briefly serving as Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary in 2010, Schmitt was elected as President of Hungary.


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Here could be a new contender - and she has two Olympic claims - first Australian aboriginal to win a gold (now THAT'S a good one in a trivia quiz seeing as most people would think Cathy Freeman), and she was the first torchbearer on Australian soil in 2000 when she greeted the flame when it landed at Uluru:


Endorse Peris for senate: Gillard

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has thrown her support behind Olympian Nova Peris as a senate candidate in the Northern Territory.

Ms Gillard will ask the Australian Labor Party to endorse the indigenous athlete and Olympic hockey gold medallist as a candidate.

"Her passion for health and education makes her the right choice to succeed Senator Trish Crossin," Ms Gillard says.

Ms Gillard said Labor, from Gough Whitlam's time, has had much to be proud of in its indigenous policy and achievements.


But she was also "very troubled" that Labor had never had an indigenous federal Labor member of parliament.

Ms Gillard said Nova was a household name and many remembered her sporting triumphs, winning an Olympic gold medal in hockey at the 1996 games.

"What they show is grit and determination to get things done and I am very admiring of that grit and determination," she said.

"I believe Nova will make a great contribution in the federal parliament for the Labor Party for the Northern Territory and for the nation, not just because of that grit and determination but because of the work she has done since her sporting career on building opportunities for young Australians."

Ms Gillard said she was the first Aboriginal Australian to win Olympic gold.

"I want her to be the first Aboriginal woman to sit in the federal parliament," she said.

Ms Gillard also announced that Senator Crossin would not be contesting this year's election.

She said Senator Crossin had done some "amazing" things since she was first elected in 1998.

"She is a proud Territorian and she has spent a lot of time making sure this parliament never forgets the views and perspectives of the Northern Territory as we make policies and plans," Ms Gillard said.

The senator has served with distinction on many parliament committees, "and she is doing that even today", Ms Gillard said.

Senator Crossin will continue to serve until the election.

Ms Gillard said that Senator Crossin would be making a statement later about stepping aside.

She confirmed that Ms Peris would be number one on the ALP Senate ticket for the Northern Territory.

"I have decided on this occasion to engage in a captain's pick," Ms Gillard said.

"Nova has a track record which shows she will make a great contribution in federal parliament, but that's not to diminish the work of others."

Ms Gillard said the Labor Party had a number of indigenous members in the NT and Australia-wide.

Ms Peris thanked the prime minister for the "amazing opportunity" to stand for Labor pre-selection for a Northern Territory seat in the senate.

"I stand here before you all today not only as an Australian but also as a proud Aboriginal women, proud of my heritage and culture," Ms Peris said.

I certainly understand the significance of this opportunity, and I am very honoured and humbled by this, prime minister."

Ms Peris attributed the CLP victory at last year's NT poll to hard work by the CLP and Labor taking their eye off the mark.

But she said that was now unravelling for the CLP.

"As an Aboriginal woman I have seen and I've been around the ropes long and hard enough to know that Aboriginal people have been disappointed with government for a long time, hence the intervention," she said.

"I was in the midst of that and I saw firsthand that you can have policies but if you don't have the right people implementing it, it's never going to work."

Ms Peris said she was proud, honoured and humbled to be part of Labor.

"We are working very hard to win the next election and get the right people working," she said.

Asked whether she fully supported the intervention, Ms Peris said she believed something needed to be done but the way the intervention was implemented was wrong.

"This government has the stronger futures legislation which now hopefully I'll be a big part of that to ensure that voices of aboriginal Australia is actually heard here at a federal level," she said.

"And I can ensure that these new programs are implemented the correct way."

"I am all about being successful," Ms Peris said.

"I want to be the best person that I can possibly be for the Australian youth and aboriginal Australia. And I am going to give it one hell of a go."

Ms Gillard said it was a matter of national significance for the Labor Party to put forward an indigenous Australian in a winnable position at a federal election.


The Age

Edited by Sir Rols
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