For athletes all over the world, it takes a lifetime of hard work, dedication and sacrifice to make it to the Olympics. As spectators, we get just a glimpse into their incredible achievements every two years. While some athletes return again and again to compete in the Olympics, many move on to other careers after only one go.
Here’s what some of our favorite American Olympians have accomplished since their memorable medal moments.
This member of the Fierce Five U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and came home with both a gold and a silver medal. She was also unwittingly inspired the popular “not impressed” meme when she scrunched her face up in disappointment after botching one of her landings and getting the silver medal instead of the gold.
After retiring two years ago, the gymnast is now an aspiring musician. Maroney was one of dozens of gymnasts who came forward about sexual abuse suffered at the hands of U.S. gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar. Chrissy Teigen famously offered to pay any legal penalties Maroney may have incurred from speaking out, as the gymnast had signed a non-disclosure agreement.
Kerri Walsh Jennings
Competing with partner May-Treanor, the beach volleyball star won three consecutive gold medals. She returned for a fifth Olympics in Rio de Janeiro with new partner, April Ross, and brought home an emotional bronze medal after defeating the Brazilian team. She took time off, but is now gearing up for a sixth and final Olympics. Walsh Jennings is married to professional beach-volleyball player Casey Jennings, and they have three kids.
Raisman competed in both the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympic Games and has three gold, two silver and one bronze to her name. She was famously part of the Fierce Five, who helped the U.S. team win gold in 2012, and did just as well in 2016 with the Final Five.
Since then, she’s shown her strength in the courtroom during the trial of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. She also spoke at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards and competed on “Dancing with the Stars.”
The figure skater competed in two Winter Olympics in the 1990s and brought home a bronze and a silver amidst a fierce and fraught rivalry with fellow American skater Tonya Harding. She has continued performing with roles in Broadway on Ice, Skating with Celebrities and on “Dancing with the Stars.” She also wrote two books about her experiences on the ice. Kerrigan is married with three kids, and she’s been vocal about the devastation of having suffered several miscarriages.
The two-time Olympian was the first woman to successfully land the incredibly difficult triple axel jump in competition. However, she became better known for the scandal surrounding Kerrigan’s attack prior to the 1994 Winter Olympics.
Since then, she’s hopped into the ring as a boxer and recently competed on “Dancing with the Stars.” Additionally, the biopic, “I, Tonya,” brought her story back into the spotlight last year. Harding is married with one child.
The figure skater won gold in the Albertville Winter Olympics in 1992. She went pro soon after, competing in professional tournaments and touring with Stars on Ice. These days, she mentors young skaters — including Karen Chen, who competed in Pyeongchang earlier this year — and works for children’s literacy with the Always Dream Foundation.
Yamaguchi is married with two daughters, and she co-authored a children’s book — “Dream Big, Little Pig!” — in 2011.
She was a key player on the U.S. women’s soccer team in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics, and helped the team bring home two gold medals and one silver. Her championship-winning goal and enthusiastic sports bra-baring World Cup celebration made her an icon and put her on the cover of “Sports Illustrated.” Now, she’s coaching at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California.
Chastain is married with one son and stepson.
One of the greatest female soccer players of all time and a leading goal-scorer, she helped the U.S. women’s team win gold medals in the 1996 and 2004 Summer Olympics, as well as two World Cup titles in 1991 and 1999. Now she has three children with husband Nomar Garciaparra, is a board member of the major Italian club Roma, and is a minority owner of the newly-formed Los Angeles Football Club.
“Awesome Dawesome” won gold in 1996 as part of the Magnificent Seven U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team and competed in two other Olympics. She’s since branched out from tumbling and has appeared in “Grease” on Broadway, and was a co-chair on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition with fellow athlete Drew Brees during President Barack Obama’s administration. Dawes is now married with one child.
Mary Lou Retton
This gymnast won a historic gold at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. She received perfect 10s on her vault and became the first American gymnast to win gold. She also brought home two silver and two bronze medals.
The two-time Olympian is the most decorated American gymnast with two gold, two silver and three bronze medals. She is most famous for winning gold in 1996 as part of the Magnificent Seven U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team.
Since then, she’s battled ovarian cancer and become a women’s health advocate. Miller is married with two children.
This high-energy skater won gold at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. At 15, she was youngest skater to do so. She’s stayed in the spotlight, since appearing on a variety of TV shows and co-hosting Olympic specials with fellow former Olympian and figure skater Johnny Weir.
This impressive sprinter competed in four Summer Olympics between 1984 and 1996. In that time, he brought home nine Olympic medals, including eight gold, and set the records for the 100-meter and 200-meter sprinting events and the long jump.
He’s since switched to politics, but his winning streak hasn’t translated in the political arena — yet. Nevertheless, he has continued to receive athletic accolades, having been named the International Association of Athletics Federations’ World Athlete of the Century and the International Olympic Committee’s Sportsman of the Century.
While competing in four Olympics from 1984 to 1996, she won three gold medals, one silver and two bronze in the heptathlon and long jump events. “Sports Illustrated for Women” recognized her accomplishments and named her the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century.
She eventually swapped the track for the basketball court and played for the Richmond Rage, which was part of the American Basketball League, a short-lived women’s professional basketball league. She also co-founded the charity Athletes for Hope, which helps athletes connect to nonprofits.
Wearing his signature gold shoes, he sprinted into the record books in the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. He also has a relay gold medal from the 4×400 event in the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics, and defended his 400-meter title in the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics.
Since then, he’s been a BBC commentator, started a sports management company for Olympic athletes and released “Survival of the Fastest,” a documentary about African-American runners. He’s married with one child.
Arguably the greatest snowboarder of all time, White has won three gold medals in halfpipe and competed in four Winter Olympics. He hasn’t strayed far from the slopes since, but is focusing his training on prepping for a Summer Olympic bid in skateboarding in 2020.
The diver made history when he won gold medals in the springboard and platform competitions at the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics. He published his autobiography, “Breaking the Surface,” in 2006, and has been an activist for HIV awareness and gay rights as well as the sports director for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. Louganis married his partner, Johnny Chaillot, in 2013.
Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a whopping 23 golds, three silvers and two bronzes. The “Flying Fish” retired after the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics, and has since been making headlines of a different sort with his growing family, and with the charitable efforts of his Michael Phelps Foundation. Phelps and fellow swimmer Bob Bowman partnered with Aqua Sphere to create swimwear and gear, and Phelps has spoken publicly about his struggles with depression.
The record-breaking five-time Olympian has brought home four gold, four silver and four bronze medals in her lengthy swimming career. She competed in her first Olympic games in 1984, and the last in 2008. She failed to qualify to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
She is one-half of a dynamic beach volleyball duo and, along with Kerri Walsh Jennings, won Olympic gold medals in 2004, 2008 and 2012. She retired in 2012 and now produces a video series called “Full-Life Hacks” to motivate families to be more active. May-Treanor is married to baseball player Matt Treanor, and they have three kids.
This American speed skater is one of the most decorated Olympic athletes of all time. She competed in four Olympics and won five gold medals and one bronze medal. Now, she’s a motivational speaker and serves on the board of the Pettit National Ice Center. She hasn’t strayed far from the ice, though. She continues to cheer for her speed-skating daughter Blair Cruikshank.
The short track speed skater has two gold, two silver and four bronze medals after competing in three Winter Olympics between 2002 and 2010. He also won Dancing with the Stars and switched to acting after his final Olympics. He has appeared in “Hawaii Five-O,” “Superstore” and more.
Between 1996 and 2008, the basketball player and four-time Olympian won four gold medals and set multiple U.S. records for scoring, rebounding and blocking. She has stayed close to the court as a sports commentator for multiple networks and as a co-owner of her former team, the Los Angeles Sparks. She has also starred in a variety of TV shows and movies, and is married with two kids.
In an incredible show of athletic achievement, Jenner won gold in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Eventually, Jenner became a reality TV star as husband to Kris Kardashian, on the show “Keeping up with Kardashians.” More recently, she came out as a transgender woman, Caitlyn, and has written a memoir and starred in a show about her life experience.
We can’t get over how amazing these athletes continue to be, even after they’ve left the Olympics behind.