Life After Gold: Where Famous USA Olympians Are Today

Athletes | 8/26/20

From a young age, Olympic athletes train tirelessly in hopes of becoming the best in the world at their respective sports. It begs the question, though, after they’ve competed, stood on the podium listing to the national anthem, and traveled back home, where do these mega-athletes end up?

As it turns out, most of them don’t stray too far from their beloved sport. Track and field star Carl Lewis went on to be an assistant coach at his alma mater. And Shawn Johnson is teaching her daughter how to stick a balance beam landing worthy of gold. For the rest, you’re going to have to keep reading to find out!

Tommie Smith – Track And Field

Tommie Smith
Eddie Sanderson/Mirrorpix/Getty Images; David Livingston/Getty Images
Eddie Sanderson/Mirrorpix/Getty Images; David Livingston/Getty Images

Track and field star Tommie Smith was breaking records and making a name for himself in the sport since high school. But it was during the 1968 Olympic Games where we made history. Smith became the first runner to break the 20-second barrier in the 200-meter sprint, crossing the finish line in 19.83 seconds and winning gold in the process.

His and John Carlos’ Black Power salute while standing on the medal podium is still considered a symbol of the Black Power Movement. Today, he’s been awarded for his stand against racism all those years ago, being inducted into the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame.