Past Olympics made Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas and more superstars. Where are they now?

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The Olympics can do more than showcase the world’s best athletes and inspire national pride; they also can create the next global superstar.

Michael Phelps. Kerri Strug. Gabby Douglas. They’ve all become household names after millions watched them snatch those medals in their respective Games.

From endorsement deals to movies, so many Olympic champions have channeled their fame into lucrative careers and nonprofit work to help promote the love of sports to the next generation.

We took a look at some of the biggest superstars from past Summer Olympics to see what they’re up to after returning home with the gold.

Michael Phelps: 28 medals. Phelps has earned 23 gold, three silver and 2 bronze medals in his career. He is the most decorated American Olympic athlete in history. Phelps' Olympic career spanned from 2000-2016.
Michael Phelps: 28 medals. Phelps has earned 23 gold, three silver and 2 bronze medals in his career. He is the most decorated American Olympic athlete in history. Phelps' Olympic career spanned from 2000-2016.

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps' 28 medals spanning five Games is unrivaled, and no other Olympic athlete comes close to his 23 gold medals.

The swimmer made his mark on the Games starting over 20 years ago at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, when, at 15 years old, he became the youngest man on U.S. Olympic swim team in 68 years.

Phelps' last Olympic appearance was at the 2016 Rio Games, and since hanging up his swimming hat, he's been focusing on his own brand of swimwear and training gear. The first Phelps product launched in 2015, and the brand was relaunched in July 2020.

In addition to his business, Phelps is engaged in a variety of philanthropy. He used his $1 million Speedo bonus after the 2008 Games to set up the Michael Phelps Foundation. In 2018, Phelps revealed he struggled with ADHD and depression and now works as a mental health advocate.

Phelps has three kids — Boomer, Beckett and Maverick — with wife Nicole.

'I felt chills going up my body': Michael Phelps returns as fan to site of so many swimming triumphs

Greg Louganis, diving. Olympics: 1976, 1984, 1988. Medals: 5 (4 gold, 1 silver). Louganis, who was both a springboard and platform diver, is the only man from any country to win four gold medals in diving.
Greg Louganis, diving. Olympics: 1976, 1984, 1988. Medals: 5 (4 gold, 1 silver). Louganis, who was both a springboard and platform diver, is the only man from any country to win four gold medals in diving.

Greg Louganis

Hailed as the greatest diver of all time, Greg Louganis won a silver medal in the 1976 Montreal Games before securing consecutive gold medals in springboard and platform at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul games.

In 1994, Louganis became one of the first high-profile athletes to come out as gay and HIV positive. He has since questioned if his sexual orientation and HIV status contributed to a lack of jobs and sponsorships since leaving the sport, Reuters reported.

The 61-year-old has spent the last several years as the sports director for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, according to a 2020 interview with People.

In 2013, Louganis married his partner, Johnny Chaillot, but announced on his Instagram on June 18 that the couple would end their marriage.

Protect youth athletes: Navratilova, Louganis, Mendoza among those pushing Congress

Eight-time gold medal-winning sprinter Usain Bolt
Eight-time gold medal-winning sprinter Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt won a total of eight Olympic medals during appearances at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 games. He swept the 100 and 200 meters at all three Games and helped Jamaica win the 4x100 relay in two of them.

After retiring from track and field in 2017, Bolt first turned his attention to his other sporting love: soccer. More recently, he dove into music, producing several songs and has spoken about wanting to bring Jamaica's dancehall genre to an international audience.

In May 2020, Bolt and his girlfriend, Kasi Bennett, welcomed their first child — a daughter named Olympia Lightning. Bennett gave birth to twin boys, St. Leo and Thunder, earlier this summer.

Thunder and Saint Leo: Usain Bolt shares first photo of newborn twin sons

Bela Karolyi holds Kerri Strug after the USA team won the gold medal Tuesday in team gymnastics finals in Atlanta. Strug injured her leg on a vault when she landed short, but bravely came through on her second. Karolyi carried Strug to the medal ceremony creating one of the most iconic images in sports.
Bela Karolyi holds Kerri Strug after the USA team won the gold medal Tuesday in team gymnastics finals in Atlanta. Strug injured her leg on a vault when she landed short, but bravely came through on her second. Karolyi carried Strug to the medal ceremony creating one of the most iconic images in sports.

Kerri Strug

Kerri Strug went down in gymnastics history after an infamous vault at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia — dropping to her knees after sticking her landing on an injured ankle.

Strug’s coach, Béla Károlyi carried her to the podium to receive her award beside her teammates on the 1996 women’s gymnastics team known as the "Magnificent Seven."

Following her Olympic achievements, Strug attended UCLA and then Stanford University, where she would earn a master’s degree in sociology. Strug worked as an elementary school teacher in San Jose, California, before moving to Washington D.C., and working in the White House Office of Presidential Student Correspondence, the Treasury Department and more.

Today, Strug splits her time between Arizona and Washington, D.C., and she has two children.

Where is Kerri Strug now?: A look at life and career of Olympics gymnastics star since 1996 Summer Games

'Let's show them who's boss': Nine times Team USA won more than gold at the Olympic Games

Gabby Douglas was part of the U.S. team that won Olympic gold in Rio. She also won Olympic all-around gold and team gold in 2012.
Gabby Douglas was part of the U.S. team that won Olympic gold in Rio. She also won Olympic all-around gold and team gold in 2012.

Gabby Douglas

A breakout star of the 2012 London Olympics when she helped the U.S. women's gymnastics team win gold, Gabby Douglas last competed in the 2016 Rio Games.

Since coming forward as one of the victims of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, Douglas has been an outspoken advocate for mental health and anti-racism in gymnastics.

In February, Douglas won the inaugural season of Fox's "The Masked Dancer," performing as "Cotton Candy." Her winning performance was set to "This is Me" from "The Greatest Showman." She starred in Hallmark's "Love, of Course" in 2018 and played a role in the 2019 film "Same Difference."

'The Olympic Games really did a number on me': Gabby Douglas empathizes with Naomi Osaka

Dominique Dawes performs on the balance beam during the finals of the Coca-Cola National Gymnastics Championships Saturday, June 8, 1996 in Knoxville, Tenn.. Dawes scored a 9.862 on the beam to win that event.
Dominique Dawes performs on the balance beam during the finals of the Coca-Cola National Gymnastics Championships Saturday, June 8, 1996 in Knoxville, Tenn.. Dawes scored a 9.862 on the beam to win that event.

Dominique Dawes

Dominique Dawes was a member of the iconic 1996 U.S. gymnastics team, nicknamed the Magnificent Seven, for the Olympic Games in Atlanta. She became the first Black person to win an individual medal in Olympic gymnastics.

She earned the nickname "Awesome Dawesome" and has secured her legacy with inductions into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

Dawes now owns a gymnastics gym, the Dominique Dawes Gymnastics Academy, and has been involved in advocacy work since retiring from elite gymnastics.

She served as president of the Women's Sports Foundation from 2004-06, and in 2010 she was appointed to co-chair President Barack Obama's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

Where is she now?: Four-time Olympic medalist Dominique Dawes is training the next generation of gymnasts

McKayla Maroney reacts on the podium after winning the silver medal in the vault competition at North Greenwich Arena in the London 2012 Olympic Games. Her reaction ended up being on of the most viral moments of the games.
McKayla Maroney reacts on the podium after winning the silver medal in the vault competition at North Greenwich Arena in the London 2012 Olympic Games. Her reaction ended up being on of the most viral moments of the games.

McKayla Maroney

A member of the U.S. Olympic gymnastic team's 2012 gold-medal team, McKayla Maroney further cemented her place in history when she won a silver medal in that year's individual vault competition.

A photo of Maroney's "not impressed" reaction as she stood on the podium for her silver medal became one of the top viral sensations of the year as the face that launched a thousand memes.

Maroney retired from the sport in 2016. The 25-year-old is currently working on a book detailing her story and the lessons she learned from elite gymnastics. On May 18, Maroney wrote on Twitter that "It felt too hard to write about before, but I'm ready now."

Best Olympic memes in years past: Michael Phelps' face, Usain Bolt's running smile

July 21, 1996: Mia Hamm celebrates after scoring a goal against Denmark at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. during the 1996 Olympics. The U.S. beat Denmark, 3-0, in the first game of the women's soccer tournament and would go on to win the gold medal.
July 21, 1996: Mia Hamm celebrates after scoring a goal against Denmark at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. during the 1996 Olympics. The U.S. beat Denmark, 3-0, in the first game of the women's soccer tournament and would go on to win the gold medal.

Mia Hamm

Perhaps one of the most recognizable names in women's soccer, Mia Hamm won Olympic gold medals as part of the U.S. team in the 1996 Atlanta Games and again in the 2004 Athens Games. She also won a silver medal on the U.S. women's soccer team in 2000 for the Sydney Olympics.

After retiring from the sport in 2004, Hamm remained involved in soccer through her nonprofit Mia Hamm Foundation, which in part promotes opportunities for young women in sports. She also is a co-owner of soccer club Los Angeles FC.

Earlier this year, Hamm was chosen for the National Women’s Hall of Fame as part of a Class of 2021, joining former first lady Michelle Obama, former PepsiCo Chief Executive Indra Nooyi and retired Brig. Gen. Rebecca Halstead.

Hamm lives in Southern California with her husband, former MLB player Nomar Garciaparra, their twin daughters, Ava and Grace, and son, Garrett.

These women broke historic barriers: Who stood out the year you were born?

Charges filed against Ryan Lochte during the 2016 Olympics in Rio have been dropped.
Charges filed against Ryan Lochte during the 2016 Olympics in Rio have been dropped.

Ryan Lochte

Swimmer Ryan Lochte competed in four Olympic games with his last appearance for Team USA at the 2016 Rio Games in Brazil.

Though he has 12 Olympic medals — six gold, three silver and three bronze — Lochte may also be remembered for two high-profile suspensions.

Lochte was suspended for 10 months when, during the 2016 games, he claimed he and three other American swimmers were robbed in Rio de Janeiro, but then later admitted he exaggerated some descriptions.

The swimmer was suspended for 14 months in 2018 by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for taking a "prohibited intravenous infusion."

Lochte competed in the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials at age 36. He finished seventh in the 200-meter individual medley and did not qualify for a fifth time.After the trials, Lochte said he was still committed to competitive swimming and has no desire to retire.

'This is not the last you’re going to see of me': Ryan Lochte on missing Olympic team

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas: Where the Olympic medalists are now