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September 1, 2014

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Seven Olympic athletes who transitioned to television - VIDEO

by Richard Keller, posted Aug 13th 2008 2:02PM

When I think about the Olympics I don't think about the grandeur of the competitions, the feeling of global community, the individual stories of the athletes, or the mesmerizing synchronized swimming routines. The one thing that comes to mind when I think about the Olympics: anonymity. Out of the thousands of athletes that compete in these games many fade into the daily routine of their countries once the Closing Ceremony is completed.

Yet, there are a handful, particularly the up-and-coming stars of each Olympic games, that remain in the spotlight well after the torch has been extinguished. Some continue into the professional sports realm, others become "experts" in their field, and some jump into another profession altogether. Then there are those who enjoy the television spotlight so much that they remain in the medium in one capacity or another.

Sometimes it's as themselves on other television properties. Other times they dabble into the acting field with mixed results. Here are seven Olympic athletes who continued their careers on television in one form or another.

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The Olympics: Day 12

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 21st 2006 12:11PM
olympics day 12The event that usually garners the most talk is women's figure skating, and it begins tonight with the short program. With Michelle Kwan out of the competition due to injuries, American skater Sasha Cohen gets the spotlight. And, Emily Hughes, the younger sister of 2002 Olympic gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes, will also hit the ice. No pressure, Emily. Despite all the excitement over Sasha's modeling contracts and Emily's famous sister, Russian skater Irina Slutskaya is still favored for gold.

Also on the ice tonight, speed skaters Chad Hedrick, Shani Davis, Joey Cheek and Derek Parra race each other in the 1500m. Hedrick, Davis, and Cheek have all won gold medals so far in these games.

Here's the schedule on all of NBC's networks:

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She's going to Disney's world!

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 18th 2006 4:11PM
michelle kwan disneyMichelle Kwan, you just gave up your Olympic dream. What are you going to do next? After Michelle dropped out of the Olympics this week (because of strained muscles), she turned down NBC's offer to stick around as a commentator, but she accepted Disney's multi-year offer to be its spokesperson. 25-year-old Michelle will appear in Disney television and print ads and will even be included in some original programming, though it's not clear what that entails. I didn't realize this, but Michelle Kwan has a history with Disney which includes a series of fictional books called, Michelle Kwan Presents Skating Dreams.

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Kwan gone, but not going to NBC

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 13th 2006 5:19PM
Michelle Kwan says no to NBCMichelle Kwan is a smart woman. Not only did she withdraw from the Olympics early enough to give Emily Hughes enough time to get over to Italy and practice, but she also decided to not make a spectacle of herself on TV, either.

According to this article, NBC offered her a figure skating analyst job soon after she announced that she was removing herself from the U.S. team. Kwan turned them down, however, saying that she didn't want to be a distraction for the rest of the U.S. team.

Turns out they had been courting her since January, when it looked like she wasn't going to make the team because of injury (she petitioned U.S. Figure Skating for a spot on the team and was added after they saw her practice). Now it looks like the next time we're going to see Kwan is the next time Disney on Ice comes to town. Not a great way to end a stellar amateur career.

[Photo: AP]

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Where is Sarah Hughes?

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 13th 2006 9:48AM
My favorite athlete from the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City was Sarah Hughes. She wasn't expected to win a medal, but she piqued peaked at exactly the right time. She skated a flawless final program and, thanks to some bobbles and falls by her teammates, she ended up on the top of the medals podium. But, where is Sarah today? She was only 16 when she won gold so she's not too old to skate. Heck, Michelle Kwan has been a part of the Olympics since Lillehammer in 1994 (sadly, she had to withdraw from the games yesterday due to injury).

I did a little nosing around the internet and found Sarah. She's a student at Yale, where studies come first, boys come second, and figure skating is somewhere after that (although she has been hosting some skating events for charity). Sarah will be in Italy for the games, however. She'll be doing some sideline reporting for MSNBC and she'll be cheering on her little sister, Emily, the alternate skater who will take Michelle Kwan's place.

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