Undoubtedly, there are few things as fulfilling in life as winning a gold medal. Indeed, these 20 athletes shot to fame and national adoration when they successfully represented their country at the Olympic Games. But while their success stories are suitably inspiring, their post-Olympic lives have proved to be just as intriguing. For better or for worse, these athletes’ careers went in surprising directions after they struck gold.
20. Oscar Pistorius
Following his inspirational performance at 2012’s Paralympic Games, Oscar Pistorius became a worldwide treasure. However, the South African sprinter completely tarnished his good name after he shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp just one year later. The Olympian was convicted of Steenkamp’s killing in 2016, is now serving six years behind bars and seems unlikely to ever restore his former image.
19. Greg Louganis
Often considered the world’s most talented diver, Greg Louganis climbed insurmountable challenges to win his Olympic medals. During the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, in fact, the athlete achieved gold in the three-meter and ten-meter events despite suffering a much-publicized head injury in the latter. These days Louganis serves as a mentor for the U.S. Olympic diving team, but he also competes in a different type of contest: dog agility competitions.