With all the publicity that athletes receive these days, it’s not surprising that fans want even more of them anytime they can.
That’s why network execs have handed over the entertainment to these stars to help gather eyeballs each week around the TV.
While most players might be known for their successes in the games they play, here are a few who might get recognized more for being on a reality TV show.
[Photo via Michael Heiman/Getty]
5. Summer Sanders – Celebrity Apprentice
Although she’s best-known for her hosting gig from the Nickelodeon show Figure It Out from 1997-99, Summer Sanders is actually a four-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming.
But don’t think that she limited herself to just the pool—or even just one TV show.
Sanders has taken part in a few programs, even lasting the longest on her lone reality TV appearance on Celebrity Apprentice, taking down the likes of other celebs to raise $45,000 for her charity.
4. Various Athletes – Dancing With the Stars
Depending on what type of sport you enjoy, there’s a good chance that an athlete from it has participated in the dancing competition Dancing With the Stars.
Winners of seasons pasts include people like speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno (Season Four), figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi (Season Six) and gymnast Shawn Johnson (Season Eight).
But even for those who didn’t win the title, the list of other Olympian names include the likes of Hope Solo, Maurice Greene and Misty May-Treanor.
3. Johnny Weir – Be Good Johnny Weir
Though he’s not competing at The Games this year—instead offering his commentary for NBC—the three-time U.S. national champ and one-time Olympian is still the talk of the town thanks to his crazy style.
For TV junkies, though, Johnny Weir might be best-recognized for his time on his own TV show, Be Good Johnny Weir, which offers plenty of moments inside the former skater’s wild life.
He’s also well-known for a beef that he had with contestant Bethenny Frankel on the show Skating with the Stars, after she had some choice words about him.
2. Tom Daley – Splash! (UK version)
Don’t think that the TV stardom has only been accomplished by American athletes, because British diver Tom Daley has also found himself amongst the former Olympians who have gained attention for being in front of the camera.
As the diving expert to the celebrity contestants, Daley does his best to make sure that the things the players are doing aren’t injured—which can be a tough task for a 22-year-old.
Unlike the U.S. version, this show is succeeding across the pond, currently entering its second season.
1. Bruce Jenner – Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Sure, the stepdad of the Kardashian girls might have won a gold medal in the decathlon way back in 1976, but people would be hard-pressed to know that unless they were told.
With most people who watch the TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians being of a young generation, it wouldn’t be too shocking to find out that they didn’t even know Jenner was an Olympic star—unless they heard a mention of it on the show itself.
Bruce may be touted as “the world’s greatest athlete” on his official website, but many think of him in another light.