We’ve all seen them in their moments of athletic glory, but what about their educational achievements? Whether you’re an aspiring Team USA member yourself or just a curious sports fan, you’ve probably wondered where your favorite Olympic athletes went to school. From Mary Lou Retton to Apolo Anton Ohno, we’ll take a closer look at some of the greatest college-educated American athletes, where they went to college, and what they ended up doing outside the Olympics.
Mary Lou Retton
Retton’s greatest achievement came in the 1984 Olympics, when she won America’s first gold medal for women’s all-around gymnastics. After the Olympics, she attended the University of Texas, Austin, and has been active as a political activist and spokeswoman. She even tried her hand at acting.
Dara Torres may not be the youngest Olympic athlete out there, but she’s among the toughest. The 44-year-old swimmer won her first medal in 1984, and has since racked up a collection of 12, which she hopes to add to in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Torres attended the University of Florida, where she earned a bachelor’s of arts in telecommunications. In addition to her athletic career, she works as a reporter for various TV networks, including NBC and ESPN.
Apolo Anton Ohno
Short-track skater Apolo Anton Ohno has been a superstar for Team USA since the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, when he won his first gold medal. Since then, he has won an additional seven medals as well as many world championship titles. Ohno studied business at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs, and recently started 8 Zone, a nutritional supplement company. He also started the Apolo Anton Ohno Foundation, which seeks to educate Americans on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
If there’s one key to the US men’s basketball team, it’s Chris Paul. The starting point guard’s excellent vision, passing and game management led to the team’s 2008 gold medal in Beijing. Paul, who attended Wake Forest University, has played for the New Orleans Hornets since 2005. He was named rookie of the year and been named to four consecutive NBA all-star teams.
Arguably the greatest American Olympic athlete of all time, swimmer Mark Spitz had won nine gold medals by the time he retired at the age of 22. Spitz attended Indiana University, where he earned the nickname “Mark the Shark.” After his brief Olympic career, Spitz tried to break into showbiz, covering various events for ABC Sports and narrating the documentary film “Freedom’s Fury. “
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