The truth about solo athletes, specifically Olympic athletes, is that they come and go so quickly given the fact that the events in their domain take place once every four years on the Olympic stage. If lucky, an athlete gets to perform at two Olympic competitions, which is an accomplishment on its own. Take the sport of gymnastics for example, there’s always a new wave coming in making in difficult to hold down a permanent spot.
In this article, we take a look at athletes that you might have forgotten about due to the fact that they reached their peak so early on in their youth. Heck, we’ve even got a 15 year old Olympic gold medalist from back in the day, obviously, you wouldn’t even recognize her nowadays unless you’ve been keeping track.
From on the soccer pitch to the gymnastics field, we now feature 15 former teen athletes you wouldn’t recognize today in a good way. Enjoy the article and like always, be sure to share the link with a friend. Without a doubt, you’ll be feeling some nostalgia after you scroll down this list!
15 Kaylyn Kyle
Arguably the steamiest athlete on this list, Kyle is one of two popular Olympic soccer athletes we’ve featured on this list. We’ll take a look at one her biggest rivals a little later on. Of course, Kyle is of Canadian decent hailing from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, who would have thought Saskatoon can create such a beauty, we joke, we joke!
Kyle rose to international fame during her early 20s winning a bronze medal with the Canadian Olympic team. She was also making waves before that as a youth representing Canada with the U-17 and U-20 teams playing in the Women’s World Cups as a teen in both 2006 and 2008.
Today, close to her 30s, she looks flat out unrecognizable compared to her days on the Olympic pitch. With nearly 100K followers, she’s rocking bikinis on the regular nowadays and surely nobody’s objecting to that.
14 Shawn Johnson East
As a 16 year old, Shawn Johnson East was crowned as an Olympic Champion winning the gold in the balance beam, along with team, and silver in the all-around and floor exercises. She banked on her fame at the time joining the Dancing with the Stars competition, like most Olympians, she thrived on the reality show placing second during the All-Star edition of the show. In 2012, she called a career announcing her retirement from gymnastics ending a spectacular career both at the Olympics and World Championships.
You can follow the beauty nowadays via Instagram as she has over one million followers. Again, pics of the “Not So PG” nature are few and far between, but she’s certainly worth the follow tap nonetheless.
13 Alex Morgan
Some would argue Alex Morgan’s involvement on the list given the fact that she’s a recognizable athlete. However, think back to her first Olympic involvement and compare that photo to a picture of Morgan today - okay, so now you understand why she's on this list.
In 2011 during the Women’s World Cup, Morgan became the youngest player to ever suit up for national team, the US would end up winning the silver medal at the championships that year. Her name would became a household name a year later at the 2012 Olympic Games as she propelled the US to a massive victory against Canada as Morgan notched the game winning goal in the semis during the very last play of the game in the 123rd minute.
She became a media giant ever since, Morgan has dazzled the public with her appearances for magazines such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Shape Vogue, Elle and Time.
12 McKayla Maroney
By the age of 18, McKayla Maroney was already an Olympic gold medalist along with paying a visit to the White House, feel sorry for yourself yet? Maroney was part of the Olympic Super-Team back in 2012 as she won gold in the team vault event along with another individual silver medal at the games. She would be forced to retire at the tender age of 20 last year due to ongoing health concerns.
Despite her retirement, the 21 year old has managed to stay in the news, and a lot of has to do with her stunning looks that continue to improve. She posted a dance video in skimpy clothing that nearly broke the internet, the video was so revealing that many thought she’d been hacked but that wasn’t the case. She recently took down her Instagram account as she’s involved in a battle with a former Olympic doctor Larry Nassar claiming she was assaulted by the doctor during treatments.
11 Jordyn Wieber
If you forgot about this 2012 Olympic gold medallist, you’d think she was a smoking beach model instead judging by the photo above. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the brunette as over 650 K followers via her social media account on Instagram. One thing’s for sure, she’s grown up a lot since the 2012 Games and that’s definitely in a good way. The photo above is only a tiny snippet of the still insanely young 22 year old.
Wieber rose to fame as a teen, she was a member of the memorable Fierce Five team we discussed earlier in the article. Jordyn was a member of the gold medal winning team that dominated the gymnastics competition at the games. The Michigan native earned herself a contract with Adidas following her success. She’s now happily retired ending her gymnastics career in March of 2015.
10 Nastia Liukin
If you forgot about or weren’t aware of Nastia Liukin, you’d think she was a stunning model judging by her Instagram picture above. Nowadays, she’s all grown up compared to her days as a champion at the 2008 Olympic Games. After failing at the Olympic trials in 2012, the Russian-American called it a career while still extremely young, a theme you’ll see with a lot of women throughout the article. She would pursue television when walking away from her domain appearing on shows like The Price Is Right and Dancing with the Stars.
Nowadays, you can continue to follow the beauty via her social media account on Instagram. You won’t be alone though, she’s got close to a million followers and you’ll understand exactly why when you take a look at her stunning photos. The 28 year old is looking better than ever nowadays.
9 Tara Lipinski
Lipinski is another throwback we felt obligated to include on this list given the fact that she won an Olympic Gold medal at the age of 15, now that’s just insane! Not only that, she was also the youngest to ever win a World Figure skating title winning the honors at 14. Her gold medal in the figure skating ladies’ event was a prestigious trailblazing victory to say the least.
She’s now 35 and we must say, looking hotter than ever nowadays as a full-time broadcaster. She recently made headlines for her breathtaking beach body which was on full display earlier this year during her honeymoon. We gave you a little snippet in the photo above – enough to make you salivate for a couple of hours.
8 Dara Howell
We admit, a lot of the popular teenage athletes on this list are of the American decent given the amount of exposure they got, however, we’ve also got some representation from other countries such as Canada. Across the border, Dara Howell made waves becoming a trailblazer for Canada in the slopestyle ski event becoming the inaugural winner at the 2014 Olympic Sochi Games. She rose to fame with her victory and what made the win even more baffling is the fact that she was barely into her 20s at the time, just finishing off her teen years.
Still only 23, you can follow Dara via Instagram, if you like fantastic scenery filled with snow and beautiful water and well, a smoking blonde - then she’s definitely worth a follow. Jets center Mark Scheifele certainly thinks so as the two are reportedly dating.
7 Gabby Douglas
In 2012, Gabby Douglas who was only a teen at the time drove her name to superstardom at the London Games. Gabby not only won a gold medal in the team competition but she would follow that up with a gold in the individuals as well. Her rise to fame was so inspiring that she even had a special documentary specifically on her rise to the top.
Nowadays, the 21 year old is looking unrecognizable, rocking a new look sporting a blonde head of hair, which most aren’t objecting to either. She’s grown up quite a bit since her teen days and rise to stardom back in 2012. Like a lot of the others on this list, Gabby recently spoke out pertaining to her negative experiences with the US team doctor showing a great amount of courage to speak candidly about the situation.
6 Elizabeth Beisel
Take one look at Elizabeth Beisel nowadays and you might forget she was a two-time Olympic Gold medalist. The blonde beauty launched her fame back in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, though it was already her second time as an athlete appearing in 2008 games. She would win silver and a bronze during the 2012 Summer Games, thriving in both the individual medley and 200m backstroke competition.
She just missed out on the 2016 Games as she was merely edged out during the Olympic trials to Maya Dirado. Not to worry though, Dirado would represent the US just fine during the 2016 games winning two gold medals, a silver and a bronze.
You can follow the blonde bombshell via Instagram nowadays as she remains active enjoying life at the age of 25.
5 Justin Dufour-Lapointe
Another Canadian trailblazer, Justin Dufour-Lapointe made history during the Olympic Sochi Games. Justine became the youngest freestyle skiing champion in the competitions history winning the gold medal as a teen at the tender age of 19. Following her victory, she rose to stardom as a teen over in Canada as she was heavily celebrated by the nation, particularly back home in Montreal, Quebec. She’s still actively skiing nowadays at the age of 23 recently taking part in an event in Spain.
She rocked a babyface during her Olympic victory but we can’t say the same nowadays, looking at her Instagram picture above you’d think she was pursuing a career in modelling. She’s grown up quite nicely since her Olympic success and the 44K followers would likely agree.
4 Simone Biles
Man is that dude next to Simone Biles ever one lucky guy as she’s looking great nowadays just recently entering her 20s. Biles became a household name as a teen during the 2016 Olympic Games. Not only did she win a gold medal, but she set a record during the games for most gold medals in women’s gymnastics for a single game, talk about a young trailblazer! Crazy to think, but Simone as regarded as one of the greatest Olympians in gymnastics of all-time and that’s saying a lot given the greats in the sport with many we touched on during this very article.
She won the female athlete of the year this year at the ESPSY Awards and declared that she would make a return in 2018. She also appeared on Dancing with the Stars earlier this year and was a heavy favorite to win it all, though she was ousted in shocking fashion during the final four.
3 Gracie Gold
As a teen, Gracie won a bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. She already received high praise at the time for her junior career that saw her win multiple medals which included a silver at the 2012 World Junior event along with two US National Championship victories, her most recent coming in 2016. Unfortunately, she’s had to withdraw from several events lately due to ongoing battles with anxiety and depression. It’s also led to a battle with an ongoing eating disorder. We wish her the best and hope she can be a part of the next Olympic Winter Games.
The 22 year old has grown up quite a bit since her last Olympic appearance and you see for yourselves as she looks stunning in the photo above.
2 Alicia Sacramone
My little fashionista dictator is 11 months old today! She is my assistant coach and partner in crime. @sloanscottquinn loves head diving into laundry piles, crawling up the stairs and trying to break my nose on a regular basis. #babygirl #sloanscott #timeisflyingby #dontgrowup #11monthsold 📷 cred @pepamk
For this one we dug deep into the archives including a member of the 2008 Olympic winning US team. Alicia won a silver medal during the 2008 Olympic Games at the gymnastic event, still in her teens at the time. She became the second most successful gymnast in history with ten medals overall. She would announce in 2012 via Twitter that she was walking away from the sport happily retiring. She’s remained active since even appearing on ESPN’s Body Issue back in 2011, she was photographed in the nude.
At the age of 29, the smoking mom is enjoying motherhood as she welcomed her first child back in the summer of 2016. You can follow up on her post-Olympic journey via Instagram, but don’t expect anything of the “Not So PG” nature.
1 Aly Raisman
We end the article off with a member of the prestigious Fierce Five and that’s 23 year old and two-time Olympian Aly Raisman. She became a legend at the Olympics in 2012 during the London Games winning gold medals in the floor and team gymnastics competitions. She would also win a bronze with the balance team, making her one of the greats in American Olympic history. Like the others, she would reach huge fame and make an appearance on you guessed it, Dancing with the Stars.
Raisman is stunning nowadays and she’s got a strong following of over two million fans. Like some of the other former teen athletes on the list, she recently spoke out about being abused by the US team doctor.