Some athletes, while playing their particular sport have a weight problem. Some of them don't really change much after retirement. They just keep on piling on pounds. Some athletes are fit when they play their sport, then gain the weight after they are done playing. Maybe they gain the weight because they couldn't eat the foods they wanted to while playing the sport they were in.
When athletes retire it's normal for them to relax and let themselves go from time to time. There is, however, going to the extreme and completely overdoing it. Sometimes athletes may not work out as much or eat more than they used to when they were constantly exercising. Maybe they have so much money they just don't care or they're too busy doing things they couldn't do while playing their sport. In this article, we'll look at 15 athletes who are unrecognizable now. They used to be fit, but retirement came and with it, the temptation not to spend quite as many hours at the gym. Sometimes, athletes just want to take it easy and we can't fault them for that. Think about it; if you spent 20 years of your life depriving yourself of certain foods, how would you feel once you got the green light?
15 Keith Tkachuk
Keith Tkachuk was one of the highest scoring American skaters in NHL history. He spent the majority of his prime with the Winnipeg Jets turned Phoenix Coyotes, then spent many years in St. Louis with the Blues. Tkachuk retired from the NHL in 2010, with 538 goals and over 1,000 points, landing him in elite company. Since retiring, Tkachuk has worked some front office jobs in hockey. He spends a lot of time around the game, but he's clearly watching and not skating as much as he used to. Fortunately for him, he has a son, Matthew Tkachuk off to a good start in his NHL career and he has a second son, Brady, who's expected to be drafted this summer.
14 DIEGO MARADONA
Maradona appeared on four World Cups for Argentina and he is fourth all time for most goals in his country's history. Unfortunately, he suffered from addictions. He also had trouble with his weight after his playing days. Maradona almost lost his life due to cardiac arrest related to his weight issue. In 2005, he had to have gastric bypass surgery to put less pressure on his vital organs. In 2015 though, he had his second bypass surgery because the first one had worn off. The same doctor that performed the original surgery did the second surgery as well. The first time was a failure, but after the second time Dr. Chax said "this was needed because he had gained weight, and he had to correct a gastrogastric fistula." He is still not the same to this day.
13 Ken Griffey Jr.
There's no mistaking the million dollar smile Ken Griffey Jr. always had and still does, but Griffey definitely hasn't been one to spend hours and hours in the gyn, One of the knocks on Griffey throughout his career was that he wasn't as dedicated to improving his game as some others were. However Griffey should be given credit in that during an era where it seemed every star ballplayer was looking for an edge via PED use, Griffey stayed clean. He had the most beautiful swing one had ever seen and possessed so much talent that just couldn't be taught. Since retiring though, Griffey let loose a little. The good news is, he's found an interesting career post baseball as a sports photographer.
12 Buster Douglas
Beating Mike Tyson was obviously the biggest highlight of Buster Douglas's career. Long story short, Tyson completely overlooked Douglas and showed up to their fight out of shape, and Douglas was able to capitalize. Douglas though, didn't enjoy much success afterwards, as he lost his heavyweight title in his first defense to Evander Holyfield. In fact, Douglas had gained an extra 15 pounds, putting him at 247 in his fight with Holyfield, making him look rather sluggish. Douglas eventually retired with 38 wins and 6 losses, but as we can see, the pounds have piled on quite a bit since he retired. These days, he spends his time training boxers at a rec center, while raising his four sons. There's no doubt he must enjoy recounting how he knocked Tyson out.
11 Daunte Culpepper
Daunte Culpepper was always a thick quarterback but his athleticism was apparent, and many will remember his dominant 2004 season with the Minnesota Vikings where he passed for over 4,700 yards and had an MVP caliber season. Knee injuries would ultimately be what did Culpepper in, as a trade to Miami in 2006 and short stints with the Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions afterwards both ended badly. Since retiring, Culpepper has acted as an ambassador for several NFL events, but clearly doesn't look like he's in any shape to play. Culpepper fell on some hard times after retiring, as he lost his multi-million dollar Florida home back in 2013. This came less than a decade after signing a $104 million contract with Minnesota.
10 Tony Amonte
We come to another American ice hockey player and again, it's a player who got a little too comfortable after retiring. Tony Amonte spent parts of 17 NHL seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers and ended his career with the Calgary Flames. He racked up 900 career points and is one of the highest scoring American players of all time. However, like many others, Amonte got a cushy TV job as an analyst and with it came the temptation to let things slide a little. Obviously he's not following the strict workout program he used to. Hey, if he's comfortable with his weight, all the more power to him, but you wonder if he'll look at some of his peers and get motivated to hit the gym again.
Ronaldo started to gain weight before he retired from playing football. He had two career threatening knee injuries. In 2013 he took part in a Brazilian TV celebrity slimming show according to the Daily Mail. He had gained so much weight his appearance was changing rapidly. The show did him no good as he was partying the whole time and not taking it seriously.
As of 2016 he was still unrecognizable because of his weight. He became known as "Fat Ronaldo." Ronaldo is still considered one of the best football players of all time because of his goalscoring ability. His weight, however, has become a problem and it could take him awhile to get back in the shape he once was, or anywhere close to it.
8 TONYA HARDING
Tonya Harding was a well known figure skater back in the day. She was a two time Olympian and an two-time Skate American Champion. However, the 1994 scandal with rival Nancy Kerrigan, and her involvement with hindering investigation, kind of did her in. A judge sentenced her to three years probation, 500 hours of community service, and a $500,000 fine. She was also stripped of her 1994 U.S. Championship. She would then try a short stint with wrestling, but that didn't work out. Today she doesn't look like the skinny, fit, figure skater anymore. She looks old, overweight, and doesn't really care about her appearance that much. Big change from the good old days for her.
7 JAMARCUS RUSSELL
At the Scouting Combine for the NFL, Russell weighed about 265 pounds and was one of the biggest busts in the NFL. He tried to make a comeback in 2013, but was so fat, nobody would sign him. The Oakland Raiders drafted him number one overall and to this day, is the worst number one overall pick in Raiders history. In 2016 he said he is willing to make another comeback, but looking at him, he doesn't look like he would be a good quarterback, maybe a lineman. Russell penned in a written statement in 2016, "My tribulations have humbled me. I am a better man because of my struggles, and I simply desire an opportunity [to] redeem myself. I do not want my legacy to be a trail of unfulfilled dreams and missed opportunities." I doubt a team will sign him now.
6 LENNY DYKSTRA
Dykstra played for the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets during his time in the Major Leagues. In 2012 he was sentenced to three years in prison in California after pleading no contest to grand theft auto. He took a beating so bad in jail people can't even recognize him. Going to prison was rock bottom for him as he came out with missing teeth and looked like he packed on about 50-75 pounds. He told FYI Sports when he got out of prison, "The next step from prison is death, if you think about it. There’s nothing worse you can do to a person than lock them up---take away their freedom.” Since getting out, Dykstra has written a book, detailing his rise to fame and his downfall, which led to his prison sentence.
5 TOMAS BROLIN
Brolin looked like one of Sweden's rising stars in the mid 90s. His phenomenal performance at the 1994 World Cup had people thinking he'd have a long, decorated career. In 1995 he suffered an injury and never recovered. Brolin had to retire at the age of only 29, with his weight being a cause for concern for several teams. He was even fined for skipping out on training sessions and was heavy when he played for Crystal Palace. Brolin ate a lot of fast food during the end of his short career.
Tomas was once asked to play midfield for the Leeds United against Liverpool and he declined saying he'd have to "run too much." Today, he looks heavier than he once was. Recent pictures have him looking as though he gained about 100 pounds since hanging up his cleats.
4 BARTOLO COLON
Colon has always been a heavy athlete. He led the Mets in wins from 2014-2016, but looks so heavy now that people can barely tell it's him. Colon could be mistaken for a women for how big and fat he is. He is a Cy Young winner and a four time All-Star. He's been in the league for 20 seasons and played for the Atlanta Braves last season. His record was 7-14 with a 6.48 ERA. His weight is 285, which obviously isn't an ideal one for a pitcher. Somehow though, Colon managed to pitch into his 40s. In a 2015 interview, Colon said he felt "comfortable with his weight." When Colon retires though and doesn't have to worry about pitching, he should take some of it off, for the sake of his own health.
3 CURT SCHILLING
Curt Schilling went to the Boston Red Sox and was part of a team that one it's first World Series in 86 years. Schilling has never really been in the best of shape, but today he looks really old. He looks so old that people may not recognize him if he was walking down the street. During his show, Whatever It Takes, he sits in what looks like a library because it has loads of books. He's sitting at a desk looking about as old as a grandfather, talking politics, and helping people in hurricanes. Schilling is recently known for leaving a broken down trailer in Tennessee that was supposed to be going to Louisiana for four months. Schilling paid the owner of the trailer to drive down there to get it and the owner even missed his own birthday. Schilling has also had his video game business go down the drain in Rhode Island. He also is a huge Trump supporter. Schilling has aged a lot and looks like he needs to go to a gym, a lot, for hours a day.
2 JARED LORENZEN
Lorenzen has gained so much weight, people can't see it's him anymore. The former Super Bowl champion, and backup Giants quarterback, has started his own weight loss program . Lorenzen had a weigh in of 500 pounds this past fall. He was chubby in the NFL, but not like he is today. He only had eight pass attempts with the Giants in three seasons. He weighed a whopping 320 while playing at Kentucky. His fund is called the Lorenzen Project to help turn his life around and change it for the better. If he lost some weight people may recognize him better. He said in an interview in 2017, "Right now, if I didn’t wake up tomorrow, it wouldn’t be a shock to many people."
Lorenzen recently tweeted out a tongue in cheek remark to Vince McMahon, asking if he could play in the XFL. He has a couple of years to take the weight off.
1 SAMMY SOSA
Sammy Sosa was a great hitter along with Mark McGwire back in the 90s. That was also in the middle of the steroid era as well. Sosa was accused of playing with a corked bat helping him hit the ball farther. Sammy Sosa is number one on this list because he is completely not himself in appearance. Sosa claimed he used a type of cream that made his skin change from black to white. In a 2017 interview he dressed in pink and looked white as a ghost. Sosa has also piled on some pounds in retirement, but as we've seen with several names on this list, that seems to be a normal trend among retired athletes. Not all guys want to spend their lives dieting and hitting the gym every day.