Column: Predicting the future for these Olympians
By TIM DAHLBERG
Feb. 25, 2018
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — They've had their moment on prime-time TV, the skiers and skaters who dazzled or flopped in the Winter Olympics. But fame can be fleeting, and a lot of Olympians are quickly forgotten as we concentrate on other sports in the four years between games.
With that in mind, let's take a bit of a fanciful look at where some of these Olympic stars may be 10 years from now:
ALEXANDER KRUSHELNITSKY — The Russian not only became the first curler to test positive for performance enhancing drugs , but jeopardized his country's chances of being reinstated before the end of the Pyeongchang Games. He'll be living in the U.S., having fled Russia after being threatened with two years of hard labor in Siberia for losing his bronze medal.
CANADIAN ICE DANCERS — Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are the most accomplished ice dancers in Olympic history, and show no signs of quitting. They will be in training for the 2030 Olympics that, surprisingly enough, return to Sochi after Olympic officials take Russian President Vladimir Putin at his word when he promises not to tamper with urine samples.
NORTH KOREAN CHEERLEADERS — A surprise hit in Pyeongchang, the cheerleaders are forced to retire after being caught binge watching South Korean soap operas, a habit they picked up at the Olympics.
KATIE COURIC — The broadcaster ridiculed for saying the Dutch are good at ice skating because they skate to work on frozen canals moves to Amsterdam, where she embraces the local culture. Not only does Couric strap on the skates for commutes in the winter, but in the summer, she swims to work.
LIZ SWANEY — The 33-year-old freestyle skier who did little but glide up and down each side of the halfpipe is now in charge of the bunny hill at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre.
JOCELYNE LAMOUREUX-DAVIDSON — The hockey forward whose brilliant stick handling on the final shootout puck gave the U.S. women gold medal teams up for an autograph tour with the Miracle on Ice team that is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
THE GARLIC GIRLS — The Korean curling team with the fashionable glasses and nicknames like Steak, Yogurt and Cho-Cho turn to music after the Olympics, becoming K-Pop sensations in their native land. Later they open a string of cleaning stores, and sweep their way to the top of the business world.
ADAM RIPPON — After winning a bronze in team ice skating, Rippon retires from competitive skating and embarks on a new career as a reality TV star. He loses in a controversial final dance to Lindsey Vonn on "Dancing With the Stars."
LINDSEY VONN — After putting off retirement again, the American ski icon will go on to win Olympic medals in Beijing and at the 2026 Olympics. In fact, she is looking to make the downhill team again in 2030. "And to think I thought I was too old at 33 for another Olympic downhill," Vonn said.
NORWEGIANS — The entire Norwegian Olympic team takes advantage of new immigration policies in the U.S. and settles in northeast Minnesota, where they open up a winter sports training facility. Several become American citizens and lead Team USA to a sweep of the cross-country and biathlon events in 2026.
KIM JUNG UN'S SISTER — Kim Yo Jong is living in Southern California, where she moved after escaping North Korea on a freighter in the wake of the 2021 overthrow of her brother. She runs a cosmetology school that employs 42 former North Korean cheerleaders.
PITA TAUFATOFUA — You might remember him as the shirtless Tongan carrying his country's flag in two Olympics. Now in his fifth Olympics in Los Angeles, Taufatofua wins gold in the new Olympic team sumo wrestling event.
ESTER LEDECKA — The double gold medal and surprise Super G winner who wore goggles to her news conference because she hadn't put on her makeup now runs an apparel company at home in the Czech Republic. Her biggest sellers are goggles called Super G's that are often worn on Monday morning by hung over office workers.
Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at email@example.com or on Twitter @timdahlberg