Whatever happened to ’90s Olympians?

Whatever happened to '90s Olympians?

Story by Taylor Kuether

If you were a child of the ’90s (and most college-aged young adults right now were), you may have grown up idolizing the athletes elite enough to participate in the Olympic Games. The likes of Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan inspired thousands of bouncy-ponytailed elementary school girls to lace up their pearly white skates and flock to the ice. Apolo Anton Ohno — the speedskater with the weird goatee — inspired the same in boys (at least I think he did; I’m using my brother as a cross section of the entire male population).

These Olympians titillated our young minds, filling us with inspiration, big dreams and the youthful naivety of believing we could do anything. So where are they now?

Lipinski, after dabbling in B-movies and TV shows in the late ’90s and early 2000s, now lives in New York and works as a sports commentator for figure skating at Universal Sports. Learn more at her hideously early-2000s website, taralipinski.com, which was last updated more than a year ago. Sorry, Tara.

Kwan is now a diplomat, named a public diplomacy ambassador by then-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in 2006. She has maintained such work with the Obama administration. Rather than returning to skating competitively, Kwan pursued her masters degree in U.S. Foreign Policy at Tufts University.

Ohno has competed even more recently than Kwan and Lipinski, winning two bronze and one silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He is unsure yet whether he will compete in the 2014 games. Aside from Olympics, he competed with Julianne Hough on the fourth season of “Dancing with the Stars” in 2007 and worked with Seattle chefs in 2010 to create a cookbook of healthy recipes.