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Hollywood Calling

By Lisa Costantini | Aug. 28, 2012, 4 p.m. (ET)

Ryan Lochte, Jimmy FallonEleven-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte appears on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

This summer we dreaded the day the London Olympic Games would come to an end and we would have to say goodbye to the people we watched on TV for two straight weeks. No more Gabby, goodbye Ryan, hasta la vista Lolo, ciao Carmelo, sayonara Hope. But thankfully even though the Games might have ended, our onscreen relationship with our favorite U.S. athletes has not. Here is a round-up of all the shows the blinged-out medalists have appeared on since the Closing Ceremony, and some of our favorite quotes about their experience in Great Britain.


Michael Phelps might have retired from Olympic competition, but that doesn’t mean he’s leaving TV. The highly decorated athlete has signed on to join the Golf Channel’s The Haney Project – a reality show following amateur golfers as they seek to improve their game.

High school senior Missy Franklin — who booked a cameo in the upcoming Owen Wilson film, The Internship — might have the best answer to the question, ‘What did you do on your summer break?’ The 17-year-old appeared on the Today show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and answered that very question. “I went to closing ceremonies on Sunday which was absolutely incredible … I flew home from London on Monday, I registered for my senior year of high school yesterday, I flew out here today … and I start school tomorrow.”

Ryan Lochte — who says he “has a lot of talk shows coming up to me” — might have had a packed competition schedule in London but his to-do list is equally long after London. The 11-time Olympic medalist — who walked the red carpet at the Expendables 2 premiere in L.A. — appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Access Hollywood Live, and will play himself on the Oct. 29 episode of The CW show, 90210.

London’s youngest member of Team USA, Katie Ledecky told the Today show she is “still trying to catch up on some sleep.”

Two-time Olympian Cullen Jones made an appearance on the Today show, but revealed he has yet to make an appearance at a swimming pool since finishing in London.

Dana Vollmer called her fellow Olympic swimmers on Late Show with David Letterman “the closest team I’ve ever been a part of.”

Nathan Adrian — who was on the relay that won Phelps his last Olympic medal — found out on the Today show that his win in the 100meter freestyle was voted online as the number one race of the Olympic Games.

Brendan Hansen is expecting his first baby — a girl — and joked with the Today show (and Lochte) that he “is going to keep her as far away from Ryan Lochte as possible.”

Allison Schmitt was on the Today show where she told viewers she wears her five medals “with pride.”


The Fierce Five made an appearance as a team on the Today show and Letterman. When the Late Night host asked the girls — who now grace the front of the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes box — if they drank coffee before competing, McKayla Maroney was quick to respond: “We eat Corn Flakes.” 

In addition to making appearances with her team, Gabrielle Douglas — who found out on Leno her last name is an anagram for USA GOLD — was interviewed on The Tonight Show (after fellow guest, First Lady Michelle Obama), America’s Got Talent where she cohosted alongside Nick Cannon, and talked on camera with Oprah for her OWN network show, Oprah’s Next Chapter.

Bronze medalist Danell Leyva said on the Today show that Latin singer Gloria Estefan threw a homecoming party for him in Miami upon his return from London. But there hasn’t been too much partying, instead there has been “a lot of media, nonstop.”


Silver medal high jumper Erik Kynard, Jr. told Letterman as much as he enjoyed competing in London, “there is no place like home.”

When decathlete Ashton Eaton appeared on Letterman, the talk show host called the gold medalist “the world’s greatest athlete.”

On the Today show, track and field athlete Allyson Felix — who also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Lenocalled the support she has been shown “amazing.”


Goalkeeper Hope Solo was among the athletes who appeared on the Today show, but she also did Late Night with Jimmy Fallon where she admitted that she’s not superstitious. Well, maybe a little. “I love to say I’m not superstitious, but every athlete is superstitious. I do silly things. I walk out before every game with a paper cup of Gatorade … before I step across the line I have to finish it. I have to throw it on the ground. It has to touch the grass and then I can step across the line and go perform. It’s weird, and if I don’t do it we’re not going to win.”


David Boudia revealed to the Today show that he is afraid of heights. “Kind of ironic, hu? Someone who dives from a three-story building afraid of heights?” But the gold medal platform diver is not afraid to appear on national television. He was featured on Inside Edition, Fox & Friends, Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien and WPIX Morning News.


Kevin Durant and James Harden went on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to talk, but not to let the late night host hold their new medal; at least not Harden. “You can take his,” he said after Fallon asked to hold the gold.


Jordan Burroughs — who keeps his gold medal in his back pocket and appeared on the Today show — told Leno about his big after match splurge that went terribly wrong. “I bought myself a double cheeseburger from McDonalds, but I dropped it … The bag was super greasy from all the fries being on the bottom of the bag. I was holding it pretty tight. I took one bite out of the burger, put it back in the bag … I went back in and the bottom of the bag ripped open so my burger, fries, everything fell on the ground.”

Jake Varner earned a gold medal for the U.S. at his first Olympics and told the Today show “I’m hoping now not to wake up from this dream.”


Members of the women’s team: Mary Whipple (who retired after London), Esther Lofgren, and Meghan Musnicki were on the Today show to talk about their gold medal win.


Kayla Harrison — who won the first U.S. gold medal in judo — was seen on Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien, Morning Show with Robin Meade, and WPIX Morning News.


Members of the women’s volleyball team did tons of on-camera interviews as Destinee Hooker, Danielle Scott Arruda, and Lindsey Berg walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the Expendables 2.


Also walking the carpet at the Expendables 2 premiere was Khatuna Lorig (who helped train Jennifer Lawrence for her archery scenes in The Hunger Games).


Fresh from their gold medal win in London, the women’s water polo team made the rounds, appearing on Insider, NBC News, KTLA Morning Show, and the Expendables 2 premiere. In addition to all that, Brenda Villa did interviews with Univision, ESPN Nacion, and ESPN.com.

Related Athletes

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Michael Phelps

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Missy Franklin

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Ryan Lochte

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Cullen Jones

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Dana Vollmer

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Nathan Adrian

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Allison Schmitt

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Brendan Hansen

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Gabrielle Douglas

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McKayla Maroney

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Danell Leyva

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Erik Kynard

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Allyson Felix

Track and Field
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Ashton Eaton

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David Boudia

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Hope Solo

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James Harden

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Kevin Durant

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Jordan Burroughs

Freestyle Wrestling
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Jake Varner

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Mary Whipple

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Meghan Musnicki

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Esther Lofgren

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Kayla Harrison

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Destinee Hooker

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Lindsey Berg

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Danielle Scott

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Brenda Villa

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Khatuna Lorig