10 Celebrities You Never Knew Were Olympians

Happy Olympics Week! Did you know that some of the world's most famous faces have competed at the great games?

Caitlyn Jenner

Okay so most of us know this one, but it’s worth remembering that pre-Kardashians, pre-Vanity Fair cover, Caitlin Jenner made her name when she won Olympic Gold in the Decathlon at the 1976 Montreal games (as Bruce Jenner). Decathletes are traditionally known as the greatest athletes in the world, thanks to their mastery of not just one sport but 10.

Johnny Weissmuller

Before he swung into cinemas as the original Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller won five gold medals for swimming and a bronze for water polo. Those are crazy numbers – like, almost Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe numbers – and deserve a massive round of applause. We salute you, Tarzan!

Princess Anne

The same year Caitlyn Jenner won her gold medal, the first member of the British royal family competed in the Olympic Games. Her name was Princess Anne, and she took part in the Equestrian event (though sadly she did not place). Still, look how fetching she is in the chic British 1976 uniform…

Zara Phillips

… Princess Anne might have been the first royal to compete in the Olympics but she isn’t the last. Her daughter Zara Phillips literally and figuratively has kept the flame alive, competing in the 2012 London Olympics in the three-day Equestrian event (eventing, showjumping and dressage). Unfortunately, she narrowly missed out on selection for Rio 2016.

The Winklevoss Twins

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss might be more famous these days as the brothers who took on Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network (immortalised perfectly onscreen by Very Tall Man Armie Hammer). But the pair, who rowed crew at Harvard University, also competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, placing sixth in the rowing final.

Hillary Wolf

Remember Macaulay Culkin’s sister in Home Alone? That was Hillary Wolf, and despite having a promising career as a child actress she bid farewell to Hollywood in her teens and devoted herself to her judo career. She ended up representing America at two Olympic games, first in Atlanta and then in Sydney in 2000.

Harold Sakata

Odd Job (Harold Sakata) is one of the most terrifying Bond henchmen in the history of the franchise, a man who could dispatch Bond (James Bond) with one toss of his deadly top hat. But before he starred in the early Bond films, Harold Sakata was an Olympic weightlifter, who took home a silver medal at London’s 1948 games. Impressive!

Bella Hadid, Geena Davis and Jason Statham

Okay, so these three didn’t technically compete in the Olympics, but they were bloody close, so we’re going to give them an honorary position in this gallery. Bella Hadid famously tried out for the American Equestrian team, but had to drop out of the selection process because of her debilitating Lyme disease. Geena Davis is a skilled archer, who tried out for the Sydney Olympics in 1999 but didn’t quite make the cut. And – our favourite of all – before he claimed the unofficial title of Action Hero Of Our Hearts, Jason Statham was a competitive diver, who even went to Auckland to represent Britain in the 1990 Commonwealth Games. You can see footage of this auspicious moment here.

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