Column: Predicting the future for these Olympians

United States' Jocelyne Lamoureux (17) celebrates her game winning shootout goal against Canada during the women's gold medal hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2018 file photo, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada perform during the ice dance, free dance figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea. Canada won the most medals in figure skating with four at the 2018 Winter Games. They did it with a veteran team led by Virtue and Moir, whose two golds gave them a record five Olympic medals. However, with the pair headed for retirement for the second time, Canada will need to find a new wave of skaters to keep them on top as they look ahead to the 2022 Games. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2018, file photo, Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky practices ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea. Krushelnitsky was stripped of his Olympic bronze medal after admitting to a doping violation at the Pyeongchang Games. Krushelnitsky tested positive for meldonium, which is believed to help blood circulation, after winning bronze in mixed doubles with his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, members of the North Korean delegation wave flags at the women's slalom at Yongpyong alpine center at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. While in South Korea, the North Koreans wear the same uniforms, move together whenever possible and operate as a tightly knit team. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)
Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, talks to the media during a news conference at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
In this Feb. 21, 2018 photo, South Korea's women's curling team celebrate after beating Russian athletes during their match at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea. The team known as the "Garlic Girls" came into the Pyeongchang Games as the underdog who few believed would medal. Now they're No. 1 in the rankings. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Gold medal winner Ester Ledecka, of the Czech Republic, smiles after the women's parallel giant slalom at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — 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 or on Twitter @timdahlberg

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