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Olympians spin gold into new careers

TreanorA week after signing a deal with Kellogg’s, swimming phenom Michael Phelps has been set to host the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live.” Earlier this week, beach volleyball champ Misty May-Treanor (right) was announced as part of the lineup for the next “Dancing With the Stars.” And I have no doubt some company will also pursue cherubic gymnastics medalist Shawn Johnson.

As Phelps and May-Treanor begin to capitalize on their Games glory, I can’t help but feel for the other camera-ready Olympians who could have parlayed medal victories into endorsement deals.

Jones2Sprinter Lolo Jones (left) has the look of a spokesmodel. However, she fell short in her endeavors on the track and is destined to return to the relative obscurity of track and field.

And Jennie Finch (below), the stunner who pitched for the silver-medal U.S. women’s softball team, finds herself in a similar situation. Silver in a sport few Americans watch just doesn’t translate into marketing gold. And Finch may not even have the next Olympics to look forward to; softball is off the Olympics roster until further notice.

Those are just two examples. Can you think of others?

Finch_2Sports, like Hollywood, can be cruel.

— Kathy Lyford

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