“In my spare time I win Olympic golds”

From Nobel Prize winners to Hollywood heartthrobs, Gavin Mortimer profiles 10 Olympians who were more famous for what they achieved outside the Olympic arena than in it

Crown Prince Olav on his ice yacht on Stora Värtan, Sweden, c1938. (Getty Images) 

This article was first published in the September 2012 issue of BBC History Magazine 

It requires an enormous amount of hard work to become an Olympian and an even greater effort to stand on the podium with a medal around your neck. Yet since the first modern Olympics in 1896, a handful of competitors have managed to distinguish themselves on the silver screen, the battlefield and in the world of politics – as well as going for gold in the Games.

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