From top of the podium to top of the pops, we highlight some of the Olympians who have ventured into the music industry
Oscar De La Hoya
Competing at the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992, boxer Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya won lightweight gold at the tender age of 19 to kick-start a professional career that saw him win 10 world titles. When he eventually suffered his first defeats in the ring, De La Hoya spent some time away from the sport to work on his first album, which was released in 2000 and entitled Oscar. Featuring both Spanish and English tracks, the album went to the top of the Latin dance charts for several weeks and was even nominated for a Grammy award.
An Olympic gold medal winner in downhill and giant slalom, away from the slopes Tina Maze has delved into a wide range of projects, from television commentary to publishing an autobiography and a children’s book. And in 2013, the Slovenian released her first pop single, My Way Is My Decision, which became a massive hit in her home country and saw her show off her dance moves in the accompanying music video.
Arguably one of the most skilful footballers ever to grace the pitch, Brazilian legend Ronaldinho won a host of individual accolades throughout his career, as well as a bronze medal at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008. And earlier this year, he released his debut single Sozinho, a soft samba track that embodies how Ronaldinho liked to play the beautiful game.
The definition of a multi-talented athlete, Jazmin Sawyers claimed bobsleigh silver at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Innsbruck 2012, before switching her attention to long jump and tasting more medal success at the Commonwealth and European Games. The 23-year-old also has a law degree, and demonstrated her musical talents in 2017 when appearing on UK talent show The Voice, where she impressed international superstar will.i.am enough for the Black Eyed Peas rapper to send her through to the next round. While she didn’t go on to win the show, Sawyers can still be seen singing on YouTube and often spends her spare time writing songs, but maintains that her athletics commitments would always come before a music career.
A huge star in his home country, Henrik Lundqvist was part of the Swedish team that won ice hockey gold at the Olympic Winter Games Turin 2006. At the start of his professional career, Lundqvist played guitar in a rock band called Box Play, which focused solely on covers. He said that producing music helped him to relax away from the ice.