Celebs who were at Olympics – James Bond villain, Home Alone kid & Darth Vader

Most athletes become superstars while competing at the Olympics – but some arrive as big names.

Over the years a number of celebrities have taken part in the games and were already well known to the public.

While others have gone on to find fame after taking part in the greatest show on Earth, so it’s come as a bit of a surprise to discover their former sports careers.

There have been reality TV stars, famous Hollywood actors, politicians and even royalty competing to win gold medals.

Here is a look at some celebrities who have taken part at Olympics.

Harold Sakata

Harold Sakata (left) won silver at the 1948 London Olympics


Popperfoto via Getty Images)

Before becoming one of the most popular James Bond villains of all time, Harold Sakata was an Olympic medallist.

The American only started lifting weights at the age of 18 but was obviously very good at it as a decade later he was at the top of his game.

Harold won a silver medal at the 1984 Olympics in London by lifting a total of 380kg in the light-heavyweight division.

He then decided to become a professional wrestler, competing under the name Tosh Togo, which drew the attention of Bond producers.

Harold is best known for playing OddJob in Goldfinger


James Bond)

Despite having no acting background, Harold secured the role of Goldfinger’s silent henchman Oddjob in the 1964 film.

Oddjob is easily one of the most recognisable characters in Bond history with his steel-brimmed bowler hat and moustache.

His hand was badly burnt while filming Oddjob’s explosive death scene as he held on until he heard the director call ‘cut’.

Harold adopted Oddjob as an informal middle name and went on to star in more movies such as Impulse and Mako: The Jaws of Death.

Sadly, Harold died from liver cancer at the age of 62 in July 1982.

Hillary Wolf

Megan McCallister was played by Hillary Wolf

Kevin should have got some help from his sister when fighting off the criminals in Home Alone.

Hillary Wolf played his spiteful older sister, Megan McAllister, who was one of the siblings seen mocking him at the start of the film.

After filming Home Alone 2: Lost in New York in 1992, Hillary gave up acting at the age of 15 to focus on her other passion – judo.

A four-time national judo champion, Hillary secured a place in the United States’ judo team for the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

Now in her 40s, the former actress and Olympian has diversified her talents and written a book, The Not So Zen Mom.

Caitlyn Jenner

Jenner won gold in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal


Popperfoto via Getty Images)

Younger generations will know Caitlyn Jenner for being a reality TV star rather than an Olympic champion.

Long before Keeping Up with the Kardashians hit our screens, Jenner had a six-year decathlon career which culminated in the greatest achievement of them all.

After finishing 10th at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Jenner started an intense training regime during the day while selling insurance at night.

All the hard work paid off as Jenner achieved personal bests in eight out of the 10 events in the 1976 Montral games and won the gold medal with a record points score.

Jenner shot to fame and was hailed an an “all-American hero”, but she does not believe it was the greatest achievement of her life.

Caitlyn Jenner went on to become a massive reality TV star


Getty Images)

The LGBT icon had gender reassignment in 2017 and has joked about having “the great double” of Olympic decathlon champion and Glamour’s woman of the year.

Asked what her greatest achievement has been in 2019, Jenner told Radio 4: “I would have to put my identity as higher. It was tougher to do. I trained 12 years for the Olympic Games. I trained 65 years to transition in 2015.

“It was less accepted. Everyone loved the Games. A lot of people when they see you transition hate your guts. Look at the quotes on Instagram. By far that was a lot more difficult.

“Being gender dysphoric and dyslexic- that’s what made me down the line. When I got into sports, it became more important for me to succeed at sports and work hard at sports because of all these issues.”

Princess Anne and Zara Tindall

Zara receives her silver medal from her mum, Princess Anne



Princess Anne became the first member of the Royal Family to compete in the Olympics during the 1976 Montreal games.

The Queen’s daughter took part in the equestrian three-day event on her mother’s horse, Goodwill, with all the royal family watching from the sidelines.

Sadly, Anne finished in 24th place and didn’t win any medals, but her daughter managed to achieve success.

Zara Tindall followed in her mum’s footsteps by competing at London 2012 with the British equestrian team.

They won a silver medal and in a touching moment it was actually Princess Anne who presented her daughter with her medal.

Speaking afterwards, Zara said: “It’s disappointing we didn’t get gold, but the team’s been awesome.

“It’s been a real honour to ride with everyone. We’ve had an amazing week.

“It’s been great, and when you get one of these medals put round your neck, it brings it back to you and you realise everything was worth it.”

Bob Anderson

Bob Anderson did Darth Vader’s fighting scenes


Lucas Films)

His face may never have been seen on screen, but Bob Anderson played a vital role in the Star Wars films.

The Olympic fencer represented Great Britain at the 1952 games in Helsinki, finishing fifth in the team sabre event.

After retiring from competition, Anderson became a renowned movie fight choreographer and was regarded as the best in Hollywood.

He staged the lightsaber battles in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi while wearing the Darth Vader costume in fight scenes.

His involvement was kept fairly secret but Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill revealed Anderson’s involvement and gave him recognition.

Anderson was responsible for sword-fighting scenes in The Mask of Zorro, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Pirates of the Caribbean as well as coaching famous faces such as Johnny Depp, Sean Connery and Antonio Banderas.

The Winkelvoss twins

Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss (far left) as part of the 2010 Oxford University boat race crew



The Winklevoss twins famously sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, claiming that he stole their idea when creating the giant social media site.

While at Harvard University, Cameron and Tyler starter the ConnectU site as a better way for students from different universities to connect.

They were both played by Arnie Hammer in the film The Social Network.

The boys also found the time to row and competed together at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in the men’s coxless pair event.

They also represented Oxford University in the 2010 Boat Race but lost out in a close race with Cambridge.

Their distinctive surname will forever be synonymous for their role in the formation of Facebook, and Arnie Hammer’s portrayal of them in The Social Network.

They found Winklevoss Capital Management and Gemini cryptocurrency exchange – with an estimated cryptocurrency holding of $1.4 billion each.

Ming Campbell

Sir Ming Campbell was briefly leader of the Liberal Democrats

Politician Ming Campbell is best known for his brief stint as leader of the Liberal Democrat party from March 2006 to October 2007.

He was the MP for North East Fife for an impressive 28 years and is now the Chancellor of the University of St Andrews.

But before delving into politics he was a successful sprinter and was once hailed as “the fastest white man on the planet”.

Incredibly, Campbell ran the 100m in 10.2 seconds twice in 1967, beating OJ Simpson in one of the races, and held the British record for seven years.

The Scotsman competed in the 200 metres and 4×100 metres relay at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo and captained the Great Britain athletics team between 1965 and 1966.

McKayla Maroney

McKayla Maroney stands on the podium with her silver medal at London 2012


Getty Images)

Lots of people will recognise McKayla Maroney from the ‘not impressed’ meme, which was a photo of her looking glum after receiving a silver medal.

The American gymnast was part of the formidable ‘Fierce Five’ team at the London 2012 Olympics and won gold in the team event.

Maroney also won an individual silver medal in the vault, then injuries led to her retirement four years later.

After leaving the world of gymnastics, Maroney turned her attention towards acting and singing.

She released her first single ‘Wake Up Call’ in March last year and played Tonya in TV series Hart of Dixie.

Dolph Lundgren

Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren with American star Sylvester Stallone on the set of Rocky IV


Corbis via Getty Images)

This one is not strictly correct as Dolph Lundgren did not actually compete at an Olympics, but he did have an important role at one.

But after starring as an East German gold medallist in the movie Pentathlon, the Swedish action hero was chosen as the Team Leader of the USA Modern Pentathlon team at the Atlanta games in 1996.

Lundgren is most famous for playing nasty Soviet boxer Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.

The martial arts expert also played He-Man and has starred in the Universal Soldier and Expendables film series.

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