7. Lindsey Vonn
When decorative alpine skier Lindsay Van announced that she could not fully recover from a knee injury to compete in the Sochi Olympics, NBC certainly had a momentary breakdown. The Winter Games are nowhere near the star power of the Sexy Summer Games, making it more difficult for the network to compete to lose its biggest name just five weeks before the opening ceremony.
Although she was unable to compete in Sochi, Van was still a promising presence – NBC was quick to bring her on board as an Olympic representative for the Today show.
One of the most decorated women in the history of the sport, Van is one of the rare athletes whose star only rises after a career. At the Vancouver Olympics, he won a gold medal in Downhill and a bronze medal in Super G. Four years later, she was a much bigger star.
Probably because he has embraced his celebrity with open arms. Remember the media fire that he started a few years ago through tabooing? Van has an active presence on social media, with more than 300,000 Twitter followers and 160,000 others on Instagram. Notorious private PGA superstar Tiger Woods has a completely different profile than her boyfriend of more than a year.