Friday, August 15, 2014

Will the Real Bruce Jenner Please Stand Up! Who Is He and How Did Bruce Jenner Become Famous

You may think Bruce Jenner is just some rich old guy that got his girls a reality TV show. Heck, you may even think he's a Kardashian. Though Jenner appears to be now forever entrenched in the muck and mire of reality TV, there was a time when he made the entire country stand up and cheer. Simply put, Bruce Jenner is a national sports hero.

Bruce Jenner: Olympic Champion

In 1972 the US men's track team lost all the major medals to the then powerful Soviets. Jenner finished 10th in the decathlon event and decided to start training full time for the 1976 games.

When Jenner stepped into the Olympic track and field event arena in Montreal there was a rush of anticipation that grew with each passing event of the decathlon. People started expecting to see something great, and they were not disappointed.
Bruce Jenner led the way for the American track team to win back their places at the top of the Olympic podium. As Jenner accepted his gold medal for his world record performance in the decathlon, he boosted the entire spirit of the US as a people. It was the first time I remember my mother crying over a sporting event. I noticed every adult in the room was watching and crying quietly, tears of joy and pride. It had been a long time since the US had last stood completely united for anything.

Cashing in on Olympic Gold

Bruce Jenner was not the most highly decorated Olympian in Montreal. He was not the only one to break a world record in his event. So why do we remember him while others have slipped back into obscurity? Probably because Bruce put as much determination into keeping his celebrity status as he did in going for his gold medal.

In the 70's the Olympics were still only open to non-professional athletes. If you were paid in any way, you were ineligible to compete. For this reason, most Olympic athletes remained relatively unknown unless they brought home the gold medal.

Like most track and field stars, Jenner took the endorsements his gold medal earned him. Wheaties hired him as their spokesman. He was not only on the box, but was paid to represent the company. This was an advertising first for the cereal company, and Bruce kept his image squeaky clean.

Determined to make the most of his fame he joined ABC as a sportscaster. He also hired the best talent agency and started getting some roles on TV. After a few minor film roles it was obvious Jenner was out of his element in acting.

Settling in the world of big business and motivational speaking has suited the former Olympian quite well. His company, Bruce Jenner Aviation, is thriving brokering aircraft sales to corporations.

Bruce Jenner & the Kardashians

Bruce met Kris Kardashian after she split with her husband Robert Kardashian, an attorney on the defense team (and close personal friends with) O.J. Simpson. The couple were married in 1991. Bruce Jenner has four kids from two previous marriages, Kris has two children from hers. Together the couple had two more daughters, Kendall and Kylie.

In 2007 the Kardashian's began starring in the E! reality show "Keeping Up With the Kardashians". The show has grown in ratings ever since.

No matter what kind of mark his family leaves on the world of reality television, Bruce Jenner will always be remembered as America's favorite Olympic athlete. He was there when we needed him most.


USATF - Statistics

People Magazine: Fame Woes

IMDB: Bruce Jenner

E! Renews: 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians'

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