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Before Bruce Jenner became a staple of reality TV as the patriarch of the Kardashian clan, the former Olympic athlete was revered as a national hero.
Jenner’s highly anticipated interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, airing Friday, April 24, is expected to shed light on the 65-year-old’s reported transition to a woman. But before the segment airs, here’s a look at some of Jenner’s career highlights below:
1976 Summer Olympics
Four years after finishing in 10th place at the 1972 Summer Olympics, Jenner received a gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympic Games, setting a world record of 8,616 points. He was inducted into the United States Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1980 and subsequently into the Olympic Hall of Fame in 1986.
“Breakfast of Champions”
In 1978, the decathlon champion scored a coveted endorsement deal with Wheaties. Jenner, who served as a spokesperson for the cereal brand from 1977 to 1979, graced the front of the Wheaties cereal box and starred in his own commercial (watch below).
Television and Film Career
Can’t Stop the Music (1980)
Grambling’s White Tiger (1981)
Skating with Celebrities (2006)
Jenner made his first screen appearance in the 1980 box-office flop Can’t Stop the Music, which later won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture. He went on to star in TV movies The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story (1980) and Grambling’s White Tiger (1981). He also held a recurring role in the police series CHiPs from 1981 to 1982, and has appeared in television game shows such as The Weakest Link (2002), I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! (2003), Celebrity Family Feud (2008) and Skating with Celebrities (2006).
Six years after winning the Olympic gold medal and landing the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1976, Jenner was featured on the front page of the May 1982 issue of Playgirl with then-wife Linda Thompson (whom he married in 1981 and divorced in 1986).
Pictured with first wife Chrystie Crownover
Crownover cheers Jenner on at the Summer Olympics
Jenner was married twice before he wed Kris Jenner in 1991 (with whom he shares daughters Kendall and Kylie Jenner). He had two children — Burt and Casey Jenner — with his first wife Chrystie Crownover (whom he was with from 1972 to 1981), and two children — Brandon and Brody Jenner — with his second wife Linda Thompson. In late 2014, Kris Jenner filed for divorce from the former athlete, citing irreconcilable differences.
The first episode of the Kardashian reality show aired in 2007. Since its premiere, the series has spawned three spin-off shows and is now in its tenth season. Jenner stars alongside wife Kris Jenner, daughters Kendall and Kylie Jenner, step-daughters Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian and step-son Rob Kardashian. In Feb. of last year, after over a decade of appearing on the reality show, Jenner reportedly announced that he would be leaving the series amidst rumors that he was contemplating a sex change (he later refuted the report in a statement to E! News).
Reported Gender Transition
Speculation that the 65-year-old would be undergoing a gender transition first surfaced in 2014. His mother, Esther Jenner, seemingly confirmed the floating rumors in an interview with the Associated Press, during which she stated, “I never thought I could be more proud of Bruce when he reached his goal in 1976, but I’m more proud of him now. It takes a lot of courage to do what he’s doing.” Though he has never publicly spoken on the topic of his reported transition to a woman, Jenner is expected to reveal the details of his gender journey to Diane Sawyer in a 2-hour ABC special airing tonight.
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