Sports Illustrated/Getty ImagesBruce Jenner has gone from Olympic champ to reality TV star since winning the 1976 decathlon.The 62-year-old star, who will be a special corespondent for E! at the London Olympics, talked to Parade about Olympic fame, "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," and more.
On his favorite Olympic memory.
"Winning! That's about as good as you can get. When I won the Games in 1976, I wasn't shocked because I was the number one guy in the world; nobody had beaten me in three years. I kind of expected to win, but it was the last meet of my life because I knew I was retiring after it was over. It was a feeling of pure satisfaction that I put so much time and energy into this thing and that it all worked out. I accomplished everything in the sport that you could possibly accomplish. That was very gratifying to me. On the other side of it, it was kind of a bittersweet moment. I was walking away from my best friend. I started crying afterwards because all the direction that I had in my life to train was over. The decathlon is not that type of event where you can do it for fun, you're either in or you're out, and I knew I had to get out. I had to move on to the more important things in life because this is just sports, it's not really life."
On dealing with overnight fame.
It was kind of interesting. I was in New York a couple weeks before the Games and nobody said hi. After the games were over with, there were people stopping their cars and jumping out to shake my hand. It shows you the power of television. I never felt like I had changed. but everybody looked at me differently. I don't have a big ego, but everybody around you changes how they treat you. It changes your life dramatically. I dove right into the television business and here it is 36 years later and I'm still working."
On sharing his gold medal with his daughters.
"During the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia, I was sitting on the couch with Kendall and Kylie watching a medal ceremony, and I gave my little girls a nudge and said, 'Daddy's got one of those medals.' And they said, 'Really? No way!' So I ran upstairs to the safe and took the medal out and they went 'Aww dad, that's so cool.' The only problem was that I only had one medal for two little girls. So they took turns wearing it every commercial break. That's why you win Olympic gold medals!"
On his decision to share his life with the rest of the world on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."
"When Kris and I were talking about doing this show many years ago, the whole family decided to give it a shot. Little did we know where it was going. The bottom line about the show is that's it's about a loving family. No matter how much drama there is, everybody makes up at the end. And that's the way life should be."
On how Olympic fame compares to reality TV fame.
"The Games are so unique — you take on the world and that's a very gratifying feeling. Reality television is not that big a deal, but it does bring you fame. I am part of the baby boomer generation and they kind of grew up with me with the Wheaties commercials and the television appearances. Now, with the success of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," it's a total different audience. It's women ages 18-42 — a huge audiences who never saw me. They only know me as Kim's stepdad or Khloe's stepdad or Kendall and Kylie's dad.They don't know what I did at the Olympics, which is fine. Being a dad is much more important than winning the Olympic games."
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