MICHAEL PHELPS'SStateside itinerary is almost as frantic as his Olympic swimming schedule. Heshot a cameo for Entourage (right, with Kevin Connolly) last Thursday, and hewas set to join 150 other Olympians (including Kobe Bryant and Lisa Leslie) onWednesday in Chicago for Oprah. Then it's off to New York City to serve as apresenter at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, followed by a gig as host ofthe Sept. 13 season premiere of Saturday Night Live. He'll need to find time towrite. He signed a book deal with Simon and Schuster worth a reported $1.6million. Titled Built to Succeed, the book is due out by Christmas. Phelpsmight face some literary competition from his mom: Publishers are said to beshowing an interest in Debbie Phelps as well.
Here is how someother stars of the Games have fared. Nastia Liukin While Phelps will pushFrosted Flakes, the women's gymnastics all-around champ will appear on Wheatiesboxes this month (as will decathlon champ Bryan Clay). Liukin is alsoreportedly in line to hit the big screen—or at least hit the direct-to-DVDbin—in the comedy Chalk It Up. Even if no one sees the movie (it stars MarioCantone), Liukin will still get plenty of visibility: She's on a Times Squarebillboard for Vanilla Sky Jeans.
Misty May-TreanorIn addition to shopping a book, the two-time beach volleyball gold medalist hassigned on as a contestant on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.
Dara Torres The41-year-old signed a $3 million, two-book deal—one a memoir, the other a healthand fitness guide
Mike KrzyzewskiCoach K's next book will tell the story of how the scrappy Redeem Team wongold.
Usain Bolt Theworld's fastest man hasn't even been back home to Jamaica yet. "Track andfield is my job," he said last week from Zurich, where he won the 100meters—and $16,000—at the Golden League meet.
Shawn Johnson The16-year-old gymnast can't vote in a presidential election until 2012, butJohnson (right, with Al Gore) gave Barack Obama her endorsement anyway when sheled the Democratic National Convention in the Pledge of Allegiance lastThursday.
Kirsty CoventryThe former Auburn swimmer, who won all four of Zimbabwe's medals in Beijing,was given a briefcase filled with $100,000 by president Robert Mugabe on livetelevision. Her prize was in U.S. dollars, which is a good thing: Inflation inZimbabwe is running at 11,000%, rendering local currency all but useless.
IF NOTHING else, John McCain's selection of Alaskagovernor Sarah Palin as his running mate means that he has someone who couldmatch up with Barack Obama if the presidential tickets ever play two-on-twohoops. When she was a student at Wasilla (Alaska) High, point guard Palin(class of '82) picked up the nickname Sarah Barracuda for her fierce play onthe court. Her career highlight: a Willis Reed--like performance in a stateplayoff game, when she hit a game-winning free throw despite having a stressfracture in her ankle.
Palin's jockish ways continued after high school. Sheworked for a time as a sports anchor for a local TV station, and she fishes andhunts. (Her husband, Todd, is a four-time winner of the 1,971-mile Tesoro IronDog Championship, the world's longest snowmobile race.) Not that her Democraticcounterpart is a slouch in the sports department: According to the Universityof Delaware website, Joe Biden, 65, "is a vocal fan of the Fightin' BlueHens football team, for which he played briefly as what he calls a 'half-bakedhalfback.'?"
HEATH FAMILY/AP (PALIN BASKETBALL)
PVT. CHRISTOPHER T. GRAMMER/DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE/AP (PALIN GUN)
CHARLES DHARAPAK/AP (JOHNSON)
WHEATIES/BUSINESS WIRE (WHEATIES)
CLAUDETTE BARIUS/HBO/AP (PHELPS)