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Cute Alert! Olympic Athletes When They Were Kids — From Ryan Lochte to Jordyn Wieber (Photos)

McKayla Maroney & Kyla Ross

Before the gold, before the silver, before the bronze, the Olympians you’re watching nightly were just little kids with minds full of hopes and dreams. But through years of hard work, and in most cases, a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears, these youngsters grew up to compete on the world stage in the most important event of their lives, with some winning the most coveted award of all: an Olympic gold medal.

For an injection of cute in the midst of our collective case of Olympic fever, here is a collection of photographs of Olympians when they were wee ones, from swimming champions Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps to gold winning gymnasts like McKayla Maroney and Jordyn Wieber.

Check out these awesome photos right here:

nggallery id=’124221′

  • McKayla Maroney’s Yearbook 1 of 14
    McKayla Maroney's Yearbook
    "My Elementary school year book! #DREAMBIG!!" Yes, she had big dreams and she made them come true. Awesome.
    Photo Credit: @McKaylaMaroney/Twitter
  • McKayla Maroney & Kyla Ross 2 of 14
    McKayla Maroney & Kyla Ross
    "I'm going to the Olympics with one of my best friends!!!!!! #DreamsDoComeTrue" Yes, yes they do. Amazing that these two both won gold and won it together.
    Photo Credit: @McKaylaMaroney/Twitter
  • Ryan Lochte 3 of 14
    Ryan Lochte
    Before he was a swimming sensation (and certified hottie) Ryan Lochte was dressed up for awkward family photos. He shared this pic tweeting, "Gotta love family get togethers. Look what I can across me and my 3 cousins. I'm far left haha!"
    Photo Credit: @Ryanlochte/Twitter
  • John Orozco 4 of 14
    John Orozco
    What an adorable smile. John Orozco sure was a cutie. He tweeted this pic with the tag, "My baby picture "Rawr!!!!"
    Photo Credit: @JohnW_Orozco/Twitter
  • Michael Phelps 5 of 14
    Michael Phelps
    Michael Phelps may be the Olympian with the most medals EVER, but once he was just a skinny kid with a dream. Phelps tweeted this photo saying, "That's me when I first started swimming...haha."
    Photo Credit: @MichaelPhelps/Twitter
  • Missy Franklin 6 of 14
    Missy Franklin
    After her big win, Missy tweeted this adorable photo of herself! Yes, she is wearing a Barbie nightgown.
    Photo Credit: @FranklinMissy/Twitter
  • Danell Leyva 7 of 14
    Danell Leyva
    Before the bronze, gymnast Danell Leyva was apparently really into Barney! He tweeted, "Best part of this picture is that it wasn't even Halloween #AndWhat #BarneyWasABoss"
    Photo Credit: @DanellJLeyva/Twitter
  • Aly Raisman 8 of 14
    Aly Raisman
    Love this one! Gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman tweeted this photo, saying, "Let's be real... I was always a diva."
    Photo Credit: @Aly_Raisman/Twitter
  • McKayla Maroney 9 of 14
    McKayla Maroney
    Gold medal winner McKayla Maroney tweeted this adorable photo of her early gymnastics team and posed the question, "Wondering if I should bring back the pigtails."
    Photo Credit: @McKaylaMaroney/Twitter
  • Nathan Adrian 10 of 14
    Nathan Adrian
    Gold medalist Nathan Adrian shared this adorable photo of him years before he became a world champion swimmer. He tweeted,"Look at that handsome little guy! Just looking thru old pictures while I am home."
    Photo Credit: @Nathangadrian/Twitter
  • Dana Vollmer 11 of 14
    Dana Vollmer
    Dana wasn't always a swimmer; she also played basketball. Here is a vintage photo of the gold-medal winner with her old team.
    Photo Credit: @danavollmer/Twitter
  • Jordyn Wieber 12 of 14
    Jordyn Wieber
    Gold medalist Jordyn Wieber shared this hilarious vintage Halloween photo saying, "Lookin good...."
    Photo Credit: @jordyn_wieber/Twitter
  • McKayla Maroney 13 of 14
    McKayla Maroney
    Gymnast McKayla Maroney tweeted this side by side comparison of her and her younger sister Tarynn, saying, "Tarynn's my twin!" Wonder if she will follow big sister's gymnastics footsteps."
    Photo Credit: @McKaylaMaroney/Twitter
  • McKayla Maroney & Brother 14 of 14
    McKayla Maroney & Brother
    "#Flashback!! Me and my brother! #Palmsprings" She was ready for greatness at a young age.
    Photo Credit: @McKaylaMaroney/Twitter
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Photo Credit: @ McKaylaMaroney/ Twitter

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