Every four years the Winter Olympics does more than just prove which country has the best athletes competing in winter sports.

While the games used to be focused solely on athletic ability, more recently -– think back to the most recent Summer Olympics and the conversation about Gabby Douglas and specifically, her hair –- the athletes star power and celeb status has become a bigger take away for the public and the media.

Here are seven athletes that have seen a little but more of the spotlight than others at Sochi and will still be on our minds in weeks and months to come:

Bode Miller

Not exactly a new name, but the alpine skier who had been criticized in the past for his cocky attitude made fresh headlines when NBC’s Christin Cooper pushed a little too far with her interview questions about Miller’s deceased brother, bringing him to tears. Following the interview, social media sites lit up in support of Miller and bashed Cooper as an insensitive journalist. We’ll see how he milks this one when he’s home from Russia, but the public likes him more than they used to.

Lolo Jones

American hurdler turned bobsledder Lori “Lolo” Jones made noise with her personal backstory of growing up poor and occasionally homeless before conquering track and field sports at Louisiana State. The athlete also made an awkward joke to her 392,000 Twitter followers after receiving a pair of curling pants from the Norwegian men’s team.

Petter Northug

The Norwegian cross-country skier has been known to mock Sweden for just about everything, from it currency to its king. The athlete also once had “haters gonna hate” printed on the shoulder of his racing suit, in what seems to be an invitation for confrontation from just about anyone who is willing to accept.

Julia Lipnitskaia

The Russian figure skater dazzled viewers with her performance that exceeded the showmanship of those older than her. Lipnitskaia’s talent was seen through her artistry, not to mention the fact that she’s only 15 years old. Future predictions for this Olympian teen are calling for gold.

Sage Kotsenburg

The American snowboarder made a special appearance on Conan O’Brien’s talk show where the athlete –- who already own and Olympic gold in men’s snowboard slopestyle –- was awarded with another medal from Conan, this time though it was made out of…bacon. Kotsenburg is obviously up to date on his culinary trends.

Kate Hansen

U.S. luger Kate Hansen was in on the newest viral Jimmy Kimmel prank, attempting to have us believe that a wolf was roaming the streets of Sochi. Although this prank was not as effective as others, it definitely put Hansen on the media map.

Sarah Reid’s skeleton helmet

Bleacher Report has described the skeleton Olympic event as a “high-octane, adrenaline-packed luge-style race.” Since athletes travel head first down the slope, the most prominent thing viewers see is their helmet. This is why we’ve credited Canada’s Sarah Reid with the best one; hers featured a female Day of the Dead-style skull surrounded by a few of Canada’s symbolic maple leaf and we’re pretty sure nothing about the Olympics is cooler than that.

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Sochi 2014: The 10 hottest male Olympic athletes

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