One of the Greatest Olympians of All Time: Who Is Apolo Ohno?

One of the Greatest Olympians of All Time: Who Is Apolo Ohno?

One of the Greatest Olympians of All Time: Who Is Apolo O...

credit. Damian Strohmeyer

Apolo Anton Ohno is a name synonymous with speed, agility, and excellence in the world of short track speed skating. Born on May 22, 1982, Ohno's journey to becoming an eight-time medalist in the Winter Olympics is nothing short of remarkable.

Early Life and Making of Star

Ohno's interest in short-track speed skating began at age 12 when he got to see the sport up close at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer. He began full-time training in 1996 with the support of his father and earned substantial prominence in record time. He was 14 when he won his first national title in 1997 (he would go on to win the U.S. title 12 times between 2001 and 2009).


Record-Breaking Achievements

He was named the United States Olympic Committee's Male Athlete of the Month in October 2003 and in March 2008, and he was also the U.S. Speedskating's Athlete of the Year for 2003. For his effort and skill, Ohno became the most decorated American in Winter Olympics history: he won two gold, two silver, and four bronze medals.


The Impact

The impact he had on short-track speed skating in the United States is immeasurable. It was in the latter part of the early 2000s that he won medals at the Winter Olympics and became the face of the sport - and stood up in the media to speak on behalf of his sport. He was inspired beyond the ice rink and became a motivational speaker, philanthropist, and entrepreneur with his supplement company, 8 Zone.


Beyond the Olympics

Since ending his career as a competitive skater in 2012, Ohno has remained in the world of sports. He was a commentator for NBC's 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics coverage and remained active in the sporting community. He then crossed over to the entertainment field, capturing the victory on the competitive reality TV series Dancing with the Stars and serving as the host of the Minute to Win It reboot on Game Show Network.


Activism and Philanthropy

The influence of Ohno reached the realm of sports far and wide. Through the Apolo Ohno Foundation, he committed himself to philanthropy and activism and partnered with organizations to combat underage drinking and promote a healthy lifestyle.


The "Hard Pivot"

Ohno opens his book, Hard Pivot, with a brutally honest look at the difficulties he faced after he left competitive skating. What it was like going from the only world he knew, as a high-performance athlete competing on the world stage, and finding a new normal. His testimonial of the demons he faced humanizes this cult-level status... as well as inspiring anyone at a fork in the road, dead in their tracks, frozen in fear and panic.


In the End

The transformation of Apolo Anton Ohno from an ambitious young skater to an individual Olympic champion serves as a real-life illustration of the potential if you train to succeed, persevere through adversity, and grow from the challenges life throws at you. His legacy will live beyond the ice and his title as one of the greatest Olympians of all time will inspire generations to pass.
In short, Apolo Ohno, his legacy and his strive for perfection place him among the greatest winter sports legends that the world has ever seen in short-track speed skating. His story remains a guiding light of hope and fortitude for everyone reminding us that success is not just counted in metals, but by the grit and determination one has in steering through life's "hard pivots".


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