Apolo Ohno Retires: Eight-Time Olympian to be Correspondent Instead Competing at 2014 Winter Olympics
By Robert Christie | Apr 25, 2013
Olympic Medalist Apolo Ohno is hanging up his skates, according to USA Today.
The most decorated skater in the history of the Winter Olympics was busy the past year. He was on “Dancing With the Stars” and has had cameo roles on TV shows. He also appeared in the Syfy TV Movie “Tasmanian Devils.”
In addition to running the New York Marathon, he also became a spokesman exercise-induced bronchospasm—or EIB. EIB is disorder that can trigger breathing issues during or after exercise. Ohno was diagnosed with EIB in 2000 but never spoke about it during his skating career.
Ohno has not skated since 2010. However, he there was a possibility he would skate in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. (Sochi is a city in Russia.)
That possibility is now gone. The 30-year old will instead be a correspondent for the Sochi Olympics.
Here is an excerpt from USA Today Sports’ interview with Ohno:
Q: You never officially retired until now. Why?
A: “I never wanted to officially announce a retirement, never felt I needed to. It works for some people. For me my goal was to be as busy as possible, to make sure my transition after competition went well. I’ve been blessed to have success off the ice.
I never really mentioned (retirement). It’s less than 12 months from the Olympic Games so I thought people would catch on. For me it was pretty much common sense. An Olympic pursuit really takes a full three to four years of Olympic preparation.”
Q: For the past year, the USA’s most successful Winter Olympic sport has been its most dysfunctional Winter Olympic sport, mired in a divisive scandal that has fractured the sport at the highest level. There’s been a skate tampering incident as well as allegations of physical and emotional abuse by the former head coach of the short track team. How difficult has that been to view from the outside?
A: “It was very difficult because at the end of the day, no matter who’s right and wrong, the only people that really suffer are the athletes. And unfortunately when it comes down to that, it means less medals for the United States and less medals for U.S. Speedskating. In the bigger picture I really hope they heal and come together.
We have some incredible athletes who have wonderful opportunities to win medals for our country, and I hope people can look past some of the issues that they have.
The problems in U.S. Speedskating are nothing new. U.S. Speedskating has been riddled with problems since when I started my career and we were always able to look past that. When it came down to performing on the ice, regardless of funding issues, we were always able to make it happen. And that’s what it’s all about.
I know it will come, but they will have to heal as soon as possible. They will have to train extra hard this year because the world is catching up. It’s not the same world in 1998 and 2002 when I was competing. Countries that weren’t really competitive are now medal threats like Russia and other parts of Europe. It’s sad, but I’m optimistic about our chances.”