Thursday October 28, 2010 3:10 PM
Ohno still pushing himself whether on ice or not
NEW YORK (AP) – Apolo Anton Ohno starts from the beginning in his new book: He opens by writing about the mother he’s never known.
The record-setting Olympic speedskater finds himself increasingly curious to learn more about where he comes from. He understands why she hasn’t contacted him, Ohno told The Associated Press on Thursday, and believes she feels it’s too late in his life to do so. He’d have to be the one to reach out, and Ohno is considering it.
“You think about when is a good time, and if there’s a good time,” he said.
The 28-year-old Ohno was raised by his father after his mother left when he was young. He said he began “Zero Regrets” by mentioning his mother because “I wanted to show readers the real story from the heart.”
Writing the book was just one of the many endeavors that have kept Ohno on the move since he became the United States’ most decorated Winter Olympian in Vancouver in February, winning three medals to increase his career total to eight.
“My body yearns to train for something, whether it’s physical or mental,” he said.
He’s launching a nutritional supplement business, speaking to colleges and corporations, working with middle school kids and auditioning for acting roles. He’s even making an appearance next week on “Dancing with the Stars,” which he won in 2007.
“The last thing I want to do is not have something in my life I’m passionate about,” Ohno said.
And Ohno, who always said he was too busy training for a love life, acknowledges with a sly grin that “I’m dating,” but wants to leave it at that.
Ohno has yet to decide whether he’ll try to compete at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. He believes he needs 2 1/2 years to prepare, so that sets a deadline to decide of next summer.
Ohno insists he can quench that yearning to train with challenges other than speedskating. Still, there’s a reason so many sports stars announce their retirements and then return.
“I fully understand why athletes come back,” Ohno said. “There is a sensation and a sense of drive and almost a sense of scheduled purpose that you can fulfill every single day when you’re training for something, whether it’s basketball, baseball, Olympic Games. It’s very hard to get in the outside world.”
Plus there’s the satisfaction of proving naysayers wrong, which he fully concedes he enjoys.
“I don’t want to hear ‘No,”’ Ohno said.
And he’d hear plenty of that if he tried to compete in short-track speedskating in the Olympics at the age of 31.