Apolo Ohno Laps the BFT
January 18, 2013, 6:42 pm
Apolo Ohno is the most decorated American Winter Olympian of all time, and on Friday he joined the BFT to talk about his career and what lies ahead.
Ohno was immediately asked about where his medals are, to which he replied that his father was keeping them up in Seattle, Washington. As to if and how his father is displaying his Olympic medals, Ohno stated that he had no idea, but that his father might be building something.
“Maybe some sort of a catapult,” Ohno joked.
And while the medals are special, Ohno echoed a sentiment shared by many Olympians in that the real thing to take away from the Olympics is the experience and the memories. However, for much of the public the predominant memory of Ohno isn’t of him skating his way to Winter Olympics history, but of his championship run on a season of the reality TV show “Dancing with the Stars” and his return for the All-Star season in 2012. In fact, Ohno stated that he’s met some people who only know him from the reality dancing show.
“[I’ll] meet somebody and they’re like, ‘You are such an incredible dancer! Are you going to keep dancing?’, and they don’t mention anything about the Olympics at any point,” explained Ohno.
When asked if the dancing came natural to him given his athleticism, Ohno stated that it none of the dancing came naturally, even during his second appearance with a whole season already under his belt.
In the wake of Lance Armstrong’s admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his professional cycling career, Ohno was asked to give his take on the situation, given that Armstrong was known as an inspiration for the speedskater. Ohno stated the situation was sad from any perspective, but that he didn’t want people to lose sight of the big picture of cancer research and helping those who had been affected by the disease.
As the interview continued, Ohno revealed that he had been diagnosed with a condition called Exercise-Induced Bronchospasms, or EIB, in the year 2000. The condition causes an individual’s airways to restrict during exercise and according to Ohno about 30 million people in the United States are affected by this condition on a daily basis. Ohno has recently become one of the faces of the condition, and is working on spreading awareness and educating the public while also preaching that people seek out their health care professionals for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Suffice to say, the condition hasn’t slowed down Ohno. He competed in three more Winter Olympic Games after his diagnosis, and when asked about the status of his professional speedskating career Ohno admitted he wasn’t sure. He explained that he has taken a lot of time off from the sport, which has allowed him to explore business ventures and partner with charities and organizations like the Special Olympics. When asked about if he’ll skate in at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, Ohno was somewhat cryptic with his response.
“I’ll be there. I haven’t said whether I’ll skate or not, but I’ll be there either way.
To listen to the entire interview, click below: