Apolo Ohno Skating Career Is Over, TV Is Next Big Thing

Apolo Ohno’s career is over, and the short-track speed skater has effectively retired from the sport. Although 30-year-old Ohno is America’s most decorated winter Olympian, he has effectively hung up his skates with the announcement that he won’t be competing in the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi.

Instead, the eight-time medal winner will be working as a sports correspondent for NBC.

He was first diagnosed with exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) in 2000, two years before his first Olympics appearance. Despite the challenges caused by the condition, he won a gold and a silver at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games.

EIB is sometimes popularly referred to as exercise-induced asthma. The air passages constrict during vigorous exercise, causing the athlete to gasp for breath or to experience extreme fatigue as well as traditional wheezing or gasping.

But he hasn’t competed since he won one bronze and two silver medals at the 2010 Vancouver winter games. He has also confessed that he hasn’t trained on ice since then.

On Wednesday, Ohno talked to USA Today’s Kelly Whiteside about his retirement. He admitted that he hadn’t previously stated in words of one syllable that he was out of the game but he pointed out: “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.”

With the more-or-less official admission that Apolo Anton Ohno has retired, the most decorated American winter Olympian is ski racer Bode Miller, who is perhaps the top US male alpine ski racer of all time.

In recent years, the hunky Ohno has built a TV career that included two seasons of competition on Dancing With the Stars. The skater also recently wrapped filming on Game Show Network’s Minute to Win It, which premieres in June.

Now, with his NBC job confirmed for the 2014 games, Apolo Ohno has finally closed the door on skating.

[Apolo Ohno photo by s_bukley / Shutterstock.com]

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