At 14 years old, Apolo Anton Ohno was the youngest athlete to join the U.S. Olympic Training Center’s residency program in Lake Placid. But it would be a few more years until Ohno would break through and emerge as an elite athlete.
By the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Ohno had become serious about his training and had the results to prove it, winning national titles and Olympic team trials, comfortably skating at every length in short-track speedskating.
“Skating as well as I am — that’s special,” Apolo said in the run-up to the Salt Lake City Winter Games. “To be able to come out of that mess as I did is special. To be able to improve my relations with my dad is special. I’m happy with the way my life’s going, the way I’m growing up as a person. Skating has changed me. I’ve had a lot of chances, and this is my time to shine.”
At Salt Lake City, Ohno won gold in the 1,500-meter race and silver in the 1,000.
Four years later, at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games, he took gold in the 500-meter race and bronze in the 1,000 and 5,000 relay. At the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Ohno added another silver medal and two more bronze.
With eight medals, he is the most decorated Winter Olympian in American history.