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Apolo Anton Ohno

Opportunity

At one competition in 1995 Patrick Wentland, a speed-skating coach from the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York, saw Apolo Ohno skate and persuaded the center to bend its rules and admit Ohno even though he had not reached the minimum age of 15. Yuki Ohno was thrilled at this opportunity, but Apolo Ohno was not so sure. When, in June 1996, Yuki took Apolo to the airport to catch a flight to Lake Placid, Apolo called one of his friends to come pick him up as soon as he was out of Yuki's sight. A few weeks later, Yuki took Apolo to Lake Placid himself.

Apolo Ohno was not interested in the tough exercise regimen that he was supposed to be following at the Olympic Training Center. In fact, whenever the skaters went out on a 5-mile run, Ohno would slip away from the group and go to Pizza Hut. Then, in August, the speed skaters were given the results of their body fat tests, and Ohno's was the highest of the group. Wentland recalled to Sports Illustrated's S. L. Price that after that, "He came up to me and said, 'I don't want to be the fattest, I don't want to be the slowest, I want to be the best.' Every workout from then on, he had to win. I'd never seen that kind of turnaround so fast." A year later, at age 14, Ohno became the youngest U.S. short-track speed-skating champion ever.

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Famous Sports StarsSpeed SkatingApolo Anton Ohno Biography - Rebellion, Opportunity, Disappointment, Chronology, Two Controversial Medals, Future Hopes, Awards And Accomplishments - CONTACT INFORMATION