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Apolo Ohno ( 1987 - )  Category ( Sports_Figures ) [suggest a correction]
 

Apolo OhnoApolo Ohno is an American short track speed skater. He is the most decorated American Winter Olympic Athlete of all time. He is one of only four Americans who have won three medals in a single Winter Olympic games. He has held the position of United States champion for nine years straight, having won that title a total of twelve times.

Like many other Olympic athletes, Ohno began an athletic program at an early age. In his case, it was out of concern from his father, who raised Ohno alone in the Seattle, Washington area. He was worried his young son would be home alone too much, and so enrolled the child in a wide variety of before and after school sports activities.

Ohno's parents divorced when he was an infant and he has had no contact with his mother for nearly ten years, and has expressed no interest in contacting her. After a childhood filled with sports training, Ohno settled on short track speed skating. He learned about the sport while watching the 1994 Olympics on television. His supportive father encouraged the youth and drove him to competitions throughout the Northwest United States and Canada, where Ohno won in a number of divisions. Indeed, he was, at age 13, the youngest skater admitted to the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center.

After dealing with his comrade's teasing (they called Ohno "Chunky") he became even more determined to succeed, and in 1997 he won the U.S. Senior Championships, receiving a gold medal in the 1500 m, a silver in the 300 m, and fourth in the 500 m. Later he trained at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, despite being only fourteen years old.

As his success and fame spread, Ohno was credited with popularizing his sport. He is also interested in the business and entertainment worlds. He studied business at the University of Colorado and formed the Apolo Anton Ohno Foundation, which discourages underage alcohol consumption and promotes healthy lifestyles. He is so interested in good nutition that he is currently working on a cookbook with famous Seattle chefs. With regard to the entertainment world, he was the winner of the fourth season of Dancing With the Stars, was a judge on Project Runway, and has a list of big name sponsors, including McDonald's, General Electric, Vicks, and Coca-Cola. When Alaska Airlines became his primary sponsor for the 2010 Winter Olympics, a Boeing 737 was designed with his image on the side.


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