Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno

Before he garnered more fame by Dancing With the Stars, Apolo Anton Ohno earned his recognition representing the U.SA.  as  winning Olympic Speed Skater in the Winter Olympic Games.  He is among the top Olympians of all-time. 

Photo Credit Wikepedia: 2006 Winter Olympics

Apolo Anton Ohno (born May 22, 1982) is an American short track speed skating competitor and a five-time medalist (two gold, one silver, two bronze) in the Winter Olympics.  Ohno has won five Olympic medals over his career and is one of only four Americans who has won three medals in a single Winter Olympics game.[3] He is tied with Eric Heiden for most career medals at the Winter Games by an American man.

His Heritage and Background:

Ohno was born in Federal Way, Washington, to a Caucasian-American mother, Jerrie Lee, and Japanese-born father, Yuki Ohno (大野 幸, Ōno Yuki?).Ohno’s parents divorced when he was an infant and he was raised by his father.   He has had little contact with his biological mother and as of 2002, has expressed no interest in knowing her or his older half-brother.   Ohno’s father, a high-fashion hair stylist and owner of the salon Yuki’s Diffusion, often worked 12-hour shifts, and with no family in the United States, found it hard to balance career and family.  His father chose to name his son Apolo after the Greek words “Ap” which means to “steer away from”, and “lo” which means “look out, here he comes”.  When Ohno was very young, his father meticulously researched childcare providers to care for his son during his long work hours.  As he grew older, his father became concerned his son would become a latchkey kid, so he got his son involved with competitive swimming and inline speed skating to fill his spare time.   Ohno’s days were spent with morning swimming practices, followed by schooling, and finally skating practices in the afternoon.  When he was 12, he won the Washington state championship in the breaststroke but preferred inline speed skating over swimming.  He has stated that by the time he turned 13 years old, he attended parties with older teenagers if he did not have competitions on the weekends.   His father has stated that it was a struggle balancing his son’s desire for independence while helping him reach his potential as a young athlete. – (Wikepedia)

Ohno talks about hopes for 2010 Olympics.  See interview: http://kcts9.org/video/apolo-anton-ohno-2010-olympics