Having won his sixth and seventh career Olympic medals in Vancouver, short track speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno is now the most decorated Winter Olympian in U.S. history.
Ohno made his first Olympic appearance as a 19-year-old at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. There, he won a gold medal in the 1,500 meters and a silver in the 1,000 meters.
Four years later at the Turin Olympics, Ohno won three short track speed skating medals, a gold in the 500 meters, and bronze in the 1,000 meters and 5,000-meter relay.
In Vancouver, he has earned a silver in the 1,500 meters and a bronze in the 1,000 meters. With those results, he tied and then passed long track speed skater Bonnie Blair for the most Winter Olympics medals won by an American. Blair achieved her six - five of them gold - in the 1988, 1992 and 1994 Olympics.
When the 27-year-old Ohno won number seven here, Saturday, he was aware his total had passed a legend. "It feels amazing. I wouldn't be human if I didn't say it feels amazing," he said.
But Ohno added that passing Bonnie Blair's total has not been his focus. "I don't put labels on myself," he said. "I consider myself just to be an athlete at my third Olympic Games, competing my heart out."
"You know, I never came into these Olympic Games trying to break records or trying to tie any medal count. I do this sport first and foremost because I love it. My goal was to come out here and pour my heart and soul into these Olympic games, and I've had no regrets up to this point," he added.
And Ohno says he does not dwell on previous successes. "As an athlete, you never really look - at least I don't - I don't look back at the past medals that I've won. I remember all the struggles and the sacrifices I've made to get to this point. I've always lived my life thinking anything is possible. I don't care how fast somebody is skating, I don't care how good a team is skating, anything is possible in my sport," he said.
Apolo Anton Ohno, who still sports his trademark "soul-patch" [of facial hair] just above his chin, says his hard work has paid off. "I prepared for these games like I've never prepared for anything in my life. And, being one of the older skaters at 27, it feels good to be here still competing hard and representing the U.S. the best I can," he said.
Ohno could add to his Olympics short track speed skating medal total. Yet to come at these Winter Games are the men's 500 meters and 5,000-meter relay.