News / USA

Ohno Rules Out Sochi Olympics, Says Career Over

Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno is seen in New York April 24, 2013.
Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno is seen in New York April 24, 2013.
Reuters
American Apolo Anton Ohno has confirmed he will not compete at next year's Sochi Winter Olympics and has effectively retired from short-track speed skating.
       
Although Ohno, the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian, had been reluctant to speculate on his future, he told Reuters on Wednesday his days of competing were all but over and that he intended to pursue a broadcasting career.
       
"I'll be in Sochi but I definitely won't be trying out. I'll be with NBC,'' he said. "There's been no official retirement party, I've not had a press conference to say I'm retired but it's pretty safe to say.''
       
Ohno has not competed since the 2010 Vancouver Olympics but has continued training to give himself the option of trying to make the United States team for Russia.
       
He still has time with the U.S. team for Sochi yet to be picked but, after weighing his options, said he had finally made up his mind to go as a broadcaster instead.
       
"In the back of my head I had reservations about saying yes or no because I am a competitor, I am an athlete,'' he said. "I love to compete and I love to train and I love the lifestyle of an Olympic athlete and I love what it means to call yourself an Olympic athlete.
       
''But there comes a time in every single man and woman's life where you are able to be happy about your existing career," he said. "And I've accomplished all my goals."
       
An icon of his sport with his trademark bandana and goatee, the 30-year-old Ohno retires with eight Olympic medals, one more than retired speed skater Bonnie Blair.
       
Ohno won gold in the 1,500-meter final at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games as well as silver in the 1,000m when he was involved in a mass pileup.
       
He won three medals, including gold in the 500, at the 2006 Turin Olympics then another three medals, a silver and two bronze, at Vancouver, just north of Seattle, where he grew up.

Health Condition

He has forged a career in television, as a winning competitor on ''Dancing with the Stars," and now as host of his own game show, but has recently taken on a new role, as the public face for a major campaign on a health condition he had long kept secret.
       
Throughout most of his career, Ohno battled exercise-induced bronchospasm or EIB, a condition that makes it hard to breathe, but he kept his illness to himself.
       
He was obliged, under the Olympics tough doping regulations, to disclose medications he was using and that he was suffering from EIB but he never spoke about his condition, until now, when he agreed to join forces with Teva Respiratory on a national awareness campaign.
       
''I didn't speak about it all," he said. ''First of all, I didn't know many people had exercise-induced bronchospasm. And secondly, I wasn't comfortable at the time talking about it.  As an athlete you're taught to show no weaknesses ... like there's an invisible shield around you.''
       
With his career now over, Ohno said he was comfortable opening up about the condition, which he said had no impact on his performance once he was diagnosed and he began treatment.
       
"I had one of the most severe cases of EIB but immediately after I began treatment, I noticed a huge difference in my performance and I felt like I was competing on a level playing field.''

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More