Apolo Ohno is going to be in Sochi for the 2014 Olympics — but as a correspondent for NBC. Ohno acknowledged it effectively ends any chance of a short-track speedskating comeback.
"I think it’s pretty sure at this point [that the comeback is] not going to be," said Ohno, the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian with eight medals, in a telephone interview Wednesday morning. "It was always in the back of my head. I just didn’t want to rule it out. I’ve been very blessed, had such an amazing career, overcome a lot of obstacles in my life. It’s time to try some different opportunities."
Those opportunities include working with the EIB All-Stars to raise awareness of exercise-induced bronchospasm, with which he was diagnosed in 2000 — two years before making the first of his three Olympic teams. He recently finished four weeks of filming as a host for Game Show Network’s “Minute to Win it,” which will air its first season beginning in June. Ohno also co-starred in a Syfy TV movie, “Tasmanian Devils,” with Danica McKellar from “The Wonder Years” in January.
Ohno, 30, has not competed since the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where he won three medals — one silver and two bronze. He spent the fall and winter not ruling out a comeback but not endorsing one, either. Had Ohno given it a shot and made his fourth Olympic team, he would have had a chance — albeit a very small one — to catch the all-time Winter Olympic medal leader, Norwegian cross-country skiing legend Bjorn Daehlie. Daehlie, who has 12 medals, was implicated by a Swedish TV program in February that he doped during his 1990s dominance but denied the claims on national TV news in Norway.
The most decorated active U.S. Winter Olympian is Ohno’s good friend, long-track speedskater Shani Davis, who has four medals from two Games.