Apolo Anton Ohno hanging up the speed skates?


The Mirror

Short track speed skating world and Olympic champion Apolo Anton Ohno said Wednesday he may be done with competitive skating, according to the former Federal Way resident’s Web site.

“No world championships. I’m taking a break,” Ohno said minutes before he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Seattle Mariners game.

Ohno was flanked on the mound by five fellow winter Olympians from Washington state.

“I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to in my sport. And it’s been great,” said Ohno, who attended the Federal Way Academy in high school.

He said if he does return for his third Olympics, to be held in 2010 in nearby Vancouver, B.C., it may be as something other than a competitor.

“I’d like to go to as a goodwill ambassador, to represent my country and my sport, to do something bigger than winning medals,” he said. “To reach more people’s hearts, you know? It’d be cool.”

Ohno, who celebrated his 24th birthday this week with family in Seattle, said he has been living in Los Angeles since the end of the Turin Olympics in February. There, he won a gold medal, in the 500 meters, and two bronze medals, in the 1,000 meters on the 5,000-meter relay team. That gave him five medals in the last two Olympics.

He opted out of last month’s short track world championships in Minneapolis and is currently living in Southern California after spending the previous seven years living in the dorms at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

“I am living in L.A., exploring the entertainment industry. I love being on film,” he said. “I have no acting skills — but I’ve never had training in acting, either.”

Ohno received the loudest ovation from the 21,991 in attendance at Safeco Field among the Olympians who took the field before the Mariners’ game against the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday. He then threw a passable pitch to Seattle’s Willie Bloomquist. Ohno said it was his second time throwing out a ceremonial pitch before a Mariners game, the other time being in 2003.

Bloomquist then joined Ohno, downhill skier Scott Macartney of Redmond, Wash., luger Christian Niccum of Woodinville, Wash., women’s hockey player Kelly Stephens of Shoreline, Wash., speed skater Kristine Holzer from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., and cross-country skier Sarah Konrad from the University of Washington on the mound for picture taking.

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