Short track speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno skated into the Olympic history books Saturday, winning a seventh winter games medal – a bronze in the 1000 meters – making him the most decorated American athlete in Winter Olympics history.
“It feels amazing, especially in a sport as volatile as short track speed skating,” he said on passing the six medal tally long track speed skating legend Bonnie Blair. “This is my third Olympic games and there is no other athlete here competing who has gone to three Olympic games and medaled every time.”
This might have been Ohno s lucky seven. “I felt the race was mine,” he said, until a slip with 2 ½ laps left knocked him from second to fifth place. He scrambled to pass two Canadians to finish third behind two Koreans, gold medalist Lee Jung-Su and silver medalist Lee Ho-Suk.
“I had to crank it up, but I regrouped and won the bronze. It means a lot to me,” he noted. “I wanted to leave my heart and soul on the ice and I did. I don t look back at past medals, I look back at the struggles. I live my life with the philosophy that anything s possible but I had no idea I d have this much success.”
Cheering Ohno on during the race was none other than Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, with 14 medals to his name.
Ohno will next compete in the 5000 meter relay and is considering entering the 500 meter race as well.
• Reporting by CYNTHIA WANG