The former competitive short track speed skater opens up to PEOPLE about the new chapter in his career

By Naledi Ushe
May 18, 2021 09:00 AM
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Apollo Ohno
Credit: BRRRN

Olympian Apolo Ohno is adding another title to his fitness resume!

The highly decorated gold medalist, 38, announced Tuesday that he is an investor and partner of Brrrn, an at-home workout that utilizes a slide board.

"I've used slide boards my entire career in pursuit of Olympic Gold, it's been a critical item to keep my body healthy, strong, and adaptable to any situation," Ohno tells PEOPLE. "What was once only selective to speed skaters and hockey players, is now being used by any and all athletes and now, the masses with the Brrrn Board."

Apollo Ohno
Credit: GOH CHAI HIN/getty

The Mirrorball winner and two-time Dancing with the Stars competitor says the fitness company was a "great fit" given his personal experience with slide boards.

"I'm excited that Brrrn can finally give people everywhere access to a powerful tool that is fun, easy to use, yet challenging at the same time."

Ohno tells PEOPLE he also hopes it will help motivate people to achieve their fitness goals as, during the pandemic and before he started to incorporate Brrrn, the sports star initially struggled with "motivation, access to equipment, [and] mental health."

Apollo Ohno
Credit: Katy Winn/Getty

Since his Olympic retirement in 2010, the Zero Regrets author's workouts have evolved.

"Less so [focused] in intensity, as I'm much more interested in longevity and consistency of training," he tells PEOPLE "I am less aiming for hyper-performance, but overall health and strength. I want to be happy, healthy, and strong."

Ohno adds, "Think: Less Instagram-model body and more functional real time fitness."

In addition to his latest business venture, Ohno — whose father is Japanese — has been busy with advocacy work following the spike in racist attacks faced by Asians and Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the past year. 

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"It was important to be vocal about racism and discrimination because we can finally unify. It is a critical time in the US with the massive polarization of political beliefs, the challenge of fake, misinformation and disinformation techniques – we need to wipe away the noise and get back to the basics. The basic rights of a human being – and we collectively can eliminate discrimination and racism if we truly band together," the Brrrn investor tells PEOPLE.

During the AAPI Heritage Month of May, Ohno hopes people "experience, appreciate, and show respect for the Asian American community that exists in this country" and recognizes "the hard work, dedication and sacrifice that each and every individual has made to better our communities, career and well being – to stand tall in our own skin."