Ohno Uncertain About Speedskating Future

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After yet another great performance at this year’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver, American’s most decorated Winter Olympic athlete in history is deflecting questions about whether he will be back for more at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Apolo Anton Ohno, who will be 32 when the next winter games roll around, has been busy keeping up with a hectic schedule that does not involve skating at this time.

Ohno recently returned to his hometown of Seattle to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a game between the Seattle Mariners and the Chicago Cubs. He wore the No. 8 jersey as a nod to the eight career medals he has won as an Olympian. This event took him away from a busy schedule that, for now, includes mostly charity events, plus plenty of traveling around for appearances.

Asked about where his head is at the moment, Ohno explained, “I haven’t had a chance to think about skating. . . I’m taking a long break from training and competing, just focusing on some other things in my life.” The notoriously cagey athlete neglected to comment further on what he was doing or what his future speedskating plans are.

He did note that he is working on a book that is set to come out this fall and that he’s been doing some acting projects, working with his foundation, and doing some motivational speaking engagements. All this has kept him too busy to even think about skating.

After throwing a hard strike from Safeco Field’s mound, Ohno told a reporter that he’s using this opportunity to finally concentrate on things that he’s never been able to do before due to his intense focus on training.

When asked if he felt he’d accomplished enough to leave his sport for good, Ohno said that he could have left the sport in 2006 with his fifth medal, but that he continued for internal reasons having nothing to do with trying to reach the podium.

Although Ohno is closed-mouthed about his future, many have speculated that he’ll be hungry for another gold after failing to win one in Vancouver. After winning a total of two golds, a silver and two bronzes at the Salt Lake City and Turin games, Ohno settled for a silver and two bronzes in Vancouver. Over the past decade, he has also won eight golds as an individual skater in non-Olympic world championships.

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