After pulling in two gold, two silver and four bronze medals in the Winter Olympics over the past 10 years — not to mention awards in dozens of other competitions — Apolo Ohno has “effectively” retired from short track speed skating. He’ll be in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Games, but as an NBC correspondent. And so, another great athlete hopes to integrate seamlessly into the world of television. Hope that works out for him.
Most reports about this retirement have some sort of caveat, such as “effectively” and “pretty sure,” so maybe Ohno will drop the mic at some point in Sochi and climb onto the ice, sobbing uncontrollably as he tries to speed skate in sneakers and falls to his knees, asking the gods what drove him to leave the sport he loves at just age 30. Or something.
Here’s what he told Sports Illustrated:
“I think it’s pretty sure at this point [that the comeback is] not going to be. 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.”
As much as we’ll miss seeing that name pop up every four years to remind us that, man, that guy has an awesome name and sure is good at skating in a circle, it’s nice to know he’ll stay connected to the sport. Hopefully he doesn’t pull a Tiki Barber and try to branch out into daytime TV. I actually caught a glimpse of Ohno on The Today Show this morning, and he’s already appeared in a made-for-TV movie. If you hear that Ohno is marrying someone half his age and trying to make a comeback in five years, don’t say we didn’t warn you.