Ohno now has seven Olympic medals, one more than speedskater Bonnie Blair. It puts him in a class with other great champions of the Games including 14-time gold medalist Michael Phelps, who was in attendance Saturday night at Pacific Arena to cheer on his countrymate.
The record-breaking medal was very nearly gold. With about two laps to go, Ohno was in prime position to seize the lead of the five-man short track race. But a brief stumble on a turn slowed his speed and dropped him into last place. He was eventually able to recover to win the bronze, behind two South Korean skaters.
If not for the stumble, Ohno would have maintained the inside track and would have made it tough for one of the Koreans to make a move. Still, even after the loss, Ohno was classy and reflective. When he spoke afterward with NBC's Andrea Joyce he sounded like he was trying to talk himself into appreciating the bronze when at the same time thinking about what went wrong to not get gold.
Ohno may be able to put some distance between his name and Blair's in the next week. He has two more races: the 500- and 5,000-meter relay.
- Apolo Ohno
- Bonnie Blair