Apolo Ohno wants to do something even crazier than short-track speed skating

Apolo Ohno became the most decorated American winter athlete by winning eight Olympic medals – two of them gold – in short-track speed skating, a high-speed, collision-filled sport compared to NASCAR on ice.

So it's no surprise that Ohno, who retired from speed skating after the 2010 Vancouver Games, would pursue something even crazier than racing around an oval on skates with extremely sharp, 16-to-18-inch blades for his latest post-Olympics athletic endeavor.

On Oct. 11, Ohno will take part in a triathlon, but it won't be just any triathlon. It'll be the Ironman World Championship, the world's most grueling endurance race, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

"Why the most coveted race in all of endurance races on the planet in the most brutal conditions? For that exact reason," Ohno told Yahoo Sports while promoting his Built With Chocolate Milk campaign.

"Because it is the most difficult race, because the conditions are so brutal and because it's so far of a departure from what I'm normally used to as a sprint short-track athlete."

The 140.6-mile triathlon begins with a 2.4-mile swim in open water and continues with a 112-mile bicycle race. The final 26.2 miles is covered on foot over a marathon course amid the most extreme conditions.

"You're running through these black lava fields and lava rocks where the ambient temperature is 120, 130 degrees," Ohno said.

Ohno, who is halfway through his training, acknowledges the massive challenge ahead of him, especially being a rookie triathlete and all. But doubt him all you want. He's conquered new territory before (albeit it was only "Dancing with the Stars").

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