Apolo Mission

Eight years ago, right after the Salt Lake City Olympics, I interviewed short-track speed skater Apolo Ohno, providing some text to go along with a fashion spread. He was a friendly guy, showing off his medals to everyone at the Rolling Stone photo shoot–and the teeth mark from where he bit the gold medal to confirm that it was actually gold. Since then, Ohno’s brought his total number of medals up to six (earning another silver just last week)–and he won Dancing With the Stars.

A short excerpt from our conversation:

Where do you live now?

I live in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. It’s rent free, and they’ve got free food in the cafeteria. Everything we need. It’s like, dorm rooms. They’re nice rooms, but I could use some more space.

How did you decorate your room?

I’ve got a poster of Muhammad Ali, a poster of Crazy Horse of the Nez Perce tribe, and some meditation posters. And posters of lions–that’s my animal. I love big cats. We have a cat at home.

What kind?

A tabby.

Would you want your own tiger?

That’d be awesome. Let him have his own forest out back.

What’s always in your fridge?

Strawberry Quik. In the summer, me and all my friends go out for long bike rides. Everybody else takes water, but I bring two bottles of Strawberry Quik. It heats up in the sun, and it gets nasty. I always end up having to borrow somebody’s water bottle.

Do you remember your dreams?

Yeah. Recently, I dreamed that I was racing–but I was really, really, really old. So I was in my bed, skating around the rink. There was a whole bunch of us, we were all in beds, and we were constantly racing–but nobody ever won. I woke up and thought, What the hell?

(About half of the previous was published as part of “Apolo in Flight,” in issue 893 of Rolling Stone (April 11, 2002).)

posted 16 February 2010 in Articles and tagged , , . no comments yet

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