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Sunday, February 14, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Apolo Ohno Skates Off with Olympic Medal; Ties Record

Apolo Ohno skates past crash [photo source]

U.S. speedskater Apolo Ohno skated into the record books Saturday with his 6th Winter Medal. It's not the Gold he had hoped for but after 3 Koreans stormed by Ohno to take the lead in the final lap of the 1,500 meter event, it looked like Ohno might not medal at all.

Fate helped Ohno and U.S. teammate J.R. Celski take 2nd and 3rd place as two of the Koreans bumped, lost control, and ended up in the wall during the final lap.

The win tied Ohno with Bonnie Blair for the most Winter Olympic medals won by an American, with six.
Ohno did not win gold in the 1,500 meters, but he did secure his place among the most decorated Winter Games athletes. The 1,500 is not his best event, but it is a race filled with possibility, with fortunes dictated by crashes, consistency over three heats and old-fashioned luck.

In his first heat, Ohno stumbled out last, but with two laps remaining, he scooted outside, a daring, veteran and ultimately effective maneuver that vaulted him into the lead. In the semifinal, Ohno again started last, again made a late move, but this time he darted outside and back inside, finishing second, pumping his right fist.

Ohno led at various times during the final, including early. But he could not overtake Jung-Su Lee of South Korea, who won gold. J. R. Celski, whose first Olympic memory came watching Ohno in 2002, took the bronze.

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Welcome to Olympic Updates, my continuing blog to following the Olympic Games. Founded in 2007, I have enjoyed providing news and information on the 2008 Beijing Summer Games and I look forward to keeping you up to date on the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.

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