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The Honolulu Advertiser

Associated Press

Posted on: Sunday, February 14, 2010

Oh yes! Ohno medals again

 • Olympic TV schedule
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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Apolo Anton Ohno shows everyone how many Olympic speedskating medals he has won. Yesterday, he took silver in the 1,500 meters.

DAVID J. PHILLIP | Associated Press

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia Boxed out by the South Koreans, with all hope of a medal appearing lost, Apolo Anton Ohno could only count on the freakishness of short track to pull it out.

When two skaters ahead of him went sliding into the padding, Ohno stuck his skate across the line and Olympic medal No. 6 was his.

The American who made the soul patch fashionable even the women were wearin' em pulled out a silver in the 1,500-meter final when two South Koreans took each other out on the final turn, allowing Ohno to tie Bonnie Blair for most medals won by a U.S. Winter Olympian.

Korea still got the gold, which went to Lee Jung-su (2:17.611), out front and out of the trouble that gobbled up his teammates. But Ohno (2:17.976) had no complaints about being the runner-up, especially when he was fourth with just a few meters to go. It didn't hurt to see 19-year-old American teammate J.R. Celski (2:18.053) right behind, taking bronze in his first major event since a crash at the U.S. trials.

"That last two laps was pretty intense. There was a lot of bumping, a lot of contact," Ohno said. "This is what this sport is all about."

Ohno, who now has two medals of each color, moved past Eric Heiden as the most decorated American male at the Winter Games and also claimed the mark for most short track medals since the wild-and-wooly sport joined the Olympic program in 1992.

Heiden, now the team doctor for U.S. Speedskating, told the AP he was "glued to the television" while working in the training room at the Olympic Village.

"The thing that really sets him apart is he's been doing this for a number of years," Heiden said when reached on his cell phone. "We've learned to appreciate what dedication and hard work he's had to put in. He's a product of both those things."

Ohno grabbed an American flag, though he had to put it under one arm when he held up his fingers for the crowd all five on the left hand and another on the right.

Make it six, and he has three more events at the Vancouver Games to pass Blair.

"I've come prepared, more than I've ever prepared for anything in my life," Ohno said. "I'm in a very, very good place. Obviously, I know I have six medals now and I have no regrets about this entire Olympic Games experience. This is going to stay with me for the rest of my life."


RICHMOND, British Columbia It took Sven Kramer barely six minutes yesterday to shake off four years of Olympic frustration.

The Dutch speedskater claimed the only major trophy that had eluded him Olympic gold with a games record in the 5,000 meters.

The 23-year-old pre-race favorite won in 6 minutes, 14.60, shaving six hundredths of a second off Jochem Uytdehaage's Olympic record set at altitude in Salt Lake City in 2002.

"I was dying in the end, so I think it was one of my hardest, and even my best race ever," Kramer said.

Lee Seung-hoon of South Korea, who only entered the race because he failed to make the South Korean short track team, was second in 6:16.95. Ivan Skobrev of Russia was third in 6:18.05.

Only two years after switching from short track, Lee was the shock of the day with his silver.

"This is a dream and a surprise," he said.

After winning world and European titles, Kramer finally got the gold he had been waiting for since he finished with silver and bronze in Turin four years ago. There to see it were Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and Crown Prince Willem Alexander.

"The pressure was so high in Holland," said Kramer, who raced early and had to wait and see if his time would hold up.

With the 10,000 and the team pursuit to come, Kramer is now a hot favorite to leave Vancouver with three gold medals.

American challengers Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick finished 11th and 12th, respectively.

"It just goes to show (Kramer) has the heart of a champion. He had to go out first, and he had a whole bunch of sharpshooters behind him," Davis said.