Just two days ago, I sat watching coverage of the summer Olympics when American superstar, Apolo Ohno, was interviewed regarding his feelings about being in London and potential participation in the 2014 Games. I’m not partial to speed skating, but I can recognize greatness when I see it. Apolo Ohno personifies greatness.
During the interview Apolo discussed the unavoidable buzz he felt in London and, as a competitor, how the fire of competition draws him in. Naturally, the questioning turned to the 2014 winter games, in which is participation is still a mystery. Apolo is the most decorated winter games athlete on the planet and though he has pedigree, he is relatively old for his sport (31).
Apolo described the obvious inspiration he got during his work in London as a journalist. He coupled that inspiration with what he called a surprisingly strong desire from his coaches and teammates for him to return to competition for one more Olympic Games. The magnitude of the decision, he stated, was too much to make while in London, however. Fearful that he’d be swayed by the emotion of being at the epicenter of Olympic fever, Apolo refused to answer direct probes from the interviewer to announce on air whether or not we could expect to see Apolo on the ice in 2014.
Trouble is, Apolo said (two days ago) that he had just four days to decide. With his coaches anxiously waiting to hear if they could round out their roster with a veteran like Apolo, Apolo is weighing the impact of choosing whether or not to devote the next 650 days to be the best speed skater on the planet.
No one knows what Apolo has decided, except maybe his coaches… yet. However, yesterday morning after class I stood on Ocean Ave with Ricky to catch up after class. A white BMW pulled up to the meter behind us and out steps none other than Apolo Ohno, dripping in Nike gear. He moved in what seemed like slow motion towards the running path as he put his head phones in.
Taking in the details of what I was seeing and the interview I’d watched just two days prior. I knew I was watching one of the best athletes on the planet, take the first steps towards the 2014 Olympic Games. My body was covered in goosebumps.
His business-like attitude was contagious. I can’t help but relate this vision to the raw, unrecognized work that you all do on a daily basis. Apolo will continue to train for the next two years, constantly building in volume and intensity without the glitz and glamour of life in center stage… just… like… you.
Complete the following for time:
10, 9, 8, 7… 1 Overhead Squats (135/95)
1, 2, 3, 4,…10 Burpees