Saturday, July 27, 2013
Newly retired Apolo Ohno to work in TV at Olympics
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Apolo Anton Ohno is hanging up his skates to join NBC's coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
The most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian in history will work as an analyst on speedskating, in addition to doing features and studio commentary during the network's coverage in February.
Ohno says he may also contribute to NBC's coverage of Alpine skiing and snowboarding in Sochi, Russia.
"Hopefully I can give people a good show," he said Saturday at the Television Critics Association meeting.
Ohno recently retired without fanfare, although he hadn't competed since the 2010 Vancouver Games. He won eight medals in three Olympics.
"I miss it every day," he said.
At the same time, Ohno said, "I don't want to get in that skinsuit."
He first worked for NBC at last year's Summer Olympics in London, giving him a view of the action from the seats.
"That was my most difficult moment because you feel like you can do it one more time," said Ohno, who first thought after his last race in Vancouver that he might be done competing.
Ohno said being an ex-athlete will help him relate to the people he covers in ways that his media colleagues cannot.
"I've lived it. I've been there day in and day out," he said. "I can share that and gain that trust with other athletes."
Ohno said he won't have a problem asking tough questions.
"You have to," he said. "At the end of the day I have a job."
The 31-year-old skater is living full time in Los Angeles to take advantage of entertainment opportunities that have materialized since he broke out as a star at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
"Olympic athletes have to find a job right after they're done competing," he said.
In June, he started hosting a new version of "Minute to Win It" on the Game Show Network. He earlier raised his pop culture profile by winning a season of "Dancing With the Stars."
"You'd like people to remember you for these great times on the ice," he said. "In reality, you want them to forget because you're doing something new and better. This is the new me."