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Many Medals for Ohno
Apolo skates his way to gold and bronze on the final night of speed skating

Apolo Anton Ohno of the United States lifts his fist before receiving his
Apolo Anton Ohno of the United States lifts his fist before receiving his gold medal in the Men's 500 meter race in the short track speed skating competition at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games on February 25, 2006.
(Photo: Amy Sancetta/AP Wide World)
Saturday, February 25—Apolo Anton Ohno celebrated a terrific final day of speed skating today by winning two medals: one gold and one bronze.

Ohno never lost the lead in the 500m dash around the ice, besting his archrival South Korean Ahn Hyun-Soo. It was the realization of a dream for Ohno in his pursuit of the perfect race.

"I've never been a 500 specialist," Ohno said. "I've never shined consistently in this race. To lead from start to finish doesn't happen very often. For me, it was the perfect race."

Ahn came over to shake Ohno's hand after the finish, ending four years of hard feelings over a race at the Salt Lake City Games. Ahn thought he had won a gold in 2002. The medal went to Ohno, however, when Ahn was disqualified for blocking him on the final turn.

Relay Ready

In a burst of energy at the end of the 5000m relay, Ohno led team U.S.A. to a win over Italy for the bronze. Again, the challenger was the South Korean team, including Ahn. This time Ahn was triumphant, winning the gold for his country. Canada took the silver, leaving the Italians and Americans in a race for the bronze.

Ohno was the star of this year's Games. When it became clear that he won the gold in the 500m, the stadium exploded in cheers. Ohno let out his own scream before grabbing his coach for a hug and the American flag for a victory lap.

"So much emotion, so much passion, everything was moving through my body," he said. "It's crazy."


Photos, left to right: © Rick Rickman/NewSport/NewSport/Corbis; © Joe Cavaretta/AP Wide World.