Apolo Anton Ohno couldn't grab a gold or silver in the 1,000-meter short-track speedskating event, but the bronze is enough to grab his seventh medal, allowing him to surpass Bonnie Blair as America's most decorated Olympian in the Winter Games.
Ohno, along with Canada's Charles Hamelin, the world-record holder for the event, led the race with Hamelin in front until there were four laps left in the nine-lap event.
With Blair in attendance, South Koreans Jung-Su Lee and Ho-Suk Lee both made a push, at one point building a big lead. Ohno suffered a crucial slip with two laps to go that caused him to slip back to the fifth — and final — spot. He expressed frustration after the race, saying that "in my head, I thought the race was mine. I just made one bad slip."
It seemed as if Ohno would be on his way to a shocking wipeout, but he regained his balance and put a burst of speed on to grab third place. As for how he was able to avoid wiping out, Ohno chalked it up to "just experience."
"Because I had that slip I lost so much speed," Ohno went on to say. "I would love to redo (the race)."
Jung-Su Lee took home the gold with an Olympic record of 1 minute and 23.747 seconds, with Ho-Suk at 1:23.801. Ohno finished at 1:24.128.
In a statement released through the U.S. Olympic League, Blair expressed happiness for Ohno's accomplishment. "I'm very happy for Apolo's accomplishment," Blair said. "It's a great feat for
him, U.S. Speedskating, and the United States of America. We hope that
more kids will see his accomplishments and want to try our great sport
that has been so good to us and taught us so much about what it takes
to be successful in life."
Ohno finished second behind Hamelin in the quarterfinals earlier Saturday.