The Favorites Game: Apolo Anton Ohno Goes Full Circle

By: Kristin Clarke, CAE

An Olympic gold medalist shares his favorite winning strategy and more.

Since winning a record eight Olympic medals at the 2010 Winter Olympics, speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno has been moving fast into the nonprofit and corporate worlds. Not only has he been building his nutritional supplements company, 8Zone, and writing a "life lessons" book (out this fall), but he also has been touring schools as an anti-underage-drinking spokesperson and preparing to launch his self-named foundation to promote healthy lifestyles, especially to teenagers.

Despite the draw of sedentary video games or Facebook, Ohno doesn't think he's on thin ice when it comes to convincing children about "making the right type of healthy, active lifestyle decisions in their lives … becoming more comfortable in their own skin and understanding the directions they can go in and be who they want to be.

"I'd like to be doing this foundation 20, 30 years down the road, and I think I can," he says. "It's a good fit for me. … It all comes full circle."

Apolo Anton Ohno's Favorites

Favorite strategy to beat the competition: Focusing on myself.
Favorite sports idol: A toss-up between Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan.
Favorite inspirational book: In Pursuit of Excellence by Terry Orlick.
Favorite family trait: Hard work
Favorite advice from a coach: "Never say never."
Favorite comment from a fan: "You helped change my life."
Favorite lucky item: My necklace.
Favorite fear he's overcome: Dancing with the Stars. Truly, man, I'm not kidding you—I was scared! [Jitters aside, Ohno won the 2007 TV competition.]

Kristin Clarke, CAE, is a writer, editor, and researcher for ASAE & The Center. Email: [email protected]