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he wasn't always so fast.  he wasn't always so famous
either. 

apolo anton ohno grew up in seattle, washington with
his father, yuki ohno.  his mother, jerrie-
lee, left the two when apolo was only one year
old.  as a child, he was often rebellious and
tried his father's patience to the limits. 
fortunately, he got involved with inline speed
skating. practice often kept him from hanging out
with the friends he now considers to have been
the wrong crowd. after seeing speed skating in
the 1994 winter olympics, he thought it would be
fun to try out. he soon found his true passion on
the ice.

then US coach, pat wentland, invited apolo to join the
national team.  the olympic training center
usually didn't accept anyone under fifteen, but
they made an exception for apolo. yuki sent
apolo to the airport to board a plane that would
take him farther away from home than he had ever
been.  lake placid, new york.  there, he would
train to become a speed skater.  needless to say,
apolo was not interested in moving so far away
from home.  as soon as his dad left the airport,
apolo called one of his friends in the area and
stayed with him for a week. when yuki called to
check on apolo, he was caught. he hadn't went to
lake placid, but he would soon enough.

while at the olympic training center, apolo didn't
have his heart into the training. when the rest of
the team would take two or three mile runs in
the mornings, apolo and one of his friends would
lag behind and slip into a nearby pizza
hut. when the team passed on the way back, they
would slip onto the back end of the line.
consequently, when the body fat percentages were
announced, apolo's was the highest. he says he
changed "overnight." he told his coach to make
him a machine. a speedskating machine. he
recalls telling his coach that he didn't want to
be the fattest or the slowest. he wanted to be
the fastest. and the best. that attitude began
his speedskating career where he later went on to
win countless world cup titles and eventually went
to the olympics.

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