On Monday nights the Fox Soccer Channel features Soccer Talk Live, hosted by Kyle Martino a former MLS and national team player. Martino sits at a weird box desk in a faux locker room set hung with various team kits. It’s little lacklustre, but you know… I mean honestly, how many people are actually watching this show? The jerseys might be the most expensive items on set.
At any rate, Soccer Talk Live somewhat inexplicably featured a “Words to Bumble” favorite this week: Dear Apolo Ohno, why-oh-why did you just happen to “stop by?”
Oh, you’ve finished your speedily ghostwritten autobiography entitled No Regrets: Be Greater Than Yesterday? Oh, OK.
He has you know. It sounds super inspirational.
I’m going to try to reign in my sarcasm which stems from my issues regarding speedily ghostwritten autobiographies in general, because as you probably know (assuming you have read this fantastic blog before), I’m a big Ohno fan. It’s just hard to lose the sarcasm once Kyle Martino has actually used this line on television: “[Stay tuned as]… Apolo Ohno skates by.”
It was a decent interview, although mildly inexplicable when pondering why on earth Ohno is promoting on a soccer talk show. I mean… it worked for me, but I’m a little odd.
He talked about his experience working on the autobiography, joking that half the book was written in the sauna, which is where (a) as an athlete he spends a lot of time and (b) he likes to meditate on life. So apparently his ghostwriter did a lot of following around, working out and sauna-ing with Ohno 8-10 hours a day.
Actually, maybe he wasn’t joking.
But moving forward from book promotions, I bring you Ohno’s schpeel on soccer:
“I’ve always been a soccer fan, and I think the coolest thing about soccer now, was this past World Cup—I think for me, and you guys may think differently—but for me as an outsider, looking at the sport I saw for the first time, I think domestically, as a nation people were saying ‘hey this is a really cool sport’… People were actually, you know, they were being true fans about it. They were buying jerseys they were supporting… So to see that… I think the reason that I think that’s so cool is because I see similarities between short track. We were a small sport and you guys were not a small sport, you’re a big sport but small in the United States but then finally being recognized, I just think that’s cool.”
That’s true. Afterall, my local cocktail bar rented flat screen televisions in honor of the World Cup.
The one true soccer tie-in to Ohno’s life went down during the 2002 World Cup, months after his first Olympic games in Salt Lake where there was a disqualification of Korean skater Kim Dong-Sung resulting in gold for Ohno… Korean fans were pissed, the Olympic Committee server crashed from emails, there were death threats, etcetera. That year the World Cup was held in South Korean and Japan. When the Korean team scored against the US, Ahn Jung-Hwan led a performance of the so-called “Ohno Dance,” which involved waving their arms wildly apparently as he had done when bumped during the Olympic final.
I mean I get really worked up about short track too, but then a couple of months pass and I move on with my life.
Apparently Ohno was out to dinner when he found out about his namesake “dance.” Someone to tell him to get to a television… and there it was.
I leave you with the mandatory Dancing With the Stars portion of the interview:
“First of all I had no idea what I was getting myself into; and second of all I had no idea how hard it was truly going to be. And then by about halfway through the show, that’s when I realized, ‘Ok, I better do my best to win this thing or I’m never going to be able to live it down.’ […] it would be really bad.”
So what you are saying is that Evan Lysacek must be feeling really down since he came in runner-up. Like, really down and out.
“Did you see some parallels to […] you know some of the coordination in your feet skating and trying to dance,” queried Martino.
“No,” Ohno laughed, “zero.”