On This Date in Sports February 16, 2002: Wipeout

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

A pile-up in the 1,000-meter short track speed skating at the Salt Lake Olympics mars the event as the top three skaters wipeout near the finish. The Gold Medal goes to Steven Bradbury of Australia, who was far behind the leaders. It is the first Gold Medal in the Winter Olympics for Australia. Bradbury also won a Bronze Medal in 1994 in Lillehammer, the first over Winter Olympic medal for Australia. Ohno gets up and takes the Silver Medal, while Mathieu Turcotte of Canada takes the Bronze. 

Apolo Anton Ohno was born May 22, 1982, in Seattle, Washington. The son of a hairdresser from Japan found himself interested in the sport of short track skating after watching the 1994 Olympics. Two years later, he began training at the U.S. Olympic Center in Lake Placid. he won his first title in 1997 at the age of 14. However, he struggled in 1998 and failed to qualify for the 1998 games in Nagano, Japan. 

After winning two Gold Medals at the 2001 World Championships, Apolo Anton Ohno went into the 2002 games in Salt Lake City as an American favorite. Ohno came up short of a medal in the 500-meter race but captured the Gold Medal in the 1,500-meter. The result was controversial as Kim Dong-Sung of South Korea was disqualified for bumping into Ohno. 

The 100-meter was the most exciting race in the high contract sport of Short Track Speed Skating. The top racers were tightly bunched in the race. With two laps remaining, Li Jiajun of China tried to pass Apolo Ohno. Li clipped Ohno, causing the top three skaters at the front to crash into the boards. Li Jiajun would be disqualified as Ohno quickly made it to his feet and finished second, behind Bradbury. Ahh, Syun-Soo of South Korea was not as fortunate as he finished behind Mathieu Turcotte of Canada and did not make the podium.

Apolo Anton Ohno would be among the most decorated Short Track athletes, winning two golds, two silvers, and four bronze medals in three trips to the Olympics.