VANCOUVER -- Short track speed skating at the Vancouver Olympics ended up being the Apolo Ohno show. And for good reason.
The 27-year-old became the all-time most successful U.S. winter Olympian on Day 9 after winning his seventh career medal, breaking former speed skater Bonnie Blair's mark of six. A little more than a week later, Ohno reset his own record by claiming medal No. 8.
Ohno is also the most decorated short track speed skater in history.
Ohno began his Vancouver 2010 journey on Day 2 by winning the 1500m silver medal in a controversial finish. Two South Koreans crashed at the final turn to allow Ohno and fellow American J.R. Celski to grab the second and third spots. After the race, South Korean Lee Jung-Su said that Ohno was swinging his arms during the race and skated too aggressively.
"Ohno didn't deserve to stand on the same medal platform as me," Lee said.
A week later, Ohno won the 1000m bronze medal to break Blair's record. And, six days after that, Ohno had a mixed evening of racing on the final day of short track.
He capped the session with another bronze medal, this time with the 5000m relay team. But earlier at the Pacific Coliseum, Ohno was disqualified during the 500m finals after he put his hand on another skater's hip as they rounded the final corner.
Eight medals instead of nine medals ... what matters most is that Ohno won three medals in Vancouver and skated his way into the history books.
Reutter hits her marks
Katherine Reutter arrived in Vancouver as a favorite to win multiple medals for the U.S. team. She departed the city on March 1 with two. Mission accomplished.
The 21-year-old Reutter earned the 3000m relay bronze medal with her teammates after South Korea was disqualified in the final, and closed out her debut Olympics with the first individual medal of her career - a silver in the 1000m.
"I feel complete," Reutter said later that night. "I don't plan on taking off the medal or the flag for three days."
Reutter hails from Champaign, Ill., the same town that produced Blair. The pair was never close friends, but Blair has encouraged Reutter over the years and even gave her some advice before Vancouver.
"She told me, 'Don't forget your credential. You'll have people coming at you from all sides, so don't be overwhelmed," Reutter said. "‘And just remember, these are the same girls you've been racing against,'"
Celski comes full circle
The other U.S. star of the Games was Celski, who was close to not even competing in Vancouver. He fell during the Olympic Trials last September and as he slid along the ice, his right skate blade sliced into his left thigh.
Bloor poured onto the ice as Celski grabbed his leg in pain. He was rushed to the hospital and had emergency surgery on the wound. Dr. Eric Heiden, a former U.S. long track speed skater who won five gold medals at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, worked with Celski on a rehab plan. Heiden molded him back into racing shape throughout the fall and first part of the winter.
The rehab worked, and Celski skated in Vancouver at what he said was "90-95 percent." At the conclusion of the Games, Celski was two bronze medals richer after placing third in the 1500m and the 5000m relay.