The 2018 Winter Olympics have finally begun, and on Friday night all of the world's best athletes marched into PyeongChang, South Korea as part of the opening ceremony. But the most famous American athletes were actually doing more than joining in the festivities... one was actually covering them as a reporter! Olympic gold medalist Apolo Ohno talked to all the athletes before they entered, and Twitter was shook Apolo Ohno was there, but not to compete this year. Though Ohno grabbed Olympic gold medals in both the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and the 2006 Olympics in Turin, the decorated speed skater was only at this year's Winter Olympics to interview the U.S. Olympic team at the opening ceremony.
Olympics fans were in for a bit of a surprise when the opening ceremony started on Friday night. Before all those giant animal puppets, beautiful dancing, and the march of the nations, a few NBC commentators gave American viewers some fun background details on the athletes representing us this year. Well, one of those reporters understood what these Olympic athletes were going through more than anyone else, because he had competed in three Winter Olympics. Yep — that was none other than Apolo Ohno, the most popular speed skater in the United States, who was interviewing Team United States before the opening ceremony in PyeongChang.
Of course, seeing an Olympic athlete behind the mic instead of in front of it at the ceremony was pretty unexpected for a lot of viewers, who may remember Apolo Ohno best as one of the biggest U.S. Olympic athletes back in the mid-2000s. While watching Ohno conduct his interviews (complete with his signature soul patch), everyone on Twitter shared how excited they were to see Ohno back at the Olympic games... even if it was just as a reporter this year. Check out some of the best tweets below:
Thankfully, it seemed like Apolo Ohno can hold an interview just as well as he can skate circles around competition on the ice. After his three trips to the Winter Games in 2002, 2006, and 2010, Ohno now has a total of two gold medals, two silver medals, and four bronze medals from the Olympics. He became famous as much for his speed skating prowess as he was for his particularly interesting facial hair. After he broke out in the 2002 Winter Olympics, Ohno's soul patch became a buzzy topic of conversation among viewers... and judging from the tweets tonight, it still is.
Apolo Ohno burst onto the worldwide athletic scene during his high-profile Winter Olympics debut at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ohno was Team United States' breakout speed skater, credited with bringing national attention to the sport more than ever before. At the 2002 Winter Olympics, Ohno won the gold medal at the 1,500 meter speed skating race, and silver for the 1,000 meter race. He returned just as strong at the next Winter games, grabbing a gold and two bronze medals at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. At those games, he got a gold medal for the 500 meter speed skating race, a bronze in 1,000 meter race, and shared a bronze with Team U.S.A. for the 5,000 meter relay.
His final trip to the Winter Olympics was in 2010, when the games were held in Vancouver Canada. There, Apolo Ohno also cleaned up in the speed skating races, although it did mark the first year that he did not win gold in any event. Ohno took home the silver medal in the 1,500 meter speed skating race, and two bronze medals: one for the 1,000 meter race and one with Team U.S.A. in the 5,000 meter relay.
But now, Apolo Ohno's presence at the 2018 Olympics is purely journalistic. Even though he won't be skating, it was still great to see him.