It is not up to me whether I win or lose. Ultimately, this might not be my day. And it is that philosophy towards sports, something that I really truly live by. I am emotional. I want to win. I am hungry. I am a competitor. I have that fire. But deep down, I truly enjoy the art of competing so much more than the result.
We all naturally want to become successful… we also want to take shortcuts. And it’s easy to do so, but you can never take away the effort of hard work and discipline and sacrifice.
I rolled the second car that I ever owned, a Toyota 4 Runner. This was winter in Colorado, two weeks before the 2002 Olympic trials. I was driving in the outside lane, and my rear tire caught some black ice, and we totally turned sideways to the point where we were heading right toward the median.
Japan, not only a mega-busy city that thrives on electronics and efficiency, actually has an almost sacred appreciation of nature. One must travel outside of Tokyo to truly experience the ‘old Japan’ and more importantly feel these aspects of Japanese culture.
One things guys have to remember is consistency… You can’t make up for three years of eating poorly in just one workout.
I can look into someone’s eyes and feel like I know her better, versus a phone call, where you can’t get that same type of emotion. That’s why text messaging gets you in trouble: You can’t bond, and emoticons explain only so much.
I am a believer in nutrient timing and supplementation, through 8Zone. I love eggs, apples, wild fish, leafy greens, brown rice, pasta, oatmeal, home grown Washington Potatoes, and cooking with coconut and olive oils.
All the suits I buy have to be tailored, no matter what. But it’s not just because of my height; it’s because I’ve been skating for so long. My waist is very small, but my legs are just huge. Most really nice suit makers are Italian, and usually they make suit pants for Italian men. I’m like, ‘Those Italians must have pretty skinny legs.’
My life has always been compartmentalized into different aspects. I have my speed skating Olympic pursuits, I have my personal life and have my business life and have my entertainment – TV – Hollywood – whatever have you – always compartmentalizing every aspect of my life.
My mantra has always been to have zero regrets in life. Everything I do at one speed, I go all-out.
I wanted to go back on ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ I did it. One of my favorite shows is ‘Hawaii Five-0.’ I went on, guest starred. I wanted to be in a film, did ‘Tasmanian Devils’ in Vancouver. Wanted to host a show, boom, did it.
Do I feel any pressure as the most decorated Winter Olympian in American history? None at all. The only pressures that I know I face are those of how to pay it forward: How can I continually make a positive impact in people’s lives, help others achieve their dreams, create their own Olympic mindset, creating champions within themselves?
It’s about having an active lifestyle, staying healthy, and making the right decisions. Life is about balance. Not everybody wants to run a marathon, but we could all start working out and being active, whether you walk to work or take an extra flight of stairs.
U.S. Speedskating has been riddled with problems since when I started my career, and we were always able to look past that. When it came down to performing on the ice, regardless of funding issues, we were always able to make it happen. And that’s what it’s all about.
It’s important to be driven and have goals. You want an independent woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. It’s attractive to me when a woman is doing what she loves. It makes me want to know more.
My life has always been with my dad. Since I can remember, I was raised by my father my entire life. So he’s kind of been that mom and father figure – always.
I know that BMW is now a sponsor of the USOC – of the United States Olympic Committee – so they offer the use of their aerodynamic speed-tunnel for testing and such for the athletes, which is a great advantage. But to be honest with you, I’d rather have a free car!
I was an avid swimmer and was state champ at age 12.
Champions all get kicked when they’re down.
Who cares if somebody dances better? Doing my very best is rewarding internally.
When there’s somebody racing side-by-side, when somebody’s right next to me and they’re pushing and we’re both tired, we’re both fatigued, I want to be able to beat them mentally.
I don’t have great running technique, but I like to run. I’ve heard from countless people that the last six miles of the marathon is all mental. But what better city to have this in than New York City where there are millions of people there supporting you?
Broadcasting is definitely in my cards for the future, and I’m determined to work hard at it – to perfect it and create my style and niche.
I love to shop. Clothes, electronics, and I love jewelry, especially yellow gold.
Every Olympic athlete prepares differently. For me, I am 100 percent into the sport. And if I decide to really make a crucial career decision to say, ‘This is something I want to do,’ I want to leave no stone unturned in my preparation.
Being a competitor, you always believe you can come back. I’ll be up at 3 in the morning watching World Cup races in my hotel whether I’m in Asia on a business trip or in New York City and have to get up in 2 hours.
I tend to build bulk and muscle easily, and running seems to make sure I stay kind of stringy, if that makes sense.
Generally, speed skaters don’t run that much. I’m a little bit of an exception in that I run a lot.
As seemingly impossible as it may seem of having zero regrets, when I look at my life now and all the mistakes I’ve made, all the bad decisions I’ve made, all the things I could have done differently or done more in, I don’t think I would have changed anything.
When you reach that competing point, when you reach that time when the gun is about to go off, everyone’s level is pretty much the same. The one thing that’s going to separate you from everybody else is how you deal with those pressures, how you stay relaxed.
I think so many times in our society we focus so much on just the end result; when we finally reach that point we realize that was never the true goal.
Vancouver is an amazing city and luckily, growing up in the Seattle area, I was able to immerse myself into the culture at a young age, traveling back and forth across the border for skating competitions as a youngster.
If it wasn’t for my sport and my father, I’d probably be a fallen statistic. I’d be dead; I’d be in jail. Luckily, I had a great dad in my life.
I wanted to play football or be a boxer, but my dad didn’t want that because of all the impact. But in 1992 I was watching short track, and it was obscure, but they looked like superheroes in their tight outfits, and I thought it was amazing. I wanted to do that. I made the national team at 14.
I believe my father has and always will be the strongest influence in my life, as he has guided me on many paths.
An Olympic pursuit really takes a full three to four years of Olympic preparation.
In school I studied international business and marketing, so I’ve always been attracted to business.
I know exactly what I’m doing on the ice, and I’m in my element.
My dad’s great. He’s my biggest supporter. He’s always told me that whatever I choose to do, I can do it. I just gotta put my mind to it.
When you are at the Olympic Games, it comes down to a ten thousandth of a hair between making the next round or winning a race or getting second or third.
My ‘go to’ workout is called the Asylum from Beach Body. It’s intense training with lots of intervals, core work. It’s hard! I travel a lot, so I can take it on the road with me and do it in a hotel room.
I could never focus on my upper body as a skater, so I’m enjoying having symmetrical upper and lower body muscle.
My first car was a Toyota 4Runner when I was 17. I paid for it myself. I was very happy.
I have a scar on my left thigh, kind of almost near my knee. I essentially fell in the 2002 Olympics and when I hit the wall – because of the impact – my right leg kind of came in at like a knife-type angle and stabbed my leg with my own skate blade.
My small experience on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ allowed me to slowly appreciate the Waltz and Viennese Waltz, but to see it in Vienna is something much different.
My father is 100% Japanese and came to the United States when he was only 18 years old. My grandmother still resides in Japan, which has allowed me to travel to the roots of my ancestors with my father.
The last thing I want is for people to go through the motions in life. We’re all meant to do different things, but there’s a lot of opportunity for us to do some great things.
For me, the ’60s in the automotive industry was awesome. The cars are heavy, huge, rolling works of art.
As I grow older, I have a growing curiosity about my other half. My dad did a wonderful job raising me, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but at the same time there is a growing curiosity about my other half.
I’ve always wanted to play a role in inspiring people to be better, to live higher quality lives and to feel good about the way that they look and feel.
I never had one day that I didn’t want to be on the ice, because I always had an objective for that day. I had a rigorous plan and schedule in place that I had to adhere to. It was a step-by-step process of slowly but surely inching toward the Olympic Games and using every day as a series of goals to be accomplished.
It starts with your diet and then to your exercise… you have to make the right decisions as a consumer and learn about carbs and proteins as well as watching your portion control, and from there you have to stay active as much as possible.
Olympic athletes have to find a job right after they’re done competing.
You’d like people to remember you for these great times on the ice. In reality, you want them to forget because you’re doing something new and better.
The first question is always, ‘We loved him on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ we loved him in the Olympics, but can he speak English?’ Yes I speak English. Yes, I can.
I’ve always liked game shows – the competitive aspect and the character-driven personalities you see.
On the ice, if I slow down, I can coast behind somebody for a couple of laps. If I slow down on the run, it’ll turn into a walk.
I had a ton of energy, ran around like crazy – more than a handful for my dad. I was crazy. Dad barely handled it. I was never diagnosed ADHD or anything like that, but I’m pretty sure I had it when I was younger. It’s the only thing that would explain me getting into trouble all the time.
A lot of times, some of my best ideas happen when I’m running. That’s when I do my best thinking.
With speed skating, it’s like doing one-legged squats over and over again, with that one leg absorbing more than 80 percent of your weight. It takes an enormous amount of strength, and you’re in such a weird position.
Music to me is life. It’s what gets me going.
I’ve been an athlete most of my life and on a disciplined schedule. Working out for me is just part of my every day.
Michael Phelps is a good friend of mine, so I’m very supportive of him.
I only watch the last 40 seconds. Watching a whole marathon over time, the beginning, middle and end look very slow. I want to see action! I can’t help it.
My girlfriend has been the ice.
Early in my career, I had difficulty breathing during workouts and my performance on the ice suffered. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with EIB and received the proper treatment that I was able to reach my peak performance.
I want to break into the acting industry. It’s something I have a great deal of respect for; it’s a passion of mine. It’s so amazing, the differences between acting and being an athlete, but the one commonality is they both evoke emotion in the viewer. And those emotions are real. So I think that’s pretty cool.
The fact that I didn’t have a mom is a challenge; it was a struggle; and we made the best of it, and because of that my relationship with my dad is that much stronger.
First and foremost, my involvement within the Olympic pursuit and Games were obviously surrounded by only putting the absolute best nutrients into my body.
We actually have a small family. It’s just my father and I and my grandmother, who lives in Tokyo. I cherish my friendships.
Besides film, I’d like to be the young Regis. That would be great. Going back and forth from L.A. to New York. Doing stuff on food. Doing stuff on kids. Just talking about issues that are relevant. Doing things on the Olympic Games.
I was always active as a child. My dad tried to place me in every sport imaginable. I had so much energy, he wanted to push me in a direction where that energy was used appropriately to keep me out of trouble and focused while I was in school.
I think that Subway has shown their own personal commitment as a company and how they believe in healthy choices.
The woman I’m attracted to won’t be based on what I write down on paper. It’s going to be what I feel.
It’s just a goatee. That sounds kind of weird. A soul patch? I don’t know how ‘soul’ it is.