Eight-time Olympic Medalist to Serve as Event Host & TV Color Commentator; VIP & Standard Ticket Packages Available Online or Via EnergySolutions Arena Box Office
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (September, 4, 2014) – US Speedskating today announced a partnership with the most decorated Winter Olympian in American history, Apolo Ohno, the Utah Sports Commission and EnergySolutions Arena to host the inaugural Apolo Ohno Invitational on Friday, November 21, 2014. The short track speedskating invitational will feature leading speedskaters from the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and Asia.
The Apolo Ohno Invitational will be a first-of-its-kind short track speedskating event that will feature the sport’s top athletes in the world competing for prize money in both men’s and women’s 500m, 1000m, and team relays across 14 nail-biting races (eight semi-finals and six finals). The family-friendly, action-packed event will showcase the sport’s explosive speeds, sharp angles, and calculated, yet risky moves, in mad dashes to the finish line. A great spectator sport, the Apolo Ohno Invitational will include a dynamic, in-venue experience complete with theatrical lights and a live DJ pumping music throughout the competition. The night of festivities will kick-off with a bonus race featuring some of Utah’s favorite sports mascots.
"Creating this unique speedskating event continues to build on Utah's Olympic legacy," said Governor Gary R. Herbert. “The Apolo Ohno Invitational provides the state an opportunity to once again invite the world back to Utah."
Tickets are available for purchase online through Smith’s Tix or www.energysolutionsarena.com, in-person at the EnergySolutions Arena box office or by phone at (801) 355-SEAT. Standard tickets range in price from $10 – $20; a limited number of VIP tickets are available that include a meet and greet with Apolo Ohno, food and beverages, as well as a commemorative tee-shirt.
“Short track speedsking and Salt Lake City are near and dear to my heart, from winning my first Olympic medal to serving as my training home during my Olympic career,” said Ohno, three-time Olympian and eight-time Olympic Medalist. “I am proud to be an ambassador for speedskating and honored to help showcase the sport in a competitive and entertaining format for the athletes and fans in attendance and at home on television.”
The Apolo Ohno Invitational marks the return of Ohno and short track speedskating to EnergySolutions Arena, the venue where Ohno captured the hearts of America and launched his legendary Olympic career with his performance at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games by winning Gold in the 1500m and Silver in the 1000m. Ohno will serve as the event host and color commentator for the event’s television broadcast.
“We’re thrilled to bring short track back to EnergySolutions Arena and downtown Salt Lake City,” said Ted Morris, Executive Director of US Speedskating. “After receiving tremendous support from the Utah Community around the 2014 Speedskating Olympic Trials, we realized there was an appetite for bringing more Short Track events in Utah. Being able to work with Apolo and build on his legacy and passion for this sport is a huge win for all of us.”
"We are pleased to partner with US Speedskating, EnergySolutions Arean and our other partners to host the Apolo Ohno Invitational," added Jeff Robbins, President and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. "Those attending the event and television viewers worldwide will have the opportunity to see world class speedskaters in this exciting and unique competition."
About US Speedskating:
From Pond to Podium, we are US Speedskating. US Speedskating is responsible for the development of speedskating from grassroots to the highest elite racing programs. US Speedskating is recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union as the governing body for the sport of speedskating in the United States. The Organization has won 86 Olympic medals to-date, making it one of the most successful sports in U.S. Olympic history. US Speedskating is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Follow us on Twitter @USSpeedskating, Instagram @USSpeedskating, on Facebook Facebook.com/USSpeedskating and at http://usspeedskating.org.
About Apolo Ohno:
Apolo Ohno is the most decorated American in Winter Olympic history with eight Olympic medals in short track speedskating. The three-time Olympian and 12-time U.S. National Champion amassed more than 30 medals in international competition over the course his speedskating career. Away from the ice, Ohno has garnered further mainstream appeal by winning ABC’s Dancing with the Stars (2007), hosting Game Show Network’s Minute to Win It, and serving as a commentator for NBC’s broadcast of the 2012 and 2014 Olympic Games. A highly sought-after motivational speaker, Ohno’s autobiography, Zero Regrets: Be Greater Than Yesterday, reached the New York Times best-seller list. A believer in living an active and healthy lifestyle, Ohno completed the New York City Marathon in 2011 and is currently training for the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship that will take place on October 11, 2014 in Kona, Hawaii. For more information, follow online via Twitter @ApoloOhno, Instagram @apoloantonohno, FacebookFacebook.com/ApoloOhnoFans and at www.apoloantonohno.com.