Speed skating phenom a winner on and off track
by Lora Abcarian | March 01, 2010
When the Washington Potato Commission announced its partnership with
world class short-track speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno in 2009, there was
no doubt it was a winning combination.
The fact was confirmed in mid-February at the Vancouver Winter Olympic
games when Mr. Ohno became the most decorated American winter olympian
in history, shattering the record previously set by Olympic legend, Bonnie
"We knew he was a winner when we signed on with Apolo, but we are so
pleased to see him doing well and getting the increased coverage at the
games," Karen Bonaudi, assistant director of the commission told The
Produce News. "He is probably the most genuine athlete out there of his
stature: a smart and nice guy. Washington potatoes are lucky he appreciates
The 27-year-old skating phenom garnered his seventh career medal at the
games. In all, he has won two gold, two silver and three bronze Olympic
A native Washingtonian, Mr. Ohno became the spokesman for Washington
potatoes last September. Ms. Bonaudi said that he is working with the
commission in its ongoing efforts to educate the public and youth about the
importance of Washington potatoes. Mr. Ohno plans to share his favorite
potato recipes as part of the commission's outreach program and talk about
the ways in which fresh potato consumption can fuel a healthy lifestyle.
Last fall, WSPC Commissioner Angela Pixton had nothing but praise for Mr.
Ohno. "Apolo shares in the vision and values of the Washington State Potato
Commission," she stated. "His passion and interest in encouraging kids to
lead healthy lifestyles with proper nutrition and exercise is what makes him a
terrific ambassador for the commission."
Chris Voigt, executive director of the commission, was equally enthusiastic.
"Given Apolo's natural affinity for Washington potatoes and his love for eating
and cooking healthy foods, we're thrilled to have him as ambassador for our
champion potatoes and healthy messages," he said.
According to Ms. Bonaudi, the partnership will continue through August.