Apolo Ohno

Apolo Ohno

Update: 2024-06-03
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Cheryl Burke welcomes Olympic athlete Apollo Anton Ono to Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans. They discuss Apollo's journey of self-discovery after retiring from competitive skating, including his struggles with identity and finding his purpose. Apollo shares his experience on Dancing with the Stars, highlighting the demanding schedule and the challenges of working with different partners, including Julianne Hough and Karina Smirnoff. He emphasizes the importance of embracing vulnerability and surrendering to outcomes, drawing parallels between his experiences on the show and navigating life's challenges. Apollo also reflects on his upbringing with a Tiger Dad, explaining the high expectations and work ethic instilled in him, and how it impacted his childhood and his approach to life. He shares his father's advice on finding Ikigai, emphasizing that striving for 70-80% overlap between passion, skills, and what the world needs is more realistic and fulfilling than seeking perfection. Apollo concludes by discussing his current purpose in life, which is to remind people of their inner power and the importance of responding rather than reacting to life's challenges. Cheryl Burke then dives into a rapid-fire Q&A with Apollo about his experience on Dancing with the Stars. They discuss the show's production, drama, and Apollo's personal experiences with his partners Julianne Hough and Karina Smirnoff. Apollo shares his insights on the show's editing, the challenges of working with different personalities, and the importance of humility and vulnerability in show business. He also reveals his current relationship status and his thoughts on dating apps. Apollo concludes the interview by sharing his current purpose in life, which is to help others realize their passion, power, and ability to thrive. He emphasizes the importance of self-love, faith, and following one's inner voice. He also discusses his passion for health and wellness and his belief in the power of the mind and spirit.

Outlines

00:00:00
Introduction

This Chapter introduces the episode and the guest, Apollo Anton Ono, an Olympic athlete known for his journey in Olympic greatness, champion of Dancing with the Stars, a New York Times bestseller, and a magnetic positivity that resonates throughout the country. Cheryl Burke shares a fun fact about Apollo and his recent birthday, highlighting his advocacy for mental health.

00:02:20
Apollo's Journey of Self-Discovery

This Chapter delves into Apollo's journey of self-discovery after retiring from competitive skating. He discusses his struggles with identity and finding his purpose, highlighting the challenges of transitioning from a high-profile career. Apollo shares his experience with spirituality and seeking high-vibration people, while also acknowledging his tendency to revert back to his old Olympic-related days. He emphasizes the importance of embracing vulnerability and surrendering to outcomes, drawing parallels between his experiences and navigating life's challenges.

00:08:58
Tiger Dad and Generational Trauma

This Chapter explores the concept of Tiger Dad and Tiger Mom, explaining the high expectations and pressure associated with these parenting styles. Apollo shares his personal experience with his Tiger Dad, describing the unconventional training methods and the constant pushing he experienced from a young age. He acknowledges the benefits of this work ethic but also reflects on the potential downsides, including missing out on childhood experiences. Apollo connects his upbringing to generational trauma, highlighting the impact of his mother's experiences with lack and fear, and how these patterns can be passed down through generations. He shares anecdotes about his father's habits and how they reflect this ingrained scarcity mindset.

00:13:38
Ikigai and Finding Purpose

This Chapter focuses on Apollo's father's advice on finding Ikigai, the Japanese concept of finding your reason for being. Apollo explains the traditional Venn diagram representation of Ikigai, where passion, skills, what the world needs, and what the world will pay you for intersect. However, his father challenges this perfect overlap, suggesting that striving for 70-80% overlap is more realistic and fulfilling. Apollo shares his own experiences with finding purpose and how it has evolved over time, emphasizing the importance of self-reflection and internal listening.

00:23:30
Dancing with the Stars Experience

This Chapter dives into Apollo's experience on Dancing with the Stars. He shares how he got involved with the show, his initial lack of knowledge about ballroom dancing, and his determination to win. Apollo discusses the demanding schedule and the challenges of working with different partners, including Julianne Hough and Karina Smirnoff. He highlights the importance of embracing vulnerability and surrendering to outcomes, drawing parallels between his experiences on the show and navigating life's challenges.

00:37:23
Challenges and Teaching Styles

This Chapter focuses on the challenges of dancing on Dancing with the Stars. Apollo discusses the difficulty of the Samba and the unique teaching styles of Julianne Hough and Karina Smirnoff. He describes Julianne's driven and demanding approach, highlighting her focus on winning and her insistence on precision. Apollo contrasts Julianne's style with Corinna's, emphasizing Corinna's machine-like work ethic and her unwavering commitment to practice. He reflects on the importance of chemistry between partners and how it can impact performance, sharing his experiences with both Julianne and Karina.

00:50:05
Overcoming Heaviness and Self-Sabotage

This Chapter explores the concept of emotional heaviness and self-sabotage. Apollo shares how he carried this invisible weight vest throughout his life, impacting his performance on Dancing with the Stars and other aspects of his life. He discusses the importance of self-awareness and mindful communication, emphasizing the power of our internal dialogue and the need for self-love. Apollo shares how he eventually overcame this heaviness through a series of failures and a shift in perspective, recognizing the importance of looking inward for answers and embracing the journey of life.

01:03:18
Rapid Fire Q&A

This Chapter features a rapid-fire Q&A session where Cheryl Burke asks Apollo a series of questions about his experience on Dancing with the Stars. They discuss the show's production, drama, and Apollo's personal experiences with his partners Julianne Hough and Karina Smirnoff. Apollo shares his insights on the show's editing, the challenges of working with different personalities, and the importance of humility and vulnerability in show business. He also reveals his current relationship status and his thoughts on dating apps.

01:13:08
Apollo's Current Purpose

This Chapter concludes the interview with Apollo sharing his current purpose in life, which is to help others realize their passion, power, and ability to thrive. He emphasizes the importance of self-love, faith, and following one's inner voice. He also discusses his passion for health and wellness and his belief in the power of the mind and spirit.

Keywords

Apollo Anton Ono
Apollo Anton Ono is an American former short track speed skater. He is a three-time Olympian, winning a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He is also a New York Times bestselling author and a mental health advocate. He is known for his positive attitude and his work with organizations and companies to promote mental well-being.

Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars is an American reality television series that features celebrities paired with professional dancers competing in ballroom and Latin dance styles. The show has been running for 31 seasons and has become a cultural phenomenon, known for its high-profile contestants and its focus on entertainment and competition.

Tiger Dad
Tiger Dad is a term used to describe a strict and demanding father, often of Asian descent, who pushes their children to achieve high levels of success in academics, sports, or other areas. Tiger Dads are known for their high expectations, their emphasis on discipline, and their belief in the importance of hard work and perseverance. The term is often used in contrast to the more nurturing and supportive parenting style of Tiger Moms.

Ikigai
Ikigai is a Japanese concept that refers to a person's reason for being, their purpose in life. It is often described as the intersection of what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. Finding your Ikigai is believed to lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

Generational Trauma
Generational trauma is a type of trauma that is passed down from one generation to the next. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including war, famine, poverty, or abuse. Generational trauma can manifest in a variety of ways, including mental health problems, addiction, and relationship difficulties. It is important to recognize and address generational trauma in order to break the cycle and create a healthier future for future generations.

Self-Discovery
Self-discovery is the process of learning about oneself, including one's values, beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses. It is an ongoing process that can be facilitated through a variety of activities, such as journaling, meditation, therapy, and spending time in nature. Self-discovery is essential for personal growth and development, as it allows us to understand ourselves better and make more informed decisions about our lives.

Vulnerability
Vulnerability is the state of being open and honest about one's feelings, thoughts, and experiences. It is often associated with a sense of risk and uncertainty, but it is also essential for building strong relationships and living a more authentic life. Vulnerability allows us to connect with others on a deeper level and to experience a greater sense of intimacy and belonging.

Surrender
Surrender is the act of letting go of control and accepting what is. It is often associated with a sense of peace and acceptance, as it allows us to release the need to control outcomes and to trust in the process of life. Surrender can be a challenging but ultimately liberating experience, as it allows us to live more authentically and to find greater meaning in our lives.

Julianne Hough
Julianne Hough is an American dancer, singer, actress, and television personality. She is known for her work on Dancing with the Stars, where she won the competition twice as a professional dancer and later served as a judge. She has also starred in films such as Footloose and Rock of Ages. Hough is known for her talent, her energy, and her positive attitude.

Karina Smirnoff
Karina Smirnoff is a Ukrainian-American professional dancer and television personality. She is best known for her work on Dancing with the Stars, where she has been a professional dancer for 19 seasons. Smirnoff is known for her passion for dance, her competitive spirit, and her ability to connect with her partners.

Q&A

  • What was Apollo Anton Ono's experience like on Dancing with the Stars?

    Apollo Anton Ono found the experience on Dancing with the Stars to be demanding and challenging, both physically and emotionally. He had to adjust to a rigorous schedule, learn a new skill, and navigate the pressures of performing live. He also faced challenges working with different partners, each with their own teaching styles and personalities. Despite the difficulties, Apollo learned valuable life lessons about perseverance, vulnerability, and the importance of embracing the journey.

  • What is the concept of Tiger Dad and how did it impact Apollo Anton Ono's life?

    Tiger Dad refers to a strict and demanding father, often of Asian descent, who pushes their children to achieve high levels of success. Apollo experienced this firsthand with his father, who instilled in him a strong work ethic and high expectations. While this upbringing had its benefits, Apollo also acknowledges the potential downsides, including missing out on childhood experiences and the pressure to always strive for perfection. He connects his upbringing to generational trauma, highlighting the impact of his mother's experiences with lack and fear, and how these patterns can be passed down through generations.

  • What is Ikigai and how does it relate to finding purpose in life?

    Ikigai is a Japanese concept that refers to a person's reason for being, their purpose in life. It is often described as the intersection of what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. Apollo's father challenged the traditional Venn diagram representation of Ikigai, suggesting that striving for 70-80% overlap is more realistic and fulfilling than seeking perfection. Apollo shares his own experiences with finding purpose and how it has evolved over time, emphasizing the importance of self-reflection and internal listening.

  • How did Apollo Anton Ono overcome the emotional heaviness he experienced after retiring from skating?

    Apollo Anton Ono attributes his ability to overcome emotional heaviness to a series of failures and a shift in perspective. He realized that looking inward for answers and embracing the journey of life was essential. He emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, mindful communication, and self-love. Apollo believes that we always have a choice in how we interact with life's challenges, and that reframing negative thoughts and focusing on small goals can help us move forward.

  • What advice would Apollo Anton Ono give to someone struggling with self-doubt and finding their purpose?

    Apollo Anton Ono encourages people to embrace vulnerability, surrender to outcomes, and focus on small goals. He believes that striving for perfection can be paralyzing and that it's more important to find a balance between passion, skills, and what the world needs. He also emphasizes the importance of self-reflection, internal listening, and mindful communication. Apollo believes that we all have the power to overcome challenges and to find meaning in our lives.

  • What are some key takeaways from Apollo Anton Ono's interview about mental health and self-discovery?

    Apollo Anton Ono's interview highlights the importance of mental health and self-discovery. He emphasizes the need to embrace vulnerability, surrender to outcomes, and focus on small goals. He also discusses the impact of generational trauma and the importance of mindful communication and self-love. Apollo's experiences on Dancing with the Stars provide valuable insights into navigating life's challenges and finding purpose in the midst of uncertainty.

  • How much of the drama on Dancing with the Stars is real versus scripted?

    Apollo Anton Ono believes that about 75% of the drama on Dancing with the Stars is real, while the other 25% is enhanced through editing. He explains that producers often take a small moment of frustration or conflict and amplify it for the show.

  • What was Apollo Anton Ono's experience like working with Julianne Hough and Karina Smirnoff on Dancing with the Stars?

    Apollo Anton Ono describes Julianne Hough as fun, young, bubbly, and full of energy, while Karina Smirnoff is strong, demanding, and has high expectations. He found Karina to be more intimidating, but he had more chemistry with Julianne. He also notes that both partners were perfectionists.

  • What is Apollo Anton Ono's current purpose in life?

    Apollo Anton Ono's current purpose in life is to help others realize their passion, power, and ability to thrive. He believes in the importance of self-love, faith, and following one's inner voice. He also discusses his passion for health and wellness and his belief in the power of the mind and spirit.

Show Notes

A champion on the ice and on the hardwood!


Eight-time Olympic medalist and Mirrorball Trophy Winner Apolo Ohno catches up with Cheryl, discussing everything from growing up with a 'Tiger Dad' to his new outlook on life, the importance of recognizing your inner power, and, of course, dishing about his time on DWTS!


Apolo shares his experiences from his first show-winning appearance to the difficulties he encountered on the all-star show, the different teaching styles of Julianne Hough and Karina Smirnoff, his toughest competition, and how the show changed his life. It's a cool chat you won't want to miss

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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