Apolo Anton Ohno's EIB Story
Apolo Explains Living With Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm (EIB)
Competitive sports have always been a part of my life. It's a passion that my father instilled in me, a passion that grew stronger as I got older and started competing at a higher level.
In 2000, as I was preparing for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, I was having difficulty breathing — especially in the cold air. It's pretty tough to avoid cold air when you're a speed skater! I'd experienced this problem before, but now it was really getting in the way of my training for the Games. I went to see my doctor, and he told me that I was suffering from exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB). As an athlete, learning that I had EIB was initially pretty detrimental to my ego. I worried that my EIB symptoms would continue to affect my performance — I could not afford to give the competition even the slightest advantage!
Fortunately, I got the right diagnosis and started an EIB treatment regimen prescribed by my doctor. I saw a marked difference in my performance. That year, I felt unbeatable — and I won just about every race I competed in. And that treatment course has continued throughout my athletic career, which now includes eight medals and many other wins at national and World Cup competitions.
But more than anything, my experience with the symptoms of EIB has taught me that this condition does not have to limit what I've set out to do. I learned that, with the right treatment plan, I can pursue whatever goals I set — be it running a marathon, dancing, traveling, or anything else.
We Have a Winner
Congratulations to Monica, our EIB All Stars contest winner! I can't wait to meet her in Los Angeles. We will be posting photos of our meeting, so don't forget to check back. You can also join the EIB All Stars Fan Club to get an email when they are up.