by Matt Lincoln
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Few people have made the transition from an athlete at the top of the world in his sport, to a pop icon as well as Apolo Ohno. Tuesday the 8 time medalist in the Winter Olympics, and Dancing with the Stars champion met fans in Richmond to talk about his new book, "Zero Regrets: Be Better than Yesterday."
Hundreds of people flooded the aisles at the VCU Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Many of the mostly female fans were there because of his reality television fame. But Ohno's success in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Winter Games have made him the most decorated winter Olympian of all time.
Ohno came from humble beginnings. Born from a mixed race family, his white mother and Japanese father divorced when he was an infant. Ohno grew up without his mother, and he often came into conflict with his father. A large section of "Zero Regrets" deals with the broken home that he grew up in.
But the main goal of the book is to motivate and inspire. Ohno's lessons that he preaches are not just to uplift athletes, but also to help those in all avenues of life.
"It's not that we all want to be Olympic athletes, but we all have Olympic level dreams." said Ohno, minutes before entering for the book signing. "You have to maximize your effort, no matter what you do. Don't go through the motions - life is too short to do something like that."
Ohno has taken a break from speed skating, but is keeping the options open for one more Olympic trip. The 28 year old has competed in three different Olympic games.