WHEREAS, The heroic achievements of Apolo Anton Ohno and J.R.
Celski will inspire generations of Americans and sports lovers around
the world, and will live forever in the annals of the Olympic Games;
WHEREAS, Before they became champions on ice, Apolo Anton Ohno and J.R. Celski learned in-line skating in Federal Way at Pattison's West Skating Center, which the New York Times has named "Washington State's Rink of Dreams"; and
WHEREAS, Apolo Anton Ohno decided to become a world champion skater in Copalis Beach, Washington, and went on to become the reigning eight-time United States Short Track Speedskating Champion, and the most decorated American in the history of the Olympic Winter Games, with three Olympics and eight Olympic medals to his name, including two gold, two silver, and four bronze medals; and
WHEREAS, Apolo Anton Ohno united his physical gifts with a strong and determined character and a winning personality that is a tribute not only to him and his coaches, but also to his proud father, Yuki Ohno, who owns the Seattle hair salon Yuki's Diffusions, and who raised Apolo Anton Ohno as a single parent; and
WHEREAS, Apolo Anton Ohno and his dance partner, Julianne Hough, won the Dancing with the Stars championship in 2007, which added to his glory far beyond the short track, and helped him to achieve his current ranking as America's all-time favorite Winter Olympian by the online Smithsonian Magazine poll; and
WHEREAS, John Robert Celski is blessed with a strong family and was inspired to excel by his father, Bob Celski, his mother, Sue Celski, and his two older brothers, Chris and David Celski. He is known the world over as J.R. Celski because that name honors his father and his mother's late brother, Al Mendoza Sabado, Jr.; and
WHEREAS, J.R. Celski got his first skates on his third birthday in Federal Way and was later inspired by Apolo Anton Ohno's 2002 Olympic victories to become a speedskating champion. He won his first short track medal at age 12 and went on to earn medals at the U.S. Junior Championships, World Junior Championships, and U.S. Championships before astounding the speedskating world by becoming a five-time medalist at the 2009 World Championships; and
WHEREAS, J.R. Celski sliced his leg to the bone just five months before the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and thought for a moment that his Olympic dream was over, but his mother ran onto the ice and told him, "No, it's not over, J.R. you're going to be fine." He didn't give up; he healed and trained and worked hard every day and rejoined Team USA; he competed against the best in the world in the men's 1,500 meter race and 5,000 meter relay race; and he won two bronze medals for himself and for our country; and
WHEREAS, Apolo Anton Ohno and J.R. Celski became athletic champions while continuing to pursue their education, which should be an inspiration to the dreams of young men and women everywhere;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Washington State House of Representatives recognize Apolo Anton Ohno and J.R. Celski for being true champions who have brought honor to their sport, to Team USA, to their families, to their home towns of Federal Way and Seattle, to Washington state, and to the United States of America; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be immediately transmitted by the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives to the International Olympic Committee, United States Olympic Committee, United States Speedskating, Pattison's West Skating Center, Yuki Ohno, Apolo Anton Ohno, Bob and Sue Celski, and J.R. Celski.