Apolo Anton Ohno threw up hisarms in a what-can-I-do gesture and smiled.
The American short track speedskater had just been disqualifiedin the 500 meters, but he wasn't leaving the Vancouver Olympicsempty-handed Friday night.
Ohno returned later and anchored the United States to abronze-medal finish in the chaotic 5,000 relay, giving him hiseighth career medal.
It was Ohno's third medal of these games, to go with a silverand another bronze that made him America's most decorated WinterOlympian. He already has the most short track medals of any skater.
The 45-lap relay ended a wild final night of short track, markedby crashes, disqualifications and capricious skating.
It also might have been the final Olympic race of Ohno's stellarcareer. He is contemplating retirement, although U.S. nationalcoach Jimmy Jang is hoping to convince the 27-year-old skater fromSeattle to compete in a fourth Olympics in 2014.
"He's a very excellent athlete, exceptional in every way,"China's Han Jialiang said.
Ohno skated the final two laps of the U.S. relay, sticking outhis left skate at the finish before getting edged by South Korea'sKwak Yoon-gy. Canada won the gold and South Korea earned thesilver.
Ohno slapped hands and exchanged hugs with teammates J.R.Celski, Travis Jayner and Jordan Malone. He waved to the crowdbefore skating to the boards and hugging an ecstatic Jang, alongtime friend.
Ohno then skated over to congratulate the Canadians, nearlystepping on their Maple Leaf flag. He also shook hands with hisSouth Korean rivals.
On the podium, a roar went up as Ohno's name was announced andthe medal slipped over his slicked-back hair. He held up his bronzein one hand and waved his bouquet in the other.
The medal salvaged the night for Ohno after he was disqualifiedin the 500, apparently for causing a crash in the final turn. Hecrossed the finish line second behind Canada's Charles Hamelin,whose momentum spun him into the middle of the ice as the raceended.
Ohno was in last place when he tried to go inside of CanadianFrancois-Louis Tremblay to move up on the final turn. TheAmerican's right leg appeared to hit Tremblay and he went crashinginto the padding.
South Korea's Sung Si-bak also went down, although it appearedhe lost his balance.
After several minutes of discussion, during which Ohno skatedcalmly around the ice, the referees DQ'd him. He smiled, fullyaware of the unpredictable nature of his sport.
Ohno managed to get past crashes in both his previous heats toadvance to the 500 final, which he won four years ago in Turin.
Hamelin won the gold. Sung took silver and Tremblay got bronze.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times