Main Content

Olympics

Last night outside our flagship store in Downtown Seattle, retired speed skater Apolo Ohnothe most decorated US Winter Olympian of all time—joined the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, Ken Griffey, Jr., Bill Gates, and other highly esteemed Northwest natives, receiving his own plaque on our ‘Seattle Walk of Fame.’

While other plaques on the sidewalk surrounding our store depict imprints of our Walk-of-Famers’ shoes (a nod to Nordstrom’s origins as a shoe store), Ohno’s captures the motion of his ice-slicing skates:

Having won eight medals over the course of three Olympics, Ohno’s no stranger to high honors—nor avid fans, as was apparent from his easy demeanor in greeting an adoring public following the brief induction ceremony (which was hosted by none other than Pete Nordstrom, pictured up top on the left).

Before reading our exclusive Q&A below, check out a video of Ohno in action, gliding for Gold in a 1000-meter showdown decided by milliseconds. Come February, you can catch him in action again at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia—this time as an analyst with NBC Sports.

MEN’S SHOP DAILY: Having grown up here in Seattle, do you have memories of Nordstrom?
APOLO OHNO: “I have many memories of Nordstrom. My dad used to take me here shopping growing up, back-to-school stuff—and I shop at Nordstrom now. So it’s always been a part of my life. To know that it’s a Seattle-based company is awesome.”

MSD: What does it mean to be immortalized outside our flagship Seattle store?
APOLO OHNO: “It’s an honor, it really is. We have so many international tourists come through our great city all the time, and they see these people, and these footsteps. Some really amazing people have been cemented forever in history here, so for me to be named next to them—it’s an honor.”


[Ohno mingled with fans young and old after the unveiling.
Cool Quiksilver shirt, kid.]

MSD: You’ve accomplished a lot of amazing things in your life. What would you say has been your proudest moment?
APOLO OHNO: “The Olympic space, for me, is one that has always touched my heart, because it was the one single focus of my life for 15 years straight. It’d have to be the Olympic Games.”

MSDAs far as fitness and exercise—what training advice do you have for average guys at home?
APOLO OHNO: “Stick to the circuit training. Leave the slow cardio alone. We all don’t have a lot of time—I’d say on average, most of us have an hour or less in the gym. So just hit it hard. Always change up your routine, keep it fresh, keep it fun—and always challenge yourself.”


[How dapper is Ohno's dad (center)?]

MSD: What are some of your personal style essentials (besides a skin-tight bodysuit)?
APOLO OHNO: “You always have to have a good jacket—a sports jacket, that fits—no matter what. You have to have a nice pair of shoes. Jeans and pants for me are always difficult, because my legs are so big—so they’re tight, even when they’re supposed to be baggy.” [Shop special sizes: Big & Tall]

MSDYou look sharp today. What are you wearing?
APOLO OHNO: “Let’s see…I’m wearing Armani. Zegna pants, Louis shoes.”


[One of many surprised passersby.]

MSDWhat’s your favorite thing about hosting the GSN game show Minute to Win It?
APOLO OHNO: “On Minute to Win It, the number-one thing is, I get to see people win real money. And the excitement you see, and the stories you hear about how that money’s going to change their life, or what they’re going to put it towards, are pretty amazing. We’ve seen people get married, we’ve had people want to put money towards a charity in memory of their brother, we’ve had ex-military people who served our country—there’s really an incredible array of stories on the show. So I’ve gotten to meet some really amazing people.

MSDWhat are you most looking forward to at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia—where you’ll be breaking down the action as a member of NBC’s broadcast team?
APOLO OHNO: “In 2014, I’m looking forward to short-track [skating]. All the speed skating events, that’s my favorite. I mean, I also love downhill events and skiing, but short-track, to me, is the ultimate. I’ll be there, every single day.”


[Our blog editor, asking the tough questions.]

MSD: You’re the most decorated Winter Olympian in US history. What advice do you have on being a gracious winner—and on your approach to life and work in general?
APOLO OHNO: “I definitely haven’t won every single race—so I know what it feels like when you don’t win, and I know what it feels like when you do. And I think you appreciate it that much more. I lived in a sport where you’re not guaranteed to win every single time, no matter how good you are. So when you do, and those medals get hung around your neck, it feels pretty amazing. And towards life? I’d say: Work hard, play hard, and just enjoy every single step of the way.”


[A plaque on the wall outside our flagship store, shedding light
on the 'Seattle Walk of Fame' installation.]



[A few of Ohno's fellow Seattle Walk of Fame alums. Clockwise from top left:
Jimi Hendrix, Mariners legend Ken Griffey, Jr., Microsoft's Paul Allen and Bill Gates, NBA great and former SuperSonic Lenny Wilkens.]

 

Special thanks to Apolo Ohno.
Follow him on Twitter here.

 
 
 

[Photos by Jeff Powell. Interview and first photo by Justin Abbott.]

We had a feeling this team would be one to watch. After defeating Canada 4-3 in what’s being called perhaps the most entertaining women’s soccer match EVER, the US Women’s National Team will face Japan in a grudge match for Olympic gold. (US defeated Japan for the medal in 2008 in Beijing, but Japan came out on top in last year’s World Cup—meaning both teams have an axe to grind.)

Tune in this morning at 11:35 PST to see what happens. (Sorry for the short notice. Try watching it live online here.)

 

In the meantime, watch Alex Morgan’s game-winning goal against Canada:

 

…And click this link or the screen-cap below to watch the full US v. Canada highlights on the official NBC Olympics page:

It’s been a riveting, bleary-eyed week and a half spent glued to the TV. Not sure about you, but we’re still catching up on DVR’d Olympic coverage from last weekend. (Those five-hour blocks of HD swimming, shooting, running, gymnastics, volleyball and tennis are no joke—and don’t leave much space for new Breaking Bad episodes.)

The one ‘event’ we deleted too soon, though, was the Opening Ceremony. We started out psyched, but somewhere between act three of the Industrial Revolution-themed interpretive dance production, and the gratuitous slow-motion corgi footage during the almost-funny James Bond mini-film…We got bored and changed the channel.

Big mistake—because it meant we missed the best bits, including Mr. Bean nailing the synth part on ‘Chariots of Fire,’ and the UK’s own heirs to the rock-royalty throne, Arctic Monkeys, paying homage to the Beatles (before Sir Paul McCartney himself closed out the show). The video footage has been banished from the internet, but click here to listen to live audio of Arctic Monkeys covering the Beatles classic ‘Come Together.’

Although practically still kids, Arctic Monkeys have been compared to the Fab Four by critics and fans alike. A bit premature, if not blasphemous—but they’re off to a good start. Here’s a recent single they released (on purple vinyl) for Record Store Day 2012, followed by a favorite track off each of their four studio albums.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvR5g_O1HIo

Speaking of well-dressed sportscasters: The sartorial artisans at Hickey Freeman—based in Rochester, NY, where the company was founded in 1899—will be outfitting the men of NBC with custom-made wardrobes for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

A slim-cut navy blazer, sporting the regal chest crest above, was designed for this Friday’s opening ceremony (which will feature true Brits like Daniel Craig, Sir Paul McCartney, and Trainspotting director Danny Boyle). The sand-colored version, meanwhile, will hit the court for tennis tournaments.

Give Matt Lauer a run for his money with a Hickey Freeman suit or sportcoat of your own—plenty are hundreds of dollars off right now during our Anniversary Sale. (If you’ve never kicked back on your couch in an impeccable, American-made suit while watching Olympic table tennis and enjoying a proper pint…you haven’t truly lived.)


 

US Olympic competition kicks off with women’s soccer this Wednesday, 9am PST vs. France. Men’s basketball starts Sunday, July 29. Much more information here.

In the meantime, check out these amazing vintage photos of Hickey Freeman’s ‘Temple to Fine Tailoring’ in Rochester, NY. More at Hickey Freeman’s official website.



 

[Illustrations via four-pins.com, courtesy of WWD. Vintage photos courtesy of Hickey Freeman.]

If you follow football (you know: ‘soccer’), you know that the Men’s National Team came up short of securing a spot in the 2012 London Olympics.

However, there are still plenty of good reasons to tune in this summer. Eighteen of them in fact, also known as the reigning-gold-medalist US Women’s National Team—not the least of whom is world-class goalkeeper Hope Solo. If you’re uninitiated or otherwise unconvinced, check out her superhuman save, below, which helped the US defeat Canada last night in the team’s final exhibition before the Olympics—which kick off July 25 versus France. (Hey, at least the men still have basketball.)

In other soccer news, the final game of the Euro 2012 men’s tournament airs today at 2:45 EST on ESPN. Again, no USA, but the match between Italy and defending champs Spain has been heralded as a showcase of the nuance and artistry the sport is meant to be all about—with both teams having surpassed opponents who attempted to thwart their creativity with aggressive defense, rather than compete with it.

In the meantime, get inspired by these posters of ‘Football Legends’ by Bosnian graphic designer Zoran Lucic. Many more in the artist’s gallery on Typography Served.








 

[Hope Solo image courtesy of ESPN.com. Posters ©Zoran Lucic.]

It was the stuff of legend: the first time the USA was permitted to send professional basketball players into battle—and what that year’s Olympiad lacked in fairness, it more than made up for in jaw-dropping spectacle. Twenty years later, the video quality doesn’t hold up well, but the acrobatic passing and deafening dunks certainly do:

A new 20th-anniversary documentary, The Dream Team, replete with exclusive interviews and never-before-seen footage, airs tonight at 9pm ET on NBA TV. For even more back-story, check out GQ’s funny and fascinating oral history of the greatest team ever assembled.

Shop Sports Fan Gear

 

And Mark Your Calendar: 2012 Men’s Olympic basketball—starring Carmelo, Kobe, Griffin and Iguodala, to name a few—commences July 29.


 

[Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom or products shown. Photo courtesy of NBA.com]