OMAHA, Neb. -- Speedskating great Apolo Anton Ohno will decide by the end of the year or early 2012 whether he'll train for the next Winter Olympics.
Ohno turns 29 this month and would be 31 when the Winter Olympics are held in Sochi, Russia.
He said Monday some people thought he was too old to succeed in the Vancouver Games, where he won three medals. His eight medals over three Games is a record for an American Winter Olympian.
"The Olympic spirit is always going to be within my blood, who I am as a person," Ohno said at a news conference. "I'm excited for the 2014 Games. I'll be there for sure. It's just whether I'll have my ice skates with me or not."
Ohno, who isn't competing in the sport this year, said he has nothing left to prove to himself as a speedskater.
"Pre-2006 and pre-210 Games, I was very content and happy with my career, actually, as far as how many medals I had won," he said. "I felt very blessed. I had reached every single goal I wanted to accomplish."
The decision to try for a fourth Olympics would go beyond the chase for medals, he said. He said he must ask himself whether he wants to put his life on hold to invest the time and energy into another Olympics.
"Some athletes are able to balance their life and do a lot of separate things," said Ohno, in Omaha to speak at an awards luncheon. "Essentially my life revolves around skating when I'm competing."
Ohno has used his celebrity to become an author, motivational speaker and philanthropist. He also has entered the nutritional supplement industry. Going for another Olympics would be a high-risk, high-reward endeavor, he said.
"My sport, short-track speedskating, is one where at any given moment anything can happen," he said. "No matter how well prepared we are for something, a variable could change. You could get disqualified, someone pushes you, you slip, or you're a second too late."
He said it's difficult "mentally dealing with the concept of four years of your life coming down to 40 seconds on the ice."
Ohno plans to begin preparations in earnest in a few weeks for the New York Marathon. He said his training for the November race, his first marathon, has been "sporadic" because of his heavy travel schedule.
Ohno accepted the challenge to run the marathon from Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, who ran his first marathon last year. Ohno is among the "famous fans" of the sandwich-shop chain.
Ohno joked that he thought Fogle told him the race would be 2.6 miles instead of 26.2 miles. Ohno said he would like to finish in 3 hours, 30 minutes.
"I've never run anything over 8 miles in my life," he said.
After the marathon, he'll decide on the Olympics.
"The nice thing about the New York Marathon is I'll be in pretty good shape post," he said.
"So I'm assuming November or December, perhaps early next year. We'll see. The decision needs to come sooner than later."