When I'm told, for instance, "We're looking to take our skill set to the next level," I like to say, "We all want something. Do you have a clear understanding of how to direct your focus and get there? The way I finished proves that nothing is ever over until it is, in fact, over.

What I've accomplished, and how I got there — sure, those experiences matter.

But they matter not as evidence of what I have done. Not to sound preachy or religious, but I profoundly believe God has a plan for me. Those gifts have put me in a position where I might inspire others I might touch along the way — and they, in turn, can help illuminate my path.

I didn't want to think back about my day and think, Yes, Apolo, that was good enough.

Such strength did not come from my physical self; it started within the depths of my mind. When I was just fourteen, I was invited to train with a junior national team developmental program all the way across the country in Lake Placid, New York. It wouldn't have solved anything to look around and wonder who had caused the crash and start playing the blame game.

This is just some of what I have learned from my father — what he taught me and then what I have learned by and for myself. It is more important to be a champion off the field than on; that's what resonates with me.

My father instilled in me passion, purpose, and pride. That night, and continuing over the years since, some people have said to me, "Do you feel bad you didn't win? In thinking about this book, what I wanted it to be and what I wanted to express, I was clear that I did not — repeat, not — want it to be merely an autobiographical recount of those medals with a healthy dash of my winning turn on Dancing with the Stars thrown in for good measure.The sport received ISU sanctioning in 1967, though the ISU did not hold official competitions until 1976.The first World Short Track Speed Skating Championships took place in 1981 in Meudon-la-Foret, France." The answer, then and now, is no, I don't feel bad. I went to the Winter Olympics; I represented my country, my team, and my family to the best of my ability. Nor did I want it to be about my personal life and, in particular, women I've dated or perhaps who wanted to date me.I did not want to write a book out of some sense of self-indulgence, or perfectionism, or self-adoration. Instead, I simply wanted to make plain what I have learned along my path in the hope that my journey would encourage others to strive for what is needed, to reach for the unreachable, to recognize that everyone makes mistakes but the point is to bounce back stronger.In past seasons, numerous sports stars have competed on the ballroom floor and triumphed: Former NFL stars Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward, Donald Driver, and Rashad Jennings each won their seasons; Olympic gold medalists Apolo Anton Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Meryl Davis, and Laurie Hernandez all danced away victorious; and auto racing driver Hélio Castroneves has also taken the top spot.