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Kristi Yamaguchi Update February, 2013

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Kristi Yamaguchi - 1992 Olympic Figure Skating Champion

Kristi Yamaguchi - 1992 Olympic Figure Skating Champion

Photo Courtesy Smuckers Uncrustables
Kristi Yamaguchi is the 1992 Olympic Figure Skating Champion. On February 21, 2013, she and About.com's Guide to Figure Skating, Jo Ann Schneider Farris, chatted. Kristi wanted to update About.com's readers on the Smuckers Uncrustables Unstoppable Family Photo Contest. Ten families had been selected as finalists. She encouraged everyone to go to the Smuckers Uncrustables website to cast their votes.

Next, the subject of pair skating came up. Although Yamaguchi won Olympic gold in single skating, she was also a U.S. National pair skating champion.

Kristi, what suggestions do you have for figure skaters who may be interested in pursuing pair skating?

Be the best skater you can be. Work hard on basic skating skills and master jumps. Today's top pair skaters don't need to master all the triple jumps that elite single skaters do, but they still need to have solid jumping skills.

Find the right pair skating partner and a skilled and knowledgeable pair skating coach. The right partner and the right coach are very important and may be the most important things when it comes to becoming a successful pair skater.

You must find a partner that you are compatible with and is willing to work with you so you can become a team. Also, the longer a pair team stays together, the better. I skated with Rudy Galindo for seven years. We became a unit and skated like one. It is crucial that pair skating teams stay together if they can.

Is it necessary for a pair skater to also be naturally talented at singles?

It certainly does not hurt, but it is not necessary. Hard work and motivation makes great skaters, talent is not the only necessary ingredient.

Do you think it is possible for today's pair skaters to do more than one figure skating discipline?

When I competed, I did both singles and pairs, and did it in the days of figures, so I know from experience that it is possible to do more than one discipline and do it well; however, it was not easy. There was one world championship where I had to compete in two long programs on the same day. That was so, so hard!

Eventually, I made the decision to compete only in singles. Eventually, an elite pair skater that is doing more than one discipline will have to make the same choice I did.

Is your daughter still skating and what are your plans for her as far as skating goes?

Emma is still skating, yes. Rudy Galindo, my former pair skating partner and lifelong friend , is teaching her. She only seven years old, so at this time, she is skating for fun. She has just mastered the waltz jump!

Do you have advice for parents of skaters on what age parents should get their children into serious competitive skating?

Every child should learn at his or her own pace. I recommend that parents not rush their children into serious skating until they are sure their child is ready. It is true that getting started with figure skating early may be a good idea for some children, but that is not for everyone.

Do you have an update on what you are doing these days?

I'm now looking forward the 2014 Olympics approaching. I have my own clothing line and I'm also promoting my books. My "Always Dream" Foundation continues to work towards supporting the hopes and dreams of children. Of course, also, I'm loving every minute of being a busy mom!
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