Kristi Yamaguchi

Kristi Yamaguchi

When asked to finish the statement: “I am..” Olympic, World (and DWTS!) Champion Kristi Yamaguchi says:

“I am a proud mother and feel so lucky to have lived the life I have.”

It is her experience as a mother that is the inspiration for her recent runaway bestselling children’s book: Dream Big Little Pig! Kristi say that she had always had an idea for a children’s book in the back of her mind.

“It was nice to create a fictional character that was fun. My own kids inspired me to adctually do it! They are the perfect age for picture books.”

Reading is one of the conrnerstones of her own children’s bedtime rituals.

Author, mother. philanthropist, Kristi’s life has been filled with changes: from wife to mother, amateur to pro skater, reader to writer which she has handled with characteristic grace:

“I think being open to those changes and to be open to the challenges that the next phase of life holds is important. You cant always expect things to go smoothly and you can’t be afraid to make those change. I believe in ‘no regrets’. It is better to have tried and failed than not at all.”

She says with a chuckle:

“It’s funny but my coach Christy Ness taught me there is no real secret to success except hard work. I certainly agree with that. Putting in the time makes the difference.”

Offering this advice to today’s young skaters:

“I would stay try to keep your focus.I think obviously they (skaters) have a dream in skating.It’s not always going to be easy but by being focused, it will help keep you going through those tough times.”

Kristi’s was at the top of the Olympic podium in 1992 and having lived it, what is it like to watch it?

“I mean it is inspiring to watch the skaters and I definitely get nervous for them. Anyone who has been there gets nervous for the skaters but I get inspired all over again. I mean that I think there will always be that connection for me with the Olympics. On reflection your get older, I realize how lucky, how fortunate I was and that the stars lined up. It feels very nostalgic for me.”

Kristi admits to feeling that “her” Olympics was a very long time ago. There is no doubt that she has achieved a lot personally and professionally since then. Is she surprised?

“In some respects I am and in others – not; it’s hard to say when you are almost 40. I think I always imagined I would be settled down and have a family but I don’t think I thought career-wise I would be going as strong as I am now.”

Her Always Dream Foundation benefits disadvantaged children:

“I like feeling a connection to the community. Knowing that I have been in such a self-centred sport where it was about myself and my training and my olympics and knowing I received so much support, to be able to give some of that back and to positively affect some who dont have that is a gift. You feel like you have a certain kind of power and you have to use it to help.”

Skating offered its own gift:

“I think before I started skating I was so shy and timid and through skating I found the love for something that gave me confidence.”

For more information, visit: Kristi Yamaguchi

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