Kristi Yamaguchi

American figure skater

Kristine Tsuya Yamaguchi (born July 12, 1971) is an American former figure skater. In ladies' singles, Yamaguchi is the 1992 Olympic champion, a two-time World champion (1991 and 1992), and the 1992 U.S. champion. In 1992, she became the first Asian-American woman to win a gold medal in a Winter Olympic competition. As a pairs skater with Rudy Galindo, she is the 1988 World Junior champion and a two-time national champion (1989 and 1990). In December 2005, she was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

Kristi Yamaguchi in 1996


  • There was always just that challenge of getting better, and every year having a new goal and getting a step closer to the ultimate dream. I really didn’t have the dream of the Olympics until I was maybe in middle school. And, at that point, it started to get a little harder. My life centered around skating—training before and after school. It was a huge time commitment for me and my family.
  • In terms of my career, having the gold definitely changed my life. The Olympics are different, you know? They’re every four years and it’s such a small group. So for me, having achieved the gold, there’s a certain prestige that comes along with it, and responsibilities and things like that, you know, “master to your sport.”
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