Games & medals
Kristi YAMAGUCHI biography
Kristi Yamaguchi started out as a pairs skater, with Rudy Galindo, and together they won the US Junior title in 1986. But Yamaguchi also skated singles, and in 1988 won the World Junior Championship in ladies’ singles. Unusual for this era, for several years she continued to skate in both events and place well in both, as in 1988 she and Galindo also won the World Junior Championship in pairs. In both 1989 and 1990 she and Galindo placed fifth at the World Championship in pairs, and in singles she had been sixth in 1989 and fourth in 1990 at Worlds, but after 1990 Yamaguchi elected to concentrate on singles skating. In 1991 she established herself as the best female skater in the world, winning at the Nations Cup, Skate America, and winning her first World Championship, although she placed only second at the US Championships, trailing Tonya Harding. Yamaguchi entered the 1992 Olympic year as the favorite for the gold medal and did not disappoint, also winning her first US title that year.
After the 1992 Olympics, Yamaguchi turned professional and appeared with Champions on Ice and Stars on Ice for over 10 years. She also met her future husband at the 1992 Winter Olympics, Bret Hedican, who played ice hockey for the United States, and has played in the NHL from 1991 thru 2009 with various teams. In 2008 Yamaguchi appeared on the television show Dancing With the Stars, and with pro dance partner Mark Ballas, won the sixth season of that show. She has since become a well-known commercial spokesperson with numerous endorsements. She is also a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee Olympic Hall of Fame, World Skating Hall of Fame, and the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame.