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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.
- 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.
- "The Interview: Kristi Yamaguchi" in Nob Hill Gazette (1 February 2018)
- I’d never skated just to win a gold medal before; I’d never put that kind of pressure on myself.
- "Kristi Yamaguchi, Unlaced" in Shondaland (3 January 2018)
- Even as an athlete, I am constantly inspired and awed by the stories of Olympians. I was honored to have been asked to exchange ideas in the first charrette.
- 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.”
- Now is really the time to raise more awareness of what’s going on and to demand that things change. This younger generation is not afraid to speak out, I think they’ve given a lot of us courage to really stand up to what’s right, and I think that’s what we need to follow
- Looking back, it's like, wow, those few minutes just made such an impact. We have that much time to kind of prove yourself. I think that's one thing that makes skating so exciting, because it's just intense, and it's quick, and one little slip can mean the difference between placing or not placing.
- Winning the gold opened up a lot of opportunities, other challenges that I wanted to take on and do in my life.
- "Kristi Yamaguchi is still winning" in USA Today (31 January 2014)
- The reward of putting a smile on a child’s face, who has to deal with so many challenges in life, is just beyond words. It's incredible.
- "Kristi Yamaguchi: My Life After Figure Skating" in ABC News (12 March 2015)