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It’s been twenty-six years since Kristi Yamaguchi’s Olympic gold in Albertville, France — but she still gets pre-competition jitters. Only this time, it’s on behalf of the competitors, not herself.
“It’s nerve-wracking,” Yamaguchi, a longtime Milk Life Olympic partner, tells PEOPLE of watching figure skating competitions — particularly those with high stakes, like the National Championships or the Olympics. “I do get very nervous for the skaters because you just identify with what they’re going through.”
Matter - Home - Team - Accomplishment - Pressure
However, she says that it’s important to remember that no matter what medals an Olympian comes home with, it’s important to remember that making the team in itself is a massive accomplishment. “There’s so much pressure to just make the team and it’s so competitive,” she says. “Once you’re actually named it’s like ‘Okay, so the dream has come true. I can call myself an Olympian,’ and whatever happens from there happens.”
She won’t be traveling to PyeongChang for this year’s Olympics — instead, she’ll be recapping the skating competition from NBC Sports’s Stamford, Connecticut office — but is especially invested in this year’s competition. She has a close friendship with American ladies singles skater Karen Chen, and has served as a mentor for Chen throughout her skating career. And going into the competition, Yamaguchi says Chen has the ability to dominate on the ice.
Something - Ice
“She brings something special to the ice...
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