For these four female Olympic figure skaters, their time on the ice created amazing memories they’ll never forget!
Won the Gold medal in the 1976 Innsbruck Games
Standing on the podium after winning gold, “your whole career sort of flashes through your eyes,” Dorothy Hamill reveals to Closer.
The 57-year-old says the memories went back to the first time she figure skated at age 8. “Hearing the national anthem play and feeling very proud to be an American, I was thinking of my coaches, my mom driving me to competitions, neighbors taking my dad food when we were away,” she shares.
“I got to the point where I almost burst into tears. Just as I was about to lose it, I remember thinking, ‘I want to see what an Olympic medal looks like!’ I’d never seen one before.”
Dorothy regained her composure, but lost it with her sister Marcia in the bathroom 20 minutes later. “I looked at her, she looked at me and we screeched this blood-curdling screech at the top of our lungs!” she laughs. “It was a moment I’ll never forget.”
Won the Gold medal in the 1992 Albertville Games
Marching around the Théâtre des Cérémonies stadium at the Olympics opening ceremony in France, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi experienced an “exhilarating” sense of pride.
“You feel like: ‘This has been my dream, and it is happening right now!'” the 42-year-old ladies’ singles (and “Dancing With the Stars”) champ tells Closer. “I kept asking myself, ‘Is this really the Olympics? Is this happening?'”
She says she could have marched all night. “I don’t know how long it took us, probably 5 or 10 minutes, but I didn’t want it to end. I was like ‘No! Let’s do it again!'”
Won the Silver medal in the 1994 Lillehammer Games
“Being on that medal stand is an incredible high,” figure skater Nancy Kerrigan revealed right after her 1994 silver win. “What a proud feeling!”
And while few can forget the moment she was clubbed in the leg just seven weeks earlier, in an attack masterminded by rival Tonya Harding’s then-husband Jeff Gillooly, the setback led to one of her happiest memories.
“My skating was the best that I could’ve asked out of myself in such a difficult situation,” said the 44-year-old NBC Olympics analyst, who also won the bronze in Albertville in 1992. “I’m extremely proud of myself for how I was able to handle all that.”
Won the Gold medal in the 1998 Nagano Games
The night figure skater Tara Lipinski became the youngest individual gold-medal winner in Winter Games history at age 15, she was the one who was starstruck.
“I remember going to the cafeteria to celebrate with a late-night McDonald’s milkshake,” the now-31-year-old champ shares with Closer.
“The next thing I know, someone says ‘Congratulations!’ and I look up to see The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, standing in front of me. My night ended with an ice cream celebration with Wayne and his teammates. Amazing!”
The encounter was only topped by the moment she stepped onto the podium for her gold. “Ten years of memories flooded into one moment,” she recalls with a sense of disbelief. “I just kept saying to myself, ‘Don’t ever forget this moment!’ I wanted that feeling to last forever.”