Good afternoon friends. I would like to share a very neat autobiography I found on one of my favorite figure skaters of all time, Nancy Kerrigan. I found this autobiography on her very own web site. I found it very informative and interesting, I hope you all enjoy reading it and learning as much as I did when I read it. Enjoy!
Autobiography of a Champion
I started skating when I was six years old. I took group lessons at a rink near my home. We first had to learn how to stand up on the ice wearing skates. Eventually we learned to move forward, but soon found out that it was not that easy to stop! So that was our next important lesson. Falling down became second nature and it really didn't bother me. I was a tomboy who liked to play rough just like my two older brothers. That's probably why I liked the athletic part of skating - especially the jumping!
I watched skating on TV all of the time. I always liked watching the men's skating because they did all of the jumping and daring moves which was mostly done by men back then.
I started practicing the triple-triple combination when I was 14 years old. This is when you take off into a triple toe loop, spin in the air three times, land on one foot and use that foot to do another triple toe loop and spin in the air three times. I was determined to do it! I practiced and practiced and landed my first triple-triple after one week of practice. I did my first one in a competition a year later. I was supposed to do it at the beginning of my program but got nervous and didn't do it. But I did it at the end. The judges were amazed - no other women were doing them.
It was after that competition that I knew I was not just an average skater.
I was thrilled one year when I was younger when not only did my brothers get hockey sticks for Christmas - but I did too! My brothers thought they were going to get rid of me when I started figure skating - which they said was for wimps. But I still followed them around. They would often put hockey gear on me and have me play goalie for their street hockey games. It didn't bother me a bit! I actually loved it!
My coaches did not always like my "hockey-like" skating - going as fast as I could all over the rink. But they straightened me out - literally! They told me to stand up straight when skating, not bend over like a hockey player!
Even now I can't describe why I love skating so much. It was never about winning medals or being famous. People would ask me why I was doing what I was doing - but I always told them that I just loved to skate. There was no other explanation.
It wasn't always easy getting up at 5 o'clock in the morning to go to the rink. Sometimes I wanted to just go back to sleep. But after a few minutes of convincing myself that I really wanted to go - telling myself that I love skating and that my coach is there waiting for me - I would get up and go. And my mother would always get up and eat breakfast with me!
I have always had a lot of family around me. Almost 100 of my relatives lived close by to me when I was growing up. Having them all close allowed me to have a tremendous amount of support throughout my skating career. Everyone would pitch in - driving me to lessons and helping pay for skates.
My parents never pressured me to skate. They always said I could quit if I wanted to. They only expected me to skate when they had already paid for the expensive lessons. But, otherwise they said I could do what I wanted to do. My dad worked several jobs to pay for my expense in skating. I worked also, doing things such as our paper route and, later on, waitressing.
Sometimes it was difficult to make friends and be social in school because I was always practicing while other kids were getting together and doing things. But it just made me closer to my family, and I realized that they would always be there no matter what.
Even now, my husband Jerry, our son Matthew and I live only five minutes away from my parents home, and my brothers live about ten minutes away. It's been great having such a supportive family.
I won my first medal when I was nine years old. It was at the Boston Open. That was when my coach taught me that I should not wear medals around, they were awards not jewelry. So you'll never see me with my medals on!
My life has been a whirlwind since the '94 Olympics. I get to see the different sides of skating now which involves not only competing, but entertainment. I enjoy touring with the Tom Collins Champions On Ice Tour and producing new and exciting shows with Jerry. He is the President and CEO of P.S./StarGames. StarGames is a fully integrated sports and entertainment communications company providing sports programming to various mass media outlets including television, video, direct broadcast satellite and the internet. He also just became the new President of The Football Network.
I hope you all enjoyed it!
Have a great day!