As an Olympic gold medalist, Kristi Yamaguchi knows a thing or two about the hard work and dedication it takes to excel at your sport. Even more importantly, you need the support of your family. Kristi teamed up with the P&G Thank You Mom campaign to give her own mama props for her tireless love and encouragement. The ice skating queen stopped by the P&G Family Home in Sochi where she was treated to some patriotic beauty treatments (loving that American flag mani!) and answered OK!’s burning questions.
OK!: What’s your most memorable Olympics moment?
Kristi Yamaguchi: One moment that changed my life was winning the gold. There are several moments there but I would say the podium moment because at that Olympics we received our medals right after we competed at the arena so stepping on the podium and looking out for my family to share that moment with them was definitely one of my most vivid memories.
OK!: What’s something that happened during training/behind-the-scenes that stands out in your mind and that you’ve never told anyone before?
KY: I think in skating its meant to look effortless and graceful but I think what people don’t see is the hours and hours behind the scenes when skaters fall, get up and fall again and the frustration to reach that effortless look. You see the calm, cool and collected skater but there are times in training when you get frustrated and not so skater-like.
OK!: When you weren’t practicing, what did you do in your downtime when you were competing in the Olympics?
KY: I am a huge hockey fan. I love the San Jose Sharks and I have season tickets. I always laugh because that’s when you see the other side of me when I became the crazy hockey fan, which is fun. I love shopping, movies and spending time with friends.
OK!: What’s your favorite Olympic sport to watch on TV other than your own?
KY: I would say hockey would be my next favorite Olympic sport. I did get a chance this Olympics to see a couple new sports, which were fun such as slope style skiing, which was really impressive. In some ways it is similar to skating because it is a judge event with specific routines that they have in their mind when they go and perform down their run. It’s fun to watch that and the strategy behind their sport.
OK!: What advice do you have for this year’s batch of athletes specifically?
KY: Thank your parents. I teamed up with P&G on the Thank You Mom program because I love that it honors moms and the support they provide their kids everyday on their Olympic journey. The Olympics is a really special time in their lives and they worked really hard to get here and had a lot of support from the people around them so just enjoy yourselves and soak in every minute because the two weeks here fly by and you want to take these memories for your lifetime. Remember who has helped you get there because your family are your number one supporters. It’s nice to have a place to go to and experience this with them like at the P&G Family Home because you can relax, catch up and let them know how things are going. These are the special moments you will remember forever.
Which Olympic sport is your favorite to watch? Tell us in the comments or tweet @OKMagazine.