An athlete gains so much knowledge by just participating in a sport. Focus, discipline, hard work, goal setting and, of course, the thrill of finally achieving your goals. These are all lessons in life.
I don't know how many people really knew who I was before the Olympics and that's the fun thing of the Olympics - you get to know someone who captures your heart, hopefully.
Every day, someone realizes a dream. I believe dreams help light our darkness and give us the push we need to move across the rink of life.
I'd try to channel my nervous energy in a positive way into strength and endurance. It didn't always work.
I'm always looking for inspiring ways to stay motivated and stay active.
I've realized how precious life is. When I was younger, I was more adventurous. I felt invincible. I was game for everything. As a mom, I don't want to get injured because then I can't take care of my kids.
At 6 years old, the ice became a place for me to express myself. Because I was so shy off the ice, it became my safe haven, with music and freedom and self-expression. That was my emotional outlet.
Being an athlete, you know how to train and prepare your body for a performance and you're able to do it under pressure.
I learned to put 100 percent into what you're doing. I learned about setting goals for yourself, knowing where you want to be and taking small steps toward those goals. I learned about adversity and how to get past it.
The skaters a lot of times do their own hair and makeup before they compete. That was always kind of a ritual...that calming, quiet time where you can just do your hair and makeup. And then I would always lace up my right skate before my left one.
Having achieved my own dreams, I want to give to kids who are less fortunate, who struggle with everyday obstacles. I want to give them something positive in their lives: support.
Dorothy Hamill was my big idol as a kid. She'd won the Olympics in 1976. She was America's sweetheart with her personality, her talent, her haircut.
Before turning pro, I would never have just left my skates sitting in the locker room unattended.
Childhood reading is so important.
My experience at the 1992 Winter Olympics was my fulfillment of dreaming the Impossible Dream.
As a teenager especially, I just wanted to do my thing and not be noticed.
Winning in women's singles felt surreal. I felt that everything I had done - the hard work, the tough times - was all worth it.
Now, I am thrilled to be a wife and mother, and I hope to be as good of a mother as my own mother, Carole.
There are two or three performances in your life that are absolutely on, where all the planets are lined up for you and you feel you're invincible.
I feel like I missed out on the regular high school social life, but that's the way I chose to be.
Skating was something I really wanted to do; my parents knew nothing about it. They said they'd support me as long as I was trying my hardest and enjoying it.
Training for the Olympics was a lifelong endeavor and took many years.
Everything that happened in '92 was more than I had dreamed of... winning the U.S. title for the first time and then doing so well at the Olympics... It seemed to wrap things up so perfectly. I couldn't help thinking, 'How could I top that?'
With 30,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations from the seasonal flu, those numbers are certainly higher than what we've seen of the swine flu. Protecting yourself from both viruses is very important.
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.
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