Thursday, October 28, 2010

Favorite Figure Skating Memories #1: Sarah Hughes' 2002 Olympic Long Program

I remember this moment like it was yesterday. I was 13 years old and I was watching the ladies free skate at home with my mother. I have been a dancer for my entire life and until a few years ago, there were no dancing shows on television so I gravitated toward figure skating at a young age because the movements and the artistry seemed similar to dancing to me. Like the rest of the world, we were expecting Michelle Kwan to win her long awaited Olympic Gold Medal. But when the 16 year old Sarah Hughes took the ice and gave this phenomenal performance, we knew we were in store for a dramatic evening of fierce competition. I still remember gasping out loud when Scott Hamilton, that evening's commentator exclaimed that Sarah Hughes had won Olympic Gold. I was shocked, amazed, and inspired. I thought to myself, "she is only 3 years older than I am and she is an Olympic champion. If she could work hard that hard and be so successful in figure skating, then maybe I could be that successful as a dancer." While I'm much older now, I still remember her performance and what an inspiration she was and to this day, I still credit Sarah Hughes' Olympic gold medal winning performance with inspiring me to put all of my energy and passion into dance. If you've never seen this program or if its been a while, do yourself a favor and watch it. In all my years of watching dance and figure skating, I don't believe I've ever seen a performance filled with more passion and joy that this truly one-of-a-kind program.

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