A Brief History
On February 20, 1998, at the Winter Olympics held in Nagano, Japan, American figure skater Tara Lipinski won the Women’s Gold Medal for Ladies Singles in figure skating, becoming the youngest Olympian, at the age of 15, to win a Gold Medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics. Lipinski was also the youngest competitor of all time to win a World Championship when she won the World Figure Skating title in 1997 at the age of 14!
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1982, this beautiful lady stands only 4 feet 9 ½ inches tall, but apparently is a giant on the ice! This Polish-American wunderkind grew up in New Jersey, and began skating at the age of 6, becoming a competitive skater at the age of 8. Interestingly, Tara showed her versatility by also being a premier roller-skater, winning the Unite States Roller Skating Championship for primary girls at the age of 9. In 1991 the family moved to Sugarland, Texas, where a lack of ice skating facilities caused Tara and her mom to move to Delaware in 1993 so that Tara could continue her ice skating career. The quest for ice skating perfection then led her to Detroit, Michigan, to continue her training.
Shortly after her triumph in Nagano, Lipinski suffered an infection that resulted in 2 molar teeth being pulled, and the health problem caused her to withdraw from amateur competitive skating and turn to professional skating instead, both as an entertainer and as a professional competitor, winning the 1999 World Professional Figure Skating Championship at a record breaking 17 years of age.
Injuries dogged Tara’s skating career, and she turned to television as an actress and later as a sports commentator for ice skating events and other competitions. She married in 2017 and has partaken in numerous philanthropic events, especially in support of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, as well as anti-tobacco and anti-drug public service announcements. Her professional career in the media has included making commercials and ads as an endorser of commercial products. In 2006 she became the youngest ever inductee to the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame, just one more age related coup!
As we watch the 2018 Winter Olympics from South Korea and marvel at the beauty and grace of the wonderful figure skaters, we also watch Tara Lipinski on the television providing professional and intelligent insight, definitely one of our favorite all-time Olympians! Question for students (and subscribers): Who is your favorite figure skater, either currently or in history? Please tell us and tell us why in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Christopher, Matt. On the Ice with…Tara Lapinski. Little, Brown Books, 2009.
Lipinski, Tara. Triumph on Ice. Delacorte Books, 1997.
Lipinski, Tara. Totally Tara: An Olympic Journal. Universe, 1998.