Kristi Yamaguchi excited about NBC Sochi role

10:36 AM, Feb 7, 2014   |    comments
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KUSA - Kristi Yamaguchi captured the nation back in 1992, when she figure skated her way to a gold medal at the Albertville, France, Olympics. She's back at the games in Sochi this year as an analyst for NBC.

Yamaguchi was our guest on 9NEWS 8 a.m.

She talked about pre-opening ceremony competition that took place Thursday in Russia, noting how the U.S. got off to a bad start in the opening round of the new team figure skating event. The Americans are tied for fifth in total points after the men and pairs short programs.

Yamaguchi says she loves her new role as a skating analyst, because it allows her to continue her involvement in sport that is a very part of her DNA. "I loved it from the beginning," she said. "I was practicing before school and things started to get more serious. By junior high, it was like, "All right. My family's invested a lot of time and money into the sport. Is this something I want to continue to do?"

"Because the training time and juggling with school becomes an issue," Yamaguchi explained. "So at that point I started competing and representing the state of California, and continued to progress. I definitely wanted to keep at it, so my parents said, "All right, as long as you keep your grades up and you're giving it 100 percent."

She still holds fond memories of one of the first times she strapped on a pair of skates. "My mom had to pretty much hold me up to get around the ice," she said. "She came on the ice with me. She had her arms-or hands-tucked under my armpits and was holding me up. I thought I was dragging her. I felt like I was going really fast, moving my feet, taking us both across the ice. I just remember that feeling of freedom."

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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