Blogtober(ish) Day 31: Kristi Yamaguchi

Yesterday was awesome. It was full of awesome costumes, games, pumpkin decorating, sugary deliciousness and some Twitter fame, and it deserves a blog post all its own (which it shall get!). So I skipped home from work, all ready to hunker down and finish off Blogtober with a bang, and then I discovered... THE INTERNET WAS DOWN. AGAIN. For the second time in ONE WEEK! Except this time, I'm 99% sure it wasn't because of scheduled maintenance. >.<

It's one thing to stay up until 2 a.m. to blog on a Saturday night, but Thursday night? With work the next morning? After staying up far too late the two previous nights? Uh, fat chance. I passed out at about 9 while watching DVDs of 1980 Olympic hockey (!!!!!!), woke up at 11 to see if the internet was working, and crawled into bed when I realized it wasn't. So much for that "going out with a bang" thing. I'm SO MAD that the ONE DAY in Blogtober that I failed to post was the FINAL DAY and it was because of TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES. I was sooo looking forward to being finished yesterday! As much as I've adored this month and the feedback I've gotten on it, I'm in desperate need of a few days off. Seriously, how do some bloggers post every day ad nauseum?! No wonder so many blogs I follow are getting rethought or revamped or are on hiatus! Sheesh. Take a break, folks!

But anyway, I truly didn't want to start this final fan letter off with a two-paragraph annoyed rant. Because if there's one person in the world that meeting would more or less complete my life, it's this person right here.

I'm pretty sure I fell in love with Kristi when she portrayed Jasmine in Aladdin on Ice. (Hey, I was four years old. Don't judge! :P) Eighteen years later, that four-year-old still makes herself known every now and then; Kristi was hanging out with Jim Craig earlier this week and I literally don't know how I contained my excitement. Pretty sure I didn't, to be honest.

But enough of my childhood fangirling for now!

Kristi started skating when she was a kid as therapy for her club feet. She began as both a singles and a pairs skater with Rudy Galindo (another childhood favorite of mine!); they won the U.S. junior title in 1986 and 1988, and the U.S. senior title in 1989 and 1990. Separately, Kristi won the U.S. junior title in '88, and Rudy won the world junior title in '87. They did better as a team because they were both accomplished singles skaters, jumping and spinning in opposite directions and doing side-by-side triple flip jumps (which is more difficult than side-by-side jumps done by top pairs teams today). But in 1990, Kristi decided she wanted to focus on singles skating. (Don't feel too bad for Rudy, though. He won the U.S. championship and bronze at Worlds in 1996).

As a singles skater, Kristi won three straight silver medals at the U.S. Championships ('89-'91), and then gold in 1992. She won gold at the World Championships in '91 and '92; in 1991, she, Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding became the first national ladies team to have its members sweep the podium. Kristi won gold at the 1992 Olympics... on the exact day of my first birthday. It's destiny. DESTINY, I tell you!

Kristi is the awesomest. She won Dancing with the Stars in 2008 (side note: OMG how was it that long ago?!?!?!?!), has worked as a skating broadcast analyst, is still pretty heavily involved with the USOC, and started the Always Dream Foundation that provides "funding for after school programs, computers, back-to-school clothes for underprivileged children, and summer camps for kids with disabilities."

But she etched herself into my heart forever in 1996, when I wrote her a fan letter and she wrote back. :) She sent an autographed picture that's still displayed in my room, but she also actually responded to my letter.

I was five and my hero was writing back to me. Life was great, dude.

It's kind of funny; I left Kristi for last this month because she was my first and greatest favorite, but I didn't even think about how appropriate it would be to end my month of fan letters with the Olympian that I actually wrote a fan letter to. Perfect. :)

And with that, Blogtober is officially FINITO! *throws confetti*

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