Yesterday, I took a friend visiting from out-of-town to the Sports Museum of America in downtown Manhattan. She is a HUGE football fan so we made a beeline for the Heisman Trophy as soon as we got in. But as a figure skater, I did pull her to the figure skating area afterwards. In addition to admiring Kristi Yamaguchi's skating dress ("My god, how tiny is she!?!"), Sasha Cohen's skates ("My god, how tiny are her feet!?!"), and watching a great video montage of Michelle Kwan ("My god, how flexible is she!?!"), we also gazed at a gigantic posterboard of Sarah Hughes ("What did she do again? I sort of remember her, but not really.").
I patiently explained that when Sarah Hughes was 16 years old, she had the skate of her life at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Everyone agrees that Sarah's free skate was one of the greatest ever -- a once-in-a-lifetime moment and for me, she had the kind of "I'm going for broke" energy during her skate that everyone just went wild over. Irina Slutskaya from Russia won silver, and Michelle Kwan won the bronze. After winning the gold, Sarah attended Yale University and I'm not certain what she is up to currently. Sarah's younger sister, Emily, is competing at the senior level and we'll be seeing more of her in the coming season.
Below is Sarah's free skate at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City: