I caught up with Tai Babilonia (see right) in New York City when she was honored at a benefit gala for Figure Skating in Harlem. Tai and pairs partner Randy Gardner won the World Figure Skating Championships in 1979 and were favored to win the gold at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, before they had to withdraw due to an injury sustained by Randy. Tai and Randy also won the U.S.National championships five times. Tai has been through her share of personal struggles and it was great to see her in person at the event.
Recently, Tai has been mentoring the current U.S. pairs champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker in their quest to be, well, the next Tai and Randy! Tai recently moved to Ashland, Oregon to pursue, as she calls it, "the second half of her life." In addition to coaching, mentoring, taking care of her son (who's more into tennis than skating), Tai's also busy with her new line of activewear for women and girls, called Tai, which you can view here. (She's wearing a Tai scarf in the photo to the right.) You know when someone gives off a "hip, cool vibe" when you're around them? That's definitely Tai and I hope you'll sense some of her infectious energy in the video above.