Yesterday morning, the Today show held it's first Today at the Rink segment for the winter season and much to my delight, Emily Hughes was the skater on hand to celebrate the new season at Rockefeller Center Skating Rink. Emily is a 2006 Olympian and 2007 U.S. silver medalist (and younger sister of 2002 Olympic champion Sarah Hughes) and is making somewhat of a comeback this season after being sidelined for most of last season with injuries. She's currently a student at Harvard University but took a leave of absence to give it her all to try and once again make the Olympic team. I like that she is trying to manage school and skating at the same time and that in every interview, she is very even-keeled and modest about her success. Maybe it's her parents' influence -- I met her mother Amy at a fundraiser last year and I got the same "niceness" vibe from her. (link to story)
Emily seems to be the skater of choice for the Today show -- last year, she also was the first skater they showcased for the Today at the Rink series. Last year, I loved her skate to Celine Dion's Taking Chances. (link to her skate). Yesterday, she skated to the duet version of One with Bono, U2 and Mary J. Blige. Emily was very expressive (as usual) and she looked great, very fit. Although she reeled off a great double axel, a beautiful layback spin and spirals, I'm always floored by her Russian splits. You never realized how high they go and how stretched out they are unless you see it really close up (see above). I didn't have a chance to videotape her performance, but some nice viewer has uploaded it on YouTube. I did manage to take some photos so here they are and enjoy!