Kristi Yamiguchi. B Y J O R D A N. Kristi’s Childhood.
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A native of Hayward, Calif. , Kristi Yamiguchi began skating as a child as a treatment for foot problems. She skated as a single pair, in the latter specialties and won the national title two times in the U.S. in 1989 and 1990. She did this along with Rudy Galindo .
From 1990 she concentrated on the single, winning two editions of the World ( 1991 and 1992), a U.S. National Championship ( in 1992 along with Yvonne Sherman, the only skater to have been U.S. national champion in both single and pair), and the gold medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville .
Equipped with great elegance on the ice, she had the extraordinary athletic ability of rivals such as Midori Ito , Tonya Harding and Surya Bonaly , but compensated with its higher artistic sense. It was still very well equipped technically, while not having the triple axel in her repertoire, she was able to run the combination triple lutz - triple toe loop and seven triple jumps to include in her performances. Strangely, she had difficulty performing the triple salchow , a jump easier than a lutz or flip.