Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi was born July 12, 1971 in Hayward, California. When she was a child, she was advised to skate as a physical therapy for her club feet. She attended Mission San Jose High School in Fremont.
In 1986, she and partner Rudy Galindo won the junior title at the U.S. Championships. In 1988, they won the pairs title at the World Junior Championships. They were champions at the 1989 Skate Electric event, and also finished in third place at the NHK Trophy. They won the senior title at the U.S. Championships in 1989 and in 1990. Also in 1990, they won second place at the Skate America.
Yamaguchi started her singles career in 1990. In 1992, she won the U.S. Championships, the World Championships and the Winter Olympics.
She was featured on the front covers of U.S.A. magazines BLADES on Ice, International Figure Skating and Sun Stations. She was also picked to endorse Wendy's, DuraSoft Colors contact lens and Celanese Acetate. Yamaguchi also appeared in a “Got Milk?” advertisement. She was part of the famous touring figure skating show Stars on Ice, and also played Jasmine on Aladdin on Ice. She made appearances on Skating Spectacular and Frosted Pink. Yamaguchi tied the knot with NHL hockey player Bret Hedican on July 8, 2000. They currently reside in Raleigh, North Carolina and have two daughters named Keara Kiyomi and Emma Yoshiko. Yamaguchi was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2005.
Kristi Yamaguchi is a celebrity contestant on season 6 of ABC's reality series Dancing with the Stars, a program which features the partnerships of celebrities and professional ballroom dancers as they compete in weekly elimination rounds until a winning duo is declared. She is paired with Mark Ballas
(Photo courtesy of ABC)