Kristi Yamaguchi Can Thank the Olympics for Her Marriage to NHL Player Bret Hedican

by Jeremy Spirogis
Kristi Yamaguchi figure skating

The objective of the Olympics is to unite athletes from around the globe to create a mutual enjoying area constructed within the spirit of friendship and solidarity. In 1992, two American rivals got here collectively, creating an enduring relationship that finally led to marriage.

Gold medalist determine skater Kristi Yamaguchi, and ice hockey participant Bret Hedican constructed an unbreakable bond that’s as robust today because it was so a few years in the past.

Kristi Yamaguchi’s early profession

Kristi Yamaguchi figure skating
Kristi Yamaguchi | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

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Yamaguchi is a two-time world champion determine skater. In 1992, she received the hearts of the nation by successful an Olympic gold medal. No American had taken dwelling gold within the Ladies’ Singles division since 1976 when Dorothy Hamill captivated our hearts.

Born with clubbed ft, Yamaguchi began ice skating on the age of 6 as a type of bodily remedy. She rapidly progressed within the sport, and in 1988 received in each the singles and pairs division on the Junior World Championships.

The determine skating neighborhood took discover of the 5-foot, 93-pound skater and in 1989 she moved away from her hometown of California to coach in Canada.

According to, Christy Ness coached the fourth-generation Japanese-American ice dancer to gold medal victory in 1992. Shortly thereafter, Yamaguchi determined to cease competing and spent the subsequent ten years touring professionally with Stars on Ice.

Kristi Yamaguchi’s success off the ice

Yamaguchi revealed in an interview with Working Mother journal that ice skating was an emotional outlet for her, referring to it as her “safe haven” the place she may freely specific herself. Off the ice, Yamaguchi has labored onerous to seek out artistic types of self-expression.

She has written 4 books, produced a health video, and tried her hand at performing. In 1996, Yamaguchi established the Always Dream Foundation, a non-profit that helps underprivileged children. The Hall of Fame inductee has stayed linked to the Olympic neighborhood, working as a Goodwill Ambassador on the 2002 Winter Games and once more in 2010 as a particular NBC Today correspondent in the course of the Vancouver video games

In 2008, she competed on Dancing With the Stars and took dwelling the Season 6 mirror ball trophy with companion Mark Ballas.

The former gold medalist advised Working Mothejournal: “I learned to put 100 percent into what you’re doing. I learned about setting goals for yourself, knowing where you want to be, and taking small steps towards those goals.”

NHL participant Bret Hedican

Hedican was a part of the US Men’s Olympic Hockey Team, competing in each the 1992 and 2006 winter video games. The St. Paul, Minnesota native began enjoying skilled hockey in 1991 for the St. Louis Blues. He then went on to play for the Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers, and Carolina Hurricanes.

He ended his profitable 17-year NHL profession with the Anaheim Ducks in 2009, when he formally introduced his retirement after enjoying 1,039 video games within the league. The defenseman, who received the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006, went on to broadcasting the place he grew to become an analyst for the San Jose Sharks.

From 2010 to 2014, Hedican labored with the USA Women’s National Team serving to to develop future Olympians. In 2014, Hedican invested a million {dollars} in RosterBot, a start-up on-line sports activities administration firm. 

The couple first met in 1992 on a chilly evening in Albertville, France. They have been each representing their American groups within the Olympic Winter Games. Yamaguchi advised USA Today that she and teammate Nancy Kerrigan have been introducing themselves to different athletes as they waited for the opening ceremonies to start out.

She briefly talked with Hedican after which redirected her give attention to successful the gold. Several years later, the couple met once more at a gap for a brand new Vancouver ice enviornment. Shortly after that, Yamaguchi attended one among his hockey video games with the San Jose Sharks.

According to the Working Mother interview, their first date was for ice cream after that recreation. They began courting amidst their busy journey schedules and in 2000, the couple married. Yamaguchi advised USA Today, “I guess you could say that 1992 in Albertville was a pretty good experience for me.”

Kristi Yamaguchi: Love and marriage

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Yamaguchi and Hedican made their long-distance relationship work and are on the point of have a good time their 20th marriage ceremony anniversary. They have two kids, Keara (2003) and Emma (2005).

The household now lives in Northern California, spending a majority of their time in Hawaii. They will at all times establish as an Olympic household, and in 2012 had the glory of lighting the Olympic torch to sign the beginning of the video games in America. 

Hedican turns 50 this 12 months. He continues to be concerned with the San Jose Sharks, working as a shade commentator. Hedican maintains a relationship with NBC and continues to be concerned with the Olympics, offering commentary for each the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games.

Closing in on 49 years of age, Yamaguchi is maintaining energetic operating her charitable basis. She has initiated a web-based kids’s story hour and focuses most of her consideration on her teenage daughters.

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