Kristi Yamaguchi

Kristi Yamaguchi was born in Hayward, California on July 12, 1971. She is a figure skater, philanthropist, and children’s book author. The Olуmpic gold medalist in ice skating requires no introduction. She had to take skating and ballerina training lessons as a child, but she eventually grew to enjoy it and dreamt of making a career in it. A two-time world champion, Yamaguchi has had a very successful career as a figure skater. She retired but has made a name for herself as a lеgеnd. We’ll help you celebrate her big day.

Fast Facts

Full Name:

Kristine Tsuya Yamaguchi

Birth date:

July 12, 1971

Age:

53

Zodiac Sign:

Cancer

Height:

4' 11"

Relationship Status:

Married

Net Worth:

$20 million

Kristine's Social Media:

Background

Kristine Tsuya Yamaguchi was born in Hayward, California, on July 12, 1971. She is a former American figure skater, an author, and a T.V. personality. Her ancestry is Japanese and American. Jim Yamaguchi, her father, was a dentist, and Carole Yamaguchi, her mother, was a medical secretary. Her other two siblings were brought up in Fremont, California. She had aspired to be a figure skater since she was four years old when she saw Dorothy Hamill win a gold medal in figure skating at the 1976 Winter Olympics. To keep up with her training schedules, she initially entered homeschooling. Later, she completed her high school education at Mission San Jose High School. She then went on to the University of Alberta to study psychology. Yamaguchi has club feet, so skating training began as physical therapy but quickly evolved into a passion.

She first wowed the public when she won the U.S. junior championship at 15 in 1986. She won another junior-level championship in 1988 with Rudy Galindo, who was her partner until 1990 before they both decided to pursue single figure skating careers. She came to Alberta in 1991 to pursue her solo career and briefly coached alongside Christy Ness. She won world championships and made headlines when she became a professional skater. The following year, in 1992, she won a gold medal in the Winter Olympics in France, resulting in widespread media coverage. In 1993, Yamaguchi collaborated with the California Raisins on a workout video titled “Hip to be Fit: The California Raisins and Kristi Yamaguchi.” Yamaguchi has also appeared in several television skating specials, including the 1995 Disney feature “Aladdin on Ice,” where she played Princess Jasmine. She was also seen in television shows such as “Everybody Loves Raymond” (1996). In 1996, Yamaguchi established the Always Dream Foundation for Children. The foundation’s mission is to fund after-school programs, computers, back-to-school clothes, and summer camps for disabled children.

Yamaguchi hosted the W.E. T.V. series “Skating’s Next Star” in 2006, which was created and produced by Major League Figure Skating. During the 2006 Winter Olympics, Yamaguchi worked as a local figure skating commentator for San Jose T.V. station K.N.T.V. Yamaguchi defeated finalist couple Jason Taylor and Edyta Liwiska on May 20, 2008, to win the sixth season of A.B.C.’s reality show “Dancing with the Stars.” She was partnered with Mark Ballas. Yamaguchi made a cameo appearance in the 16th season finale, dancing with Dorothy Hamill. She received the Sonja Henie Award from the Professional Skaters Association. Yamaguchi worked for N.B.C.’s Universal Sports Network as a daily Olympics skating television analyst in 2010. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, she served as a special correspondent for “The Today Show.”

She is also a published author, having written three successful children’s books. In 2011, she received the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award for “Dream Big, Little Pig!” a children’s book she co-wrote with illustrator Tim Bowers, with a percentage of the revenues going to the Always Dream Foundation. In early 2012, Yamaguchi developed a women’s activewear brand focusing on utility, comfort, and style to inspire women to look and feel their best. The lifestyle brand is called Tsu.ya by Kristi Yamaguchi.

She married Bret Hedican, a professional hockey player she met at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Keara Kiyomi and Emma Yoshiko are their two daughters.

Career timeline

1986
The Start of Yamaguchi's Career

She qualifies for the world championships in both singles and pairs with Rudy Galindo, finishing fourth and fifth in both competitions.

1990
She Can Do It in Singles

Yamaguchi wins her first big international gold medal in figure skating at the Goodwill Games.

1992
Her first Olympic Medal

She becomes a gold medalist at the Albertville Winter Olympics in France.

1994
The Skater Becomes an Actress

She appears in many shows, including "Everybody Loves Raymond," "D2: The Mighty Ducks," "Frosted Pink," and the Disney Channel original film "Go Figure."

2008
Back to Back Champion

In the sixth season of “Dancing with the Stars,” she and her partner Mark Ballas win the top spot.

2011
Exploring the World of Literature

She writes an award-winning children's book, "Dream Big, Little Pig," which ranks at number two on the “New York Times” bestseller list.

Why We Love Kristi Yamaguchi

  1. She is an advocate

    Yamaguchi's Always Dream Foundation guarantees that children from low-income households have access to high-quality books and intensive family involvement support. They assist caregivers in comprehending the importance of family reading and their involvement in establishing reading habits. The goal statement "Empowering Children to Reach Their Dreams Through Education and Inspiration" also focuses on early childhood literacy.

  2. She is a born leader

    Yamaguchi has extraordinary determination and energy. She has always defended her right to make her own decisions. She demands complete independence of thought and action, and once she has set her mind on something, she will not let anything or anyone stand in her way.

  3. She's optimistic

    Self-doubt is damaging. Being in the spotlight in front of a panel of judges and tens of thousands of fans can amp up the drama. According to her, focus, dedication, hard effort, goal setting, and the satisfaction of eventually accomplishing goals are all part of her life teachings.

5 Surprising Facts

  1. She was born clubfoot

    Yamaguchi was born with club feet, yet she turned her worst flaw into her most powerful asset.

  2. She's a morning person

    Yamaguchi considers herself an early riser, rising at about 7 a.m.

  3. She's a writer

    She has also authored several children's books, including "Cara's Kindness," "It's a Big World, Little Pig!", "Big Little Pig, Dream!" and "Always Dream."

  4. Her comfort food is spaghetti bolognese

    While training, she must maintain a strict diet, but when she does have a cheat day, her favorite comfort food is pasta bolognese.

  5. She's a fan of Johnny Depp

    Yamaguchi had a thing for Johnny Depp, who was on "21 Jump Street" at the time and was one of her Hollywood favorites.

Kristi Yamaguchi FAQs

Does Kristi Yamaguchi speak Japanese?

Although a yonsei, or fourth-generation Japanese person, Yamaguchi hardly speaks any Japanese.

What is Kristi Yamaguchi's heritage?

Yamaguchi’s ancestors came from the Japanese prefectures of Wakayama and Saga.

When did Kristi Yamaguchi start skating?

She began ice skating when she was six years old.

Kristi Yamaguchi’s birthday dates

YearDateDay
2024July 12Friday
2025July 12Saturday
2026July 12Sunday
2027July 12Monday
2028July 12Wednesday

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