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Even now, my husband Jerry, our son Matthew and I live only five minutes away from my parents home, and my brothers live about ten minutes away. It`s been great having such a supportive family.

My hobbies are painting, crafts, and I like golfing.

That was when my coach taught me that I should not wear medals around, they were awards not jewelry. So you`ll never see me with my medals on!

I was a tomboy who liked to play rough just like my two older brothers. That`s probably why I liked the athletic part of skating - especially the jumping!

I worked also, doing things such as our paper route and, later on, waitressing.

People are really sick of seeing the winner not win and what the public thinks should happen.

I took group lessons at a rink near my home. We first had to learn how to stand up on the ice wearing skates. Eventually we learned to move forward, but soon found out that it was not that easy to stop! So that was our next important lesson.

It was always fun to skate with Paul Wylie and Paul Martini.

My brothers thought they were going to get rid of me when I started figure skating - which they said was for wimps. But I still followed them around.

It was never about winning medals or being famous.

But it seems that the judging maybe they shouldn`t at least see the practices all week long. That can taint the way they go into the judging and the outlook of what`s going to happen, instead of just watching those four minutes and judging on those minutes alone.

I watched skating on TV all of the time.

Even now I can`t describe why I love skating so much.

I started skating when I was six years old.

I won my first medal when I was nine years old. It was at the Boston Open.

One of the things I like best about the Halloween show is that I change outfits about six times in the show. It is a lot of fun to play the different characters.

I was thrilled one year when I was younger when not only did my brothers get hockey sticks for Christmas - but I did too!

And I love what I do and I love skating.

They would often put hockey gear on me and have me play goalie for their street hockey games. It didn`t bother me a bit! I actually loved it!

I get to see the different sides of skating now which involves not only competing, but entertainment.

It is a process of finding the right music then planning a costume to fit that style of music.

I`ve worn some costumes designed by the Boston Ballet and I have also bought simple costumes from Petersons (a dance store) in Burlington, MA.

People would ask me why I was doing what I was doing - but I always told them that I just loved to skate. There was no other explanation.

I think it`s a lot harder for the pros to have a long career in ice dance and in pairs. It seems the singles have a little bit of a longer career.

There is no age, height, or weight requirement to skate. It is good exercise no matter what your age is. If you want to be competitive, most start young. But, I practice with many adult competitors.

My parents never pressured me to skate. They always said I could quit if I wanted to. They only expected me to skate when they had already paid for the expensive lessons. But, otherwise they said I could do what I wanted to do.

My life has been a whirlwind since the `94 Olympics.

My dad worked several jobs to pay for my expense in skating.

Falling down became second nature and it really didn`t bother me.

I do not have any pets. We travel too much.

But after a few minutes of convincing myself that I really wanted to go - telling myself that I love skating and that my coach is there waiting for me - I would get up and go. And my mother would always get up and eat breakfast with me!

Sometimes it was difficult to make friends and be social in school because I was always practicing while other kids were getting together and doing things. But it just made me closer to my family, and I realized that they would always be there no matter what.

It wasn`t always easy getting up at 5 o`clock in the morning to go to the rink. Sometimes I wanted to just go back to sleep.

I like to try all kinds of styles so it always challenges me and forces me to try to look different.

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Nancy Kerrigan

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