Tara Lipinski became a national treasure when she landed the gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics at the paltry age of 15-years-old. Her achievement was even more remarkable because it meant that she was the youngest Olympic gold medalist in ladies’ figure skating history.
Lipinski has now been discussing her efforts with Today.com, and she revealed just how overjoyed she was with her achievement sixteen years ago, while also admitting that she was simply relieved to have won.
“I was obviously beyond elated,” Lipinski admitted. “I think I just felt a lot of relief. Because there was just so much pressure leading up to this — years of training. Then the months right before the Games were very stressful and that week in the competition I was so nervous. I don’t know what I was doing. Obviously I was losing my mind screaming.”
Lipinski also noted how she uses her actions as a teenager to inspire her today, stating that she wishes she could be as driven, excited and honest as she was back then.
“I was such a baby and it just brings back a lot of good memories,” she enthused. “I wouldn’t change it for the world. I think it makes me always remember that you should just be yourself, because I look back and even though there were a lot of people watching, I was just always honest about how I felt.”
Meanwhile, Lipinski also recalled the incident in Japan where she met Wayne Gretsky, which came just a few hours after she picked up her gold medal.
“It was very late, and I wanted to grab some food, and Wayne Gretzky was there and celebrating. He said ‘Let’s all grab an ice cream,'” she explained. “And so me and the hockey team were just chillin’. I was a kid having an ice cream with Wayne and it was just one of those moments that you can never imagine happening.”
Alongside Johnny Weir, Lipinski has been a big hit providing commentary and analysis for NBC ‘s coverage of the games in Sochi. She has even impressed those watching with the various outfits that she has been sporting while on television, however she admitted that she wasn’t as focused on her fashion choices as an athlete.
“I was 15! To be honest, I never really cared that much,” she candidly commented. “I had a costume designer and I had my coaches and they dealt with that,” she said. “I worried so much about all the on-ice stuff and I let them go with whatever outfit they thought would look good. I really liked a certain fit, and made sure that it was comfortable on the ice, that’s about it.”