Olympic Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi Endorses Mitt Romney–Sort Of [Video]

Kristi Yamaguchi, an Olympic gold medalist and World Champion in figure skating, has endorsed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney‘s management of the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in a new campaign ad from a pro-Romney Super PAC (political action committee).

“Mitt Romney brought a huge sense of hope,” Kristi Yamaguchi says in the ad.

Yamguchi’s remarks in this particular video about the 2002 Olympic Games don’t constitute an explicit endorsement of Romney’s candidacy for president, but as a practical matter, it’s pretty close.

Both ABC News and MSNBC report that Yamaguchi has donated to Romney’s 2012 campaign and did so in 2008 as well. ABC adds that “While Yamaguchi has not made an official Romney endorsement, the figure skating champion appeared alongside Romney in February for a 10-year anniversary celebration of the 2002 Olympics.”

Mitt Romney, the businessman and former Massachusetts governor, is credited with turning around the 2002 Games that were on verge of financial collapse and fraught with corruption. According to the ad, Romney “faced a $400 million budge deficit and turned that around into a $100 million surplus.”

The ad apparently is airing (or will air) on television in a number of swing states during the 2012 London Olympics but not on the NBC network itself.

In addition to her amateur and professional figure skating success, Kristi Yamaguchi is an author, entrepreneur, television personality, and fashion designer. She also was the season six celebrity winner of Dancing With the Stars in 2008.

Also appearing in the ad by the Restore Our Future political PAC are Olympic gold medalist skaters Jimmy Shea and Derek Parra.

Here is the 30-second ad that touts Gov. Romney’s involvement with the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics: