The Former Olympian Is Still Achieving Great Things. The 2018 Olympics are about to begin in just a few weeks on Feb. 9, and one event has always garnered the greatest attention at the Winter Games: ice skating. Throughout their Olympic careers, the athletes become household names. During their off-years, they often continue to achieve great things.
Kristi Yamaguchi is a perfect example of an athlete who's still making waves more than 20 years after her last competition. The former figure skater from the United States won three gold medals at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and was named the Best Female Skier of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine. She has also been listed as number 35 on Vogue's list of the "100 Most Powerful Women in World Business".
Yamaguchi became famous at a very young age and remained so throughout her career. She started competing in national competitions when she was only five years old and finished first in both the overall and technical events of the 1987 Junior Championships. At the following year's championships, she successfully defended her titles without any problems. That same year, she made her international debut at the CRO National Ski Championships in France where she took third place behind Canada's Julie Dickson and France's Marie-France Kerleroge.
In 1989, Yamaguchi went back to school to study psychology but decided to resume her figure skating career one year later.
Kwan dominated the sport for almost a decade, winning an unparalleled 43 titles, including five World Championships, nine U.S. National Championships, and two Olympic gold. Kwan's off-ice actions have been as significant. She has become one of the most respected athletes in the world after retiring from competition, serving on the board of directors of the United States Figure Skating Association and as an ambassador for China's Olympic Committee.
On the ice, Michelle Kwan was a force to be reckoned with. A three-time World Champion, she remains the only person to have ever won the Grand Prix of Figure Skating (which includes the season's highest-ranking events). Kwan also holds records for the most technical falls in a single edition of the U.S. National Championship (nine in 1994) and the longest program score in history (1933, 25 minutes 50 seconds).
After her retirement from competition, Kwan became one of the most visible figures in the fight against sexual abuse within figure skating. In 2002, she testified before a congressional subcommittee about the abuse she had suffered as a young athlete. Her powerful testimony helped bring about legislative changes that require criminal background checks for people working with children at sports events across the country.
In addition to her career as a skater, Kwan had a successful business career after leaving the ice.
The 1998 Winter Olympics, formally the Template:Nihongo4, were a winter multi-sport event held in Nagano, Japan, from February 7 to 22, 1998. 72 countries and 2,176 athletes competed in 7 sports and 68 events over 15 sites. Women's ice hockey, curling, and snowboarding were all introduced at the Games. The Nagano Games were the first Winter Olympic Games to be held in Japan since 1964; they were also the first time that a South Korean president attended these games.
In addition to the regular season, which ended with the championship game on Sunday, February 22, there was also a qualifying round for teams who had not achieved enough rankings points to advance directly to the next stage. These preliminary rounds took place between December 3 and 8, 1997. The top eight ranked nations as determined by their placement in the previous year's championships qualified for the World Cup of Hockey 1998. The remaining nations went into a play-off series called the "Olympic Qualification Tournament" to determine which ones would go to Switzerland for the final tournament.
Nagano hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics from February 7 to 22. It was the second time that Nagano has hosted the Olympics after Sapporo did so in 1972. Nagano is a Japanese city approximately 60 miles north of Tokyo on the upper reaches of the Nagano Plain. The city is known for its beautiful scenery, including Mount Yari and Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan.