In 1998, 15-year-old Tara Lipinski stood on the Olympic podium in Nagano, Japan and accepted her gold medal.
Lipinski had just beat out the frontrunner – and her Team USA rival – Michelle Kwan, making history as the youngest individual figure-skating gold medalist in Olympic history.
Ten years later, Lipinski won gold at the U.S. Olympic Festival competition, a junior-level competition, setting a competition record as the youngest winner.
Still, her podium placement meant Lipinski qualified for the Olympic team.
On the day of her free skate program – she danced to the soundtrack of Anastasia – Lipinski sat down for a pre-skate meal of spaghetti and told her parents, “If I lose, it would be the end of the world.” She placed second to Kwan.So when Lipinski’s name was called for her long program, she stepped onto the ice with legs shaking.
In 2014, Lipinski and skating pal, Johnny Weir, covered skating for NBC at the Sochi Olympics to much acclaim.