She’s been featured on the cover of Time magazine, has won an Olympic gold medal and earned a degree from Yale. How many people can say all that? About the only one we know is Sarah Hughes, who captured the gold at the 2002 Olympics held in Salt Lake City. The native of Great Neck, N.Y., took a few minutes to answer some questions Thursday at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Q: What’s your earliest skating memory?
A: I was maybe 3. I skated at a rink with my brothers and sisters that was about five minutes from our house.
Q: Do you remember skating in front of big crowds as a child?
A: When I was 6 or 7, I remember skating in between periods at a New York Rangers (hockey) game. There were about 19,000 people there.
Q: Talk about your Olympic experience.
A: It was a dream come true. To be able to represent my country like that was something that was so special.
Q: How nervous were you before that final performance?
A: I was nervous, but it was a good nervousness. It elevated my performance. You know that you’ve only got one shot, and it’s something you practiced for your entire life.
Q: Where’s your gold medal?
A: At home. But the dress I wore when I won the gold is at the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. That’s pretty cool.
Q: Do you ever go on YouTube and watch your performance?
A: I don’t, but I know some people do. It’s kind of embarrassing, but I’m proud of it.
Q: You’re an advocate for breast cancer awareness. How did that come about?
A: My mother had breast cancer. That’s been a big part of my life. Not just me but all of my family.
Q: Have you ever been to Nebraska before?
A; Once. I was here for Stars on Ice back in 2005.
Q: How much has the sport changed since you skated competitively?
A: The judging system has changed, but skating is skating.
Q: Your younger sister Emily skated for the U.S. at the 2006 Olympics. How was that experience?
A: I was so nervous watching her. I really got a feel for what parents go through. It was very nerve-racking.
Q: Do you still skate?
A: Only in exhibitions.
Q: What else are you doing these days?
A: I’m doing commentary for the Ice Network. I’m also working on a book about the six (U.S.) Olympic ladies who won gold before me.
Q: Are you cheering for the 49ers or the Ravens in the Super Bowl?
A: I don’t really care. I’m a Giants fan.