Advice From Nancy Kerrigan, Three Time Olympic Medalist


Anya Marino '24

Anya Marino ’24 with Nancy Kerrigan.

I began skating when I was about three years old using an old milk crate and beaten-up hockey skates. Every winter without fail, my family and I build an ice rink in our backyard. We could invite friends over on the weekends to make brick-oven pizza and skate. Hockey games and guard races occurred simultaneously. When the ice melted in the spring, my siblings and I would play “Titanic.” We would each wear huge boots and take hockey sticks as paddles. Everyone had their own “glacier,” and we would break the ice while trying not to fall in. For 14 years, I only skated in the winter. This all changed during my freshman year of highschool when my sister was taking figure skating lessons. My mom asked if I would do it too because she wanted to quit. I was hesitant but feeling badly, I agreed. 

It was a rough start for me. I didn’t know how to jump or spin and felt awkward being the oldest (by far) on the ice. I had to relearn how to do forwards and backwards crossovers. Every time I went to practice, I felt embarrassed. I also felt a sense of pride. Looking back, I guess it’s because I love skating, and I wanted to be better. I was sticking with lessons and practicing whenever I could in the backyard. I even woke up at 4am once, just to practice for a few hours, before leaving for school. Although I don’t compete or want to go professional for skating, some of my motivation to keep learning comes from the banner that hangs in the rink I practice at, reading “Home of Olympic Medalist, Nancy Kerrigan.” This banner helps me remember that you work for what you love. And this is exactly what Nancy Kerrigan does. 

I recently met Nancy Kerrigan at the rink I train at. A friend texted me and told me the rink was promoting a skating session with her for the next day. Asking me to come with her, I immediately agreed. The session was very small and helpful. Nancy coached everyone there. I learned that even though she’s an exceptional skater, she’s also a normal human being. She’s down to earth and does everything a normal mom does. I wanted everyone to know this about her so I asked her for an interview and she agreed.

Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 Olympics. (Beaumont Enterprise)

What made you interested in skating? 

I loved going fast. It was so much fun. We lived very close to the rink so it was convenient to go there. The speed got me hooked. 

When did you know you wanted it to be your career?

I didn’t actually ever consider it a career until it became my career. I hoped I could get good enough to teach lessons to help pay for college. 

Was there ever a time when you wanted to give up? 

Of course there are times when you have doubts, but I loved performing so I never considered giving up. The harder it was, the more determined I became. 

Did you want to give up skating after the attack? 

I definitely did not want to give up skating. I had a great team around me that helped me get through everything that was going on at that time. 

Do you have any significant life lessons you’d like to share? 

We are all stronger than we think, so persevere!

What are your inspirations? 

Today, I am inspired by my kids. They are all doing things that they love and working hard to keep growing. It is great to watch and support them.

I am so glad that I met Nancy Kerrigan and had the chance to chat with her about perseverance. She has truly been an inspiration for me to keep going with what I love, on and off the ice. 

By Anya Marino ’24, Faith Editor