Nancy Kerrigan won the silver medal at the first Olympic Games at which I was old enough to have a vested interest. I was 9-years-old and sat close to my TV to root her on through the rounds of competition. I even had her poster on my wall alongside my poster of the Dream Team. Not only is Nancy one of figure skating’s great icons, but she’s an inspiration to many and an overcomer. In a new challenge, she’s bringing her competitive and creative drive to Dancing with the Stars and I asked the two-time Olympic medalist about where she’s at in life, the challenge of the show and what fuels her inspiration.
Competitive skating was such an enormous part of your life. Looking back at that time, if you had to whittle it down to one takeaway, what would that be?
Preparation. The better prepared I was going into the competition was generally reflective of how I performed during the competition.
What made you say “yes” to DWTS and stepping into the primetime limelight?
I have always been a big fan of the show and always wanted to do it. This was a bucket list item of sorts so didn’t really place a lot of weight on the limelight aspect.
What about being on DWTS has surprised you the most?
Probably watching all of these people have the courage to do things that are outside their comfort zone and to have fun while doing it.
What has dancing taught you about yourself as an artist that you didn’t know before?
I have gained so much respect for dancers and the other celebrities who have worked so hard. It has been interesting for me to do the same while also being competitive. Learning something so new makes you have to open yourself up to new things so I have found that I can push myself in new directions and maybe not be as afraid to do it as I might have thought.
How has skating remained a part of your life and how does that fuel you creatively?
Skating has remained very much a part of my life. Last year I performed a few times and plan next year to do the same, particularly in Halloween on Ice. I am also trying to do some choreography which is new for me but a great challenge.
What outside of skating inspires you as a creative person?
My kids. I am inspired by them every day as I watch them grow and learn and chase their dreams.
You’re conquering DWTS! What else do you have on your dream list of things to conquer?
Well, I don’t know about conquering anything but I do have a documentary on eating disorders that I am executive producing and that will be a real thrill to see completed and make a contribution to bringing awareness to this silent disease.