Tara Lipinski

Tara Lipinski
Tara Lipinski in Sochi.jpg
Lipinski at the 2014 Sochi Olympics
Personal information
Born Tara Kristen Lipinski
(1982-06-10) June 10, 1982 (age 39)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Height 5 ft 2 in (157 cm)[1]
Former coach Richard Callaghan
Jeff DiGregorio
Former choreographer Sandra Bezic
Former training locations Detroit, Michigan
Newark, Delaware
Retired 1998 amateur, 2002 pro
Medal record
Figure skating: Ladies' singles
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1998 Nagano Ladies' singles
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1997 Lausanne Ladies' singles
Grand Prix Final
Gold medal – first place 1996–1997 Hamilton Ladies' singles
Gold medal – first place 1997–1998 Munich Ladies' singles

Tara Kristen Lipinski (born June 10, 1982) is an American former competitive figure skater, actress and sports commentator. A former competitor in ladies' singles, she is the 1998 Olympic champion, the 1997 world champion, a two time Champions Series Final champion (1997–1998) and the 1997 U.S. national champion. She was, until 2019, the youngest skater to win a U.S. Nationals. She was also the youngest skater to win a World Figure Skating title and the youngest to win an Olympic gold medal. She is the first woman to complete a triple loop-triple loop combination, her signature jump, in competition.

Lipinski retired from competitive figure skating in 1998. She won every competition she entered during her professional career and was the youngest skater to win the World Professional Figure Skating Championships. She performed in over 300 live shows before retiring from figure skating in 2002. Lipinski, along with sports commentator Terry Gannon and fellow figure skater and good friend Johnny Weir, commentated for skating in two Olympics; they became NBC's primary figure skating commentators in 2013.

Early life

Tara Lipinski was born on June 10, 1982 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,[2] the only child of Patricia (née Brozyniak) and oil executive and lawyer Jack Lipinski.[3] She spent her earliest years in Sewell, New Jersey.[4] All four of her grandparents were born in Poland.[5]

When Lipinski was two, while watching the 1984 Summer Olympics, she stood on a Tupperware bowl and pretended to be a gold medalist. At the age of three, she began roller skating; when she was nine years old, she became a national champion in her age group.[4] She began figure skating when she was nine, transferring her skills to the ice rink, later switching exclusively to figure skating and taking lessons at the University of Delaware.[3] In 1991, Lipinski's father received a job promotion, so the family moved to Sugar Land, Texas near Houston. She trained at the Houston Galleria, an upscale mall with a public rink. Two years later, in 1993, her father stayed in Texas to support the family and Lipinski and her mother moved back to Delaware to resume her training there with coach Jeff DiGregorio, who worked with Lipinski, on and off, for three years before their move to Texas.[3][6] In 1995, Lipinski and her mother moved to Bloomfield, Michigan to train with coach Richard Callaghan at the Detroit Skating Club.[4][3][7]

Competitive career

Early years

In 1994, Lipinski earned a silver medal in the novice women's division at the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.[6] When she was 12, she became the youngest athlete to win a gold medal at the 1994 U.S. Olympic Festival[8] and took first place in her first international competition, the Blue Swords in Chemnitz, Germany. According to Cosmopolitan Magazine, the media began to notice Lipinski after Blue Swords in November 1994.[3] As a junior skater, she came in fourth place at the 1995 World Junior Figure Skating Championships and with six triples in her long program, second place at the 1995 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.[6][4] In late 1995, she placed fifth at the 1996 World Junior Figure Skating Championships; according to the Washington Post, the competition marked "the end of the relationship between the Lipinskis and DiGregorio".[6]

After what sports writer E.M. Swift called a "whirlwind coaching tour",[9] when Lipinski and her mother interviewed and Lipinski took sample lessons from figure skating coaches around the country, they hired Richard Callaghan.[9] In January 1996, Lipinski won a bronze medal as a senior-level skater at the 1996 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.[6][4] She closed out the 1995–1996 season and gained international attention by qualifying for the 1996 World Figure Skating Championships.[10] In what figure skating historian James Hines called "a disappointing first outing",[11] she placed 22nd after the short program, but her long program, which included seven triple jumps and which Sports Illustrated called "sparkling", brought her up to 15th place.[9]

1996–1997 season

Lipinski and Callaghan spent the next year making her "appear more mature";[9] she enrolled in ballet classes and hired choreographer Sandra Bezic to "create programs for Lipinski that expressed delight yet looked adult".[9] In late 1996, she added the triple loop-triple loop combination, which became her signature jump and added technical difficulty to her programs. She was the first women to complete the combination in competition.[3][12] Lipinski competed in the ISU Champions Series (later renamed the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating) during the 1996–1997 season; she finished in second place at Skate Canada, third at Trophée Lalique, and second at the 1996 Nations Cup.[2] She won the gold medal at the Champion Series final and defeated Michelle Kwan by completing more successful jumps in her short and free programs.[13]

In February 1997, at the age of 14, with her signature triple loop-triple loop combination, Lipinski became the youngest skater to win a U.S. Nationals title. She broke the record set by Sonya Klopfer, who was 15 when she won U.S. Nationals in 1951.[9][note 1] She defeated Kwan, Nationals champion in 1996, who won the short program. Kwan fell twice and landed only four out of seven of her planned triples during her long program, leaving the door open for Lipinski's victory.[15][13][9] Skating last, Lipinski had to come in first in the free skate, which she did by skating a clean program, with seven triple jumps, including "a history-making triple loop-triple-loop combination".[13] According to Swift, the 1997 U.S. Nationals was the start of the Kwan-Lipinski rivalry.[9]

A month later, Lipinski won the 1997 World Figure Skating Championships and became the youngest female skater to win the World Championships. She was a month younger than the previous record holder, Sonya Henie from Norway, when Henie won the first of 10 World Championships in 1927.[16][note 2] Lipinski completed seven triple jumps, as she had done at the U.S. Nationals and the Champion Series final and finished in first place after the short program.[17] She also completed two double axels, which one rival coach said had little elevation.[18] Her artistic marks were mostly 5.7 or 5.8, and according to the Associated Press, were "in line" with her technical scores. Three out of four judges gave her higher artistic scores than technical scores.[17]

Reporter Jere Longman of The New York Times called Lipinski's free skate "a light, airy performance" and said she was "composed and nearly flawless".[16] Longman reported that Lipinski opened with a double axel, and included a triple flip and her "signature triple-loop, triple-loop combination".[16] She received 5.8's and 5.9's in her technical scores and a 5.7 and 5.8 for her presentation scores. The final results after the free skate were close; Longman stated that the judges were unable to declare a clear winner of the free skate. Lipinski, Kwan (who was fourth after the short program), and Russian skater Irina Slutskaya all received first-place votes. In what Swift called "a split decision",[18] Kwan's free skate came in first place because she had more first- and second-place votes, and Lipinski came in first place overall because she received more second-place votes in the free skate than Slutskaya. Longman reported that if two more judges had placed Slutskaya before Lipinski after the free skate, Kwan would have won the competition but instead came in second place. It was the first time the U.S. finished first and second at the Worlds since 1992, when Kristi Yamaguchi won the gold medal and Nancy Kerrigan won the silver medal.[16]

1997–1998 season

Between seasons, Lipinski grew two inches and turned 15 years old.[19] She went into the 1997–1998 season by continuing to add more "sophistication" to her routines,[20] by improving her artistry, and by taking daily dance classes from Russian ballet teacher Marina Sheffer.[21] She selected film scores for both her short program and free skate, both of which were choreographed by Sandra Bezic.[22][21] According to writer Ellyn Kestnbaum, the American press played up "the Kwan-Lipinski rivalry for all it was worth".[22]

At Skate America, Kwan defeated Lipinski for the first time in three competitions and won the gold medal. Lipinski came in second place after Kwan in both her short program and free skate and took second place over all.[22] Despite performing more difficult jumps than Kwan during her short program, Lipinski received "consistently lower" required element scores.[22] During her free skate, in "an otherwise strong and technically difficult performance",[23] she fell while performing a triple-lutz combination jump. According to Kestnbaum, Callaghan "expressed bewilderment in why the judges had so marked down the reigning world champion, who by virtue of that position might otherwise have been expected to receive the benefit of any doubt".[22] Lipinski came in second place at Trophée Lalique, behind French skater Laetitia Hubert, who had not won a major competition since the 1992 World Junior Championships, and who had come in eleventh place at her previous competition.[22][24]

Lipinski was tied as the fourth best-ranked female figure skater in the world coming into the Champion Series Final.[19] She won, skating her first clean program of the season.[25] Kwan, although she was eligible, withdrew from the finals due to injuries.[19] Mike Penner, a writer from the L.A. Times, reported that both Lipinski and Callaghan were concerned about what they considered unfair treatment by the judges at the Champion Series that season, who gave her lower technical scores than the previous season, as low as 5.3, for "an incorrectly launched lutz".[19] Callaghan told Penner that the judges told him that Lipinski regularly performed her lutz jumps from the inside edge of her blade instead of from the correct outside edge, something skaters called "the flutz".[19][note 3] Lipinski and Callaghan disputed the judges' scoring of her jumps, stating that she had performed them the same way the previous season, when she won both the Worlds and U.S. Nationals.[19] Lipinski's lower scores were subject of several articles in major U.S. newspapers.[26] According to reporter Nancy Armour of the Spokesman Review, Lipinski skated her season's best at the finals, "nailing her triple lutz".[24]

Lipinski came in second at the 1998 U.S. Figure Skating Championships; Kwan came in first place. She had "a devastating fall" after attempting a triple flip during her short program, which Lipinski called "the lowest point" of her career.[3][27] Lipinski recovered enough from her short program to climb from fourth place to second overall. She would have had to win the free skate and Kwan would have had to come in third place or lower for Lipinski to win the championship.[27] She performed her free skate program "with determination".[28] She completed all seven triple jumps, including her trademark triple loop-triple loop combination and a difficult triple toe loop-half loop-triple toe combination sequence.[28] The judges awarded her all 5.8s and 5.9s, except for a pair of 5.7s for presentation. U.S. Figure Skating chose Kwan, Lipinski, and Nicole Bobek, who came in third place at Nationals, to send to the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.[27] Lipinski and Kwan entered the Olympics as "co-favorites" to win the gold medal.[20]

At the Olympics, Kwan "easily" won the short program;[21] eight of the nine judges put her in first place. Lipinski came in second place.[29][21] Sports writer E.M. Swift called Lipinski's performance of her short program, which was technically more difficult than Kwan's, "luminous–fast and light and joyful".[21] Lipinski's free skating program, with her triple loop-triple loop combination and seven triple jumps total, was the most technically difficult program in Olympic history. She received 5.8s and 5.9s in presentation scores. Kwan received all 5.9s in presentation scores, but she received lower technical scores than Lipinski.[29] According to Washington Post reporter Amy Shipley, Kwan performed her free skate almost perfectly, other than "a bobble on a jump",[29] and that Kwan "skated brilliantly and Lipinski skated better".[29] According to Swift, Kwan's performance of her free skate "would have been enough to win at any other Olympics",[21] but the judges, by awarding her with five 5.7s in her technical scores, left room for Lipinski to move ahead.[21] Swift said that Lipinski "had a blast" skating her long program and "soared and spun with abandon, filling the [rink] with her joy".[21] Like Kwan, she completed seven triples,[30] but "the difference was her trademark triple loop-triple loop combination and a wonderful closing triple toe-half loop-triple Salchow sequence".[21] Her jumps were not as big as Kwan's and her jump takeoffs "were not always ideal",[31] but her landings were clean and according to Kestnbaum, seemed to increase in speed as she came out of them. Her spins were faster than Kwan's, but they were not as difficult and their positions were weaker.[32] Kestnbaum also stated, "Nor did [Lipinski's] program demonstrate transitional steps as complex, stroking quality as nuanced, or body carriage and line as controlled and elegant".[33] She was awarded 5.8s and 5.9s for her technical and artistic scores, and earned six out of nine first-place marks from the judges, winning the gold medal because the free skate was weighted more heavily than the short program.[34][30]

Lipinski was the youngest Olympic gold medalist in figure skating history.[29] She was the sixth American woman to win an Olympic gold medal.[6][30][35] Kwan finished in second place, and Chinese skater Lu Chen was the "surprise bronze medal winner".[29] Lipinski was two months younger than Sonja Henie when she came in first place at the Olympics in 1928, breaking a record that had stood for 70 years.[36][34][29] It was the first time singles skaters from the same country won the gold and silver medals at the Olympics since Americans Tenley Albright and Carol Heiss did it in 1956.[34]

Professional career

Lipinski in December 1998

In March 1998, Lipinski announced her decision to withdraw from the 1998 World Figure Skating Championships, citing a serious glandular infection that required her to have two molars extracted, constant fatigue, and possible mononucleosis.[37] In April, Lipinski announced her intention to turn professional in an interview on the Today Show, thus ending her eligibility to compete in the Olympics again.[38][39] She cited a desire to end her family's separation caused by her skating career and to focus on other goals such as attending college in another two years. According to The New York Times, her decision "sent tremors through the Olympic figure skating community".[38] According to skater Scott Hamilton, Lipinski "took an enormous amount of heat" for turning professional. He reported that USA Today criticized her decision, stating that she had taken "the easy way out" and compared it to "joining the circus".[40] Lori Shontz of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believed that Lipinski was treated unfairly by the figure skating establishment after her decision to leave competitive skating.[41]

The Associated Press reported that in 1998, Lipinski's net worth, due to many endorsements and book deals, was "possibly as high as $12 million".[39] She signed "an exclusive deal"[42] with CBS to do some acting and to perform in skating shows and non-sanctioned competitions. She skated in over 300 live shows, including professional team competitions like Ice Wars on CBS. Also on CBS, Lipinski produced and starred in a two-hour special called "Tara Lipinski: From This Moment On". She won every competition she entered during her professional career. After the Olympics, Lipinski toured with Champions on Ice, visiting 90 U.S. cities.[3] In August 1998, Lipinski ended her association with Champions on Ice, which she had performed with since 1995, and joined the cast of Stars on Ice in order to expand artistically and to participate in the company's group numbers,[39] which were called "the highlight" of the tour.[42] The Associated Press reported that Lipinski suffered from sore hips and an injured hip during rehearsals.[42]

In 1999, Lipinski performed with Stars on Ice for a second season and on the ISU-sanctioned Grand Slam of Figure Skating, became a spokeswoman for Boys and Girls Clubs of America and an anti-drug advocate, appeared on the soap opera The Young and the Restless, and acted in television shows for the Fox Family Network and Nickelodeon.[43] She also became the youngest skater to win the World Professional Figure Skating Championships, completing a triple flip, a triple toe loop, and a triple salchow in her free skating program. Denise Biellmann from Switzerland, who came in second place, said that Lipinski had improved in her artistry. Her scores consisted of two 10s, 11 9.9s, and one 9.8; she came in first by more than one point over Biellmann.[44]

Lipinski had hip surgery in 2000 at the age of 18, which she believed saved her career. Her injury, a torn labrum in her hip, had been misdiagnosed for four or five years, and that it had caused her a great deal of joint pain. She became a spokesperson to increase awareness about deep vein thrombosis (DVT), "a dangerous potential side effect of surgery".[45] The injury, which may have occurred before the Nagano Olympics, became progressively worse until she was unable to tour. The surgery, which usually lasted 45 minutes, took 3+12 hours to complete because she was developing arthritis and because cartilage had grown over the bone. She was back on the ice seven days later for light practice with Stars on Ice. She was able to return to touring but had to withdraw from the 2000 World Professional Championships.[46] In 2002, she toured 61 U.S. cities with Stars on Ice.[47] Lipinski retired from skating in 2002.[48]

Skating technique

Lipinski's skating influences were Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton, and Christopher Bowman.[49] Her skating style was often compared to her "rival" Michelle Kwan's; Jere Longman of The New York Times called Lipinski "the consistent Energizer bunny of a jumper", but called Kwan "the more sophisticated, complete artist".[20] Frank Carroll, who coached Kwan, called Lipinski's style "wonderful" and said that she was "turning easy, jumping easy".[20] Writer Ellyn Kestnbaum stated that compared to Kwan's "more carefully choreographed expressions of joy",[33] Lipinski projected "unselfconsious and spontaneous joy in her own movement that projected a greater air of confidence and command of the space".[33]

Kestnbaum discussed Lipinski's skating technique in her book Culture on Ice: Figure Skating and Cultural Meaning, to illustrate women's and girls' influence on figure skating. Kestnbaum stated, "Cynics and purists who valued the artistic possibilities of the sport or the fine points of skating technique complained that the judges who awarded Lipinski her gold medals were just counting the jumps and not paying attention to the quality of those jumps, much less to the quality of the rest of her skating".[50] Kestnbaum used Lipinski as an example of how teenagers, especially teenage girls, dominated the sport, and how many in the press criticized the sport, and sometimes even Lipinski herself, for encouraging it. Her jumps, which Kestnbaum called "small and in some cases technically flawed",[22] became a "topic of hot debate" in the press in 1997 and 1998.[22] Kestnbaum said that Lipinski's early programs, choreographed by Sandra Bezik, emphasized her youth and femininity, but by the 1998 Olympics, they emphasized "greater polish or 'maturity' in her presentation skills".[33]

Jere Longman of The New York Times said that Lipinski "has propelled the sport forward with the difficulty of her jumps".[20] E. M. Swift of Sports Illustrated said that although Lipinski was "not a great leaper", her spins were "so fast that she seems to dematerialize, like Tinkerbell, in the midst of her jumps".[9] In March 1997, Swift stated that Lipinski had "musicality and poise that are far beyond her years",[18] and although he admitted that she often suffered from nerves, she was "the complete skating package, if a diminutive one, and a pleasure to watch".[18] In 2018, U.S. Figure Skating president Sam Auxier credited Lipinski for "raising the bar technically"[3] and for increasing the level of complexity of Olympic skating.[3]

Broadcasting career

Lipinski spent a few years traveling and working "here and there" after her retirement from figure skating. She did some acting, but decided that it "just wasn't my thing".[3] In 2009, longing for the "high" she felt as a figure skater, she contacted U.S. Figure Skating's streaming service Ice Network and offered to work as a commentator for competitions.[3][note 4] She began commentating for Universal Sports in 2010 and transitioned to NBC and NBC Sports in 2011, where she covered almost every international figure skating competition broadcast by the network. For competitions not broadcast live, she would call figure skating from studios in the U.S., instead of from the competition venue. She also became a special correspondent for Extra and covered skating for WDIV in Detroit and WHDH in Boston.[48][52]

Lipinski teamed with sports commentator Terry Gannon and fellow figure skater and good friend Johnny Weir at the Sochi Olympics as the network's second team of figure skating commentators for their daily live broadcasts in September 2014.[53][54][55] At first Lipinski worked with Gannon during the women's events, and Weir worked with Gannon during the men's events.[54] After realizing they worked well together and after recognizing their "instant chemistry",[55] they pitched the idea of the three working together to NBC; Lipinski stated that it "was sort of meant to be".[51] According to sports writer Tom Weir, "they had instant comedic harmony, with their casual chatter and humorous asides playing amazingly well against the staunch and exacting backdrop of figure skating".[55] Tom Weir also reported that the trio had generated the 10 best weekday daytime audiences in NBC's history.[55] In September 2014, Lipinski, Weir, and Gannon were promoted to NBC's primary figure skating commentators, replacing Scott Hamilton, Sandra Bezic, and Tom Hammond.[53][56] Lipinski, along with Weir and Gannon, was an analyst at the 2018 Winter Olympics.[57] She stated that she had worked for ten years to commentate during prime time during the Olympics. Lipinski, Weir, and Gannon were also slotted to host the closing ceremonies in Pyeongchang.[58]

Lipinski and Weir were hired by NBC's Access Hollywood in 2014, to analyze fashion during the red carpet at the Oscars.[59] She served as "a fashion, lifestyle, and social media correspondent"[60] for NBC Sports, including, with Weir, the Beverly Hills Dog Show in 2017,[61] the National Dog Show every year since 2015,[60] the Kentucky Derby in 2014–2017 and 2018 (as "fashion and lifestyle experts" in 2016),[62] and pre-game coverage for the Super Bowl in 2015 and 2017.[60][63] They were named "culture correspondents"[64] for the 2016 Summer Olympics.[62]

According to the Houston Chronicle, Lipinski approached broadcasting "with passion, vigor and an arduous work ethic similar to what she brought to the ice".[48] She spent hundreds of hours researching skaters.[48] Her broadcasting influences were Peggy Fleming, Dick Button, and Scott Hamilton; she listened to tapes of Hamilton's past broadcasts to learn how to commentate.[51][56] She called her broadcasting career her "second dream".[51] In 2018, she told Entertainment Tonight, "I feel extremely grateful that Johnny and I have found this spot in our world, and it gives us opportunities outside of skating".[57] In 2018, the Washington Post reported that viewers' response to Lipinski and Weir were mixed; some considered them "Olympic darlings–a one-stop shop for knowledge, sass and brass", while others found them "mean, obnoxious, and distracting".[58] Scott Hamilton, who was replaced at NBC by Lipinski, Weir, and Gannon, called them a "phenomenon" and "such a breath of fresh air".[56] GQ called their commentating style "a Gladwell-ian ability to demystify figure skating for the uninitiated and an extreme candor for which they've caught some heat".[54] Lipinski and Weir's commentating style was honest and colorful; they used bantering and avoided "fluffy, polished performances".[3] They tried to present figure skating in an accessible way to their viewers, keeping the more technical aspects of the sport to a minimum but emphasizing its "gossipy nuances".[55] Dick Button told Olympic reporters he thought Lipinski and Weir were "excellent", but that Lipinski "might talk a little too much", although Tom Weir stated that when skaters were "elegant and error-free", both Lipinski and Weir had "the good sense to stay silent".[55]

Personal life

In June 2017, after two years of dating, Lipinski married sports producer Todd Kapostasy. They met in May 2015, when Lipinski presented Kapostasy an award at the Sports Emmys. Johnny Weir was a "bridesman" and Scott Hamilton was a guest.[3]

Lipinski is Catholic; she has had a devotion to St. Therese of Lisieux since 1994. Lipinski credited St. Therese for her Olympic win in 1998 and the recovery from her hip surgery in 2000. She wore a necklace with a good-luck charm, given to her by her uncle, that said, "Short, but good",[3] as well as a medal of St. Therese, given to her by Rev. Vince Kolo, a Catholic priest from Pittsburgh, during the Olympics. She thanked St. Therese at the kiss and cry after her short program in Nagano, and her coach held a small statue of St. Therese during her long program. Lipinski would also place a statue of the saint on the boards before every competition. A few months after the Nagano Olympics, she donated her medal and costume to an exhibit. Ann Rogers-Melnick of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported in 2001 that Lipinski had established a playroom in Saint Therese's honor in the children's ward in a Detroit hospital. Lipinski told Rogers-Melnick that roses, a symbol of St. Therese, had "always appeared at her best and worst moments".[65]

About her friendship with Weir, Lipinski stated that although their skating careers had not occurred during the same time periods and as a result, they did not know each other well when they began to work together at the Sochi Olympics, they bonded "on air and off air". She also said, "It's like a long-lost soul mate that I met late in life. I can't imagine my life without him".[54] Both Lipinski and Weir told GQ that they would bring dozens of suitcases to the competitions they announced, and would do their best to wear matching clothes and never the same outfit twice. By the 2018 Olympics, they brought every item of clothing they owned and would "sort it out" at the event. They also reported that they assisted fellow broadcaster Terry Gannon with his on-air fashion choices.[54]

Records and achievements

Figure skating



GP: Champions Series (Grand Prix)

Event 1993–1994 1994–1995 1995–1996 1996–1997 1997–1998
Olympics 1st
Worlds 15th 1st WD
GP Final 1st 1st
GP Nations Cup 2nd
GP Skate America 2nd
GP Skate Canada 2nd
GP Trophée Lalique 3rd 2nd
Nebelhorn Trophy 4th
International: Junior[67]
Junior Worlds 4th 5th
U.S. Champ. 2nd N 2nd J 3rd 1st 2nd
Levels – N: Novice; J: Junior
  • 1998 Skate TV Championships: 1st[69]
  • 1998 Ice Wars: 1st (Team USA)[70]
  • 1998 Jefferson Pilot Financial Championships: 1st[71]
  • 1999 Team Ice Wars: 2nd (Team USA)[72]
  • 1999 Ice Wars: 1st (Team USA)[73]
  • 1999 Grand Slam Super Teams of Skating: 1st[74]
  • 1999 World Professional Championship: 1st[44]
  • 2001 World Ice Challenge: 1st (Team USA)[75]
  • 2002 Ice Wars: 1st (Team USA)[76]

Television credits

Philanthropic work


  • Totally Tara – An Olympic Journey (1998)[60]
  • Tara Lipinski: Triumph on Ice (1998)[60]


  1. ^ Lipinski's record was broken by Alysa Liu, who won the U.S. Nationals in 2019, at the age of 13.[14]
  2. ^ Despite the ISU's recent decision to raise the age requirement to enter international competitions, Lipinski was eligible to compete at the Worlds due to a grandfather clause.[16]
  3. ^ See Kestnbaum, p. 159, for a more detailed explanation of Lipinski's execution of the lutz.
  4. ^ Lipinski told reporter Jennifer Calfas in 2018 that she got the "same adrenaline rush" from live TV broadcasts that she got as a competitive skater.[51]


  1. ^ "Tara Lipinski". sports-reference.com. Sports Reference. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Ladies: Tara Lipinski United States (USA)". ISU.org. Archived from the original on July 19, 2016. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Minutaglio, Rose (February 13, 2018). "Tara Lipinski's Life After Gold". Cosmpolitan. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e Longman, Jere (February 21, 1998). "The XVIII Winter Games: Figure Skating -- Woman in the News; Dynamo on the Ice: Tara Kristen Lipinski". The New York Times. p. C3. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  5. ^ Tarapacki, Thomas. "Tara Lipinski returns to the spotlight". The Am-Pol Eagle. Cheektowaga, New York. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Brennan, Christine (March 18, 1996). "At 13, Skater Getting Jump on a Dream". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  7. ^ Swift, pp. 30-31
  8. ^ a b Swift, p. 30
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Swift, p. 31
  10. ^ "Remember when? 15-year-old Tara Lipinski becomes youngest women's figure skating champion". USA Today. January 29, 2018. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  11. ^ Hines, James R. (2011). Historical Dictionary of Figure Skating. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-8108-6859-5.
  12. ^ Lipinski, Tara (February 19, 2018). "Tara Lipinski: It's Time to Take Risks in the Rink Again". The New York Times. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c Kestnbaum, p. 155
  14. ^ "Alysa Liu, 13, youngest to win U.S. women's figure skating title". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 26, 2019. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  15. ^ Brennan, Christine (January 21, 1996). "Galindo, Kwan Win U.S. Skating Titles". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  16. ^ a b c d e f Longman, Jere (March 23, 1997). "Lipinski, 14, Is Youngest World Champion". The New York Times. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Lipinski Lets It All Hang Out In Skating Qualifying While Experienced Rivals Hold Back, U.S. Champ Nails Seven Clean Triples". Spokesman Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. March 18, 1997. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  18. ^ a b c d Swift, E.M. (March 31, 1997). "They're the Tops". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  19. ^ a b c d e f Penner, Mike (December 14, 1997). "If Lipinski Still Has an Edge, It Might Be the Wrong One". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  20. ^ a b c d e Longman, Jere (March 24, 1997). "Lipinski and Kwan: A Rivalry Is Born". The New York Times. p. C9. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i Swift, E.M. (March 2, 1998). "A Holy Tara while Michelle Kwan Was All Business, Tara Lipinski Blew into Nagano Determined to Make Friends and Have Fun, and She Left with a Really Cool Keepsake--a Gold Medal". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h Kestnbaum, p. 158
  23. ^ Longman, Jere (October 26, 1997). "Figure Skating; Eldredge Overcomes Injury to Win; Kwan Beats Lipinski". The New York Times. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  24. ^ a b Armour, Nancy (January 4, 1998). "Gliding For Some Gold Tara Lipinski And Michelle Kwan Are Skating's Olympic Favorites". Spokesman Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
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Works cited

  • Kestnbaum, Ellyn (2003). Culture on Ice: Figure Skating and Cultural Meaning. Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 0819566411.
  • Swift, E.M. (February 24, 1997). "Kid Stuff". Sports Illustrated. pp. 28–31. Retrieved September 4, 2019.

External links