Gold medalist Tara Lipinski describes the pressure on teen Olympians
Teenagers have long dominated figure skating for women at the Olympics. In the two previous Winter Games, Pyeongchang and Sochi, 15-year olds won the gold medal. Russia’s 15 year-old Kamila Valiyeva is the favoriteThis year, you could win.
Tara Lipinski (NBC Sports figure skating analyst) will call the contest. Lipinski won the gold medal at 15, while representing the United States at Nagano 1998. Lipinski said that athletes under age 15 are more likely to be subjected to pressure than those over 50.
Lipinski told CNBC Make It that the truth was, “I was just a child at the Olympics.” Lipinski tells CNBC Make It that if you asked him at 12, 13 or 14 years old, he would have answered “100%, this is what I do, this is where I work, and it is everything I desire.”
Lipinski claims that she put unreasonable pressure on herself because she began skating at the age of three and it was all she knew.
She said that “Many times in my career I didn’t believe I could understand that figure skating was just one thing that I did.” “And so, the lows were even lower because I was feeling like my career would end if I didn’t win, at times.”
She is now 39 and says she has found “other things” in her life that have brought her joy beyond skating.
Lipinski says that “being young means you have a different outlook, and you simply don’t possess the same life experience as you do now that helps with the pressure.”
Even though she doesn’t skate anymore Lipinski still likes to challenge herselfPick “impossible” things that she is able to accomplish and then see how it goes.
“It’s impossible to wake up happy and have nothing to look forward to,” she said. It is fun even if things don’t always work out your way.