It's been 25 years since Kristi Yamaguchi won the gold in women’s figure skating at the 1992 Winter Olympics
It’s been 25 years since Kristi Yamaguchi won the gold in women’s figure skating at the 1992 Winter Olympics. And when she looks back at her win a quarter of a century later, there’s only one thing that stands out to her — her hair.
“The hair! The big bangs!” she joked with PEOPLE Now on Thursday, while looking back at photos of her on Feb. 21, 1992 — when she claimed the top prize. “It’s amazing — it’s defying gravity!”
Yamaguchi was just 20 years old when she skated to victory at the Games in Albertville, France.
The Games were notable for Yamaguchi for a few reasons. Not only did she become the first Asian-American to win gold in the ladies single category, but she also met her future husband — former pro hockey player Bret Hedican.
“It is bizarre,” she said. “I did actually meet my eventual husband at the Olympic games, so ’92 was a great year. But it’s funny because we didn’t actually get reintroduced until a few years later. We were in separate villages. That particular Olympics, there were three Olympic villages. And also, the women’s competition, we were the second to last day of the Olympics to compete. So I was focused.”
Today, the 45-year-old resides in Alamo, California, with Hedican, 46 — now a radio analyst for the San Jose Sharks. They married in 2000, and have two daughters: Keara, 13, and Emma, 11.
Yamaguchi has gone on to become (among other things) a fitness advocate, a Dancing with the Stars champion and children’s book author. And though it’s been a while since she’s competed, she said she does miss certain things about her former career.
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“Physically, I felt so amazing,” she said. “I was so ready for the competition. People are like, ‘Do you miss competition,’ and no — I do not miss competing at all. But I do miss feeling in shape like I did back then, and knowing I could step on the ice and do what I wanted.”
Watch Yamaguchi spill more Olympic secrets — including her advice to young Olympians like Simone Biles — in the full PEOPLE Now video above.
Then tune in to see Yamaguchi host Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion Shall We Dance on Ice on Friday (3 p.m. ET) and the Colgate Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular on Feb. 18 (3 p.m. ET) — both on ABC.