Kristi Yamaguchi Avoids SportsCenter Ridicule with Dodgers Pitch
She’s won Olympic gold and performs impossible dance moves in front of millions each week on Dancing With the Stars. But Kristi Yamaguchi took one of her more formidable challenges Friday night: not embarrassing herself throwing the official first ball at Dodgers Stadium.
“I had this fear of making fun of me on SportsCenter,” Yamaguchi told PEOPLE. “I mean it’s Dodger stadium. I was saying, please just make it to the plate.”
Despite finding herself even further from the plate than she wanted to be for the real thing, the Dodger blue-clad Yamaguchi leaned back and threw a floater which made its way to the catcher. Always her hardest critic, she scored herself a 7. “I got it to the catcher, he didn’t have to dive for it. It wasn’t a strike but it was over the plate.”
Says her husband, hockey star Bret Hedican: “She made me proud.”
Yamaguchi had no time to rest on her laurels. After taking a congratulatory call from her proud mother, she left the Dodgers game early to hit the practice studio for a late night session with dance partner Mark Ballas.–Bryan Alexander Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers