Ask Nancy - Oct. 29

Nancy Kerrigan answers your questions!

Nancy Kerrigan at the "Blades of Glory" premiere.
Nancy Kerrigan at the "Blades of Glory" premiere. (Wire Image)


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(10/29/2007) - Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist and 1993 US Champion Nancy Kerrigan answers your questions!

Lisa: I am curious to know your views on the new judging system and how you are enjoying your role with Ice Network?

NK: The new judging system is an effort to right some of the inconsistencies that the old system allowed. Where the old system had some flaws, the new system is not perfect either. One of the biggest issues I see in the new system is that it has greatly affected what we see out on the ice. I think the programs are a little too "programmed" due to skaters trying to meet the technical requirements of the judging system. Frankly, while I was not great at compulsory figures and I know they did not make good television, I think that ever since they were removed from the sport, we have seen changes that might not be in the best interests of skating. I have no illusions that we will ever go back to the "old days" but as the sport keeps evolving, perhaps we should take a look at the past before determining how to position the sport for the future. As for Ice Network, I think it provides a great opportunity for everyone to see more of what is going on in the world of skating. I am looking forward to our upcoming events.

Maria Boyd: I am 11 years old and live in Centennial, Colorado. I skate at the South Suburban Ice Rink and have been figure skating for nearly 2 years. I have been in a lot of competitions and shows. I love skating but having a hard time with my Lutz and axel. Do you have any advice?

I have awesome coaches and will be taking my first U.S. Figure Skating test in October for pre-pre. My mom read your book and loved it. I sure wish I could skate with you. Would you come to our ice rink sometime? Billy Schneider is my coach along with his wife Amy. They are awesome but I do know it takes alot of work to get ahead. Please write me back and let me know also some ideas or books on costumes. I am so excited to hear from you.

NK: Glad to hear you are doing so well and that you are enjoying skating. I always think that the most important thing is to love what you do. The rest will follow.

As for your Lutz and Axel, it is hard to know exactly what to say without seeing you but in general, on the Lutz, make sure you twist all the way around in your upper body until you feel a pinch in your shoulder blades. Also, breathe on the way up. The Axel is tougher but one thing that always helped me was to make sure that I brought my arms down by my side and then swung them up and through in unison. Also, make sure you lift with your knee. I will try to talk about some of these things on our programs and you can always go to Star Games, Inc. where from time to time I have new instructional pieces available to view. Good luck.

Melinde Kantor: I have watched part of the broadcasting you did at the Junior Grand Prix event in Lake Placid. It is very good coverage and I enjoy watching you in broadcasting. You seem very poised and knowledgeable.

I was wondering what is the most challenging part of doing that job and if you like it. Also, I saw your older boy skating once in a family show and I wondered if he is taking lessons.

NK: The hardest part of the coverage at Lake Placid was pronouncing the names of some of the skaters! Other than that, I very much enjoyed the first icenetwork show. I have worked with Rob Dustin, our producer, at Lifetime Network and liked working with him a lot. I also liked working with Mike and thought he did a great job for his first time out. And he really helped me with the names!

The most challenging part of the job at the Junior Grand Prix was the fact that I did not know many of the skaters since it was a junior event and for some, the first time they were competing at this level. It was also tough to watch some of them struggle so much. It made me want to go out on the ice and help them out a bit.

And yes, my son is starting to skate and he seems to really love it. He is taking lessons and improving pretty quickly. I believe that all kids should be passionate about some outside activity and he seems to be pretty committed to skating at this point. Thanks for asking.

Damon Howze: Greetings. You had a relationship with Vera Wang. How come so many people don't know that she was a competitive figure skater before going into fashion design?

NK: I don't think Vera really publicized her skating too much so it just has not become that well known. I think Vera is very happy being known as a major designer and I am happy to see that her lines are expanding greatly. She was very supportive of me at the Olympics and she made some great outfits.

Becky Arrington: I'm a 12 year old who's working on my double salchow, double toe, and double loop. I've been skating for almost 2 years. do you think its possible for me to go to the Olympics in like 2014? Thanks!

NK: Sounds like you are coming along quickly with your skating. I always tell people that the goal should be to have fun and become the best that you can be. Going to the Olympics is a great dream but you have to be realistic at the same time. In a given year only a small handful of skaters can represent the United States at the Olympics and timing and luck sometimes play a role in who those people are. So, I guess my advice would be to work hard, dream big and keep enjoying what you are doing. You can grow a lot as a person without making the Olympic team and learn a lot about yourself in the process. Skating allows you to travel, get in great shape, make a lot of friends and have fun. If you can also make the Olympic team, so much the better but that is icing on the cake. Good luck.