Figure skater Karen Chen reveals advice she got from Kristi Yamaguchi
As she competes in the women’s singles event this week, Karen Chen is carrying with her the advice of one of the true legends of the sport.
In a feature this week by Scott M. Reid of the OC Register, the American figure skater revealed that former Olympic champion Kristi Yamaguchi has been serving as her mentor and gave her advice before the PyeongChang Games.
“We both had matcha green tea lattes,” said Chen of their meeting for coffee in Fremont, Calif. before her departure for South Korea. “Which was amazing and we just talked and she just shared her experiences and all the fun times she had at the Olympics and she really hyped me up and just got me excited to be here and to soak in this experience. It’s my first time at the Olympics and I want to make sure I make some really amazing memories.
“Keep putting out positive energy and that will keep yourself going,” Chen added about the advice that Yamaguchi offered her.
The two skaters definitely have a lot of common ground — both are Bay Area natives of Asian descent. The 18-year-old Chen is also close to the same age that Yamaguchi was when she won individual gold at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville at 20 years old.
Chen got off to a fairly strong start in her short program on Wednesday (despite stumbling on a triple lutz jump), finishing with a score of 65.90. She definitely isn’t the only member of the United States figure skating team to look to the older generation of Olympians for inspiration either.