Our family life, before figure skating turned it upside down, seemed normal. Our town of Riverside, Connecticut, was part of Greenwich, and we had the advantage of their wonderful community, with great beaches and beautiful parks.
I was just ice skating. I had no concept of that. In those days you couldn't see the judges. I was this little person on the ice and they were just people that would stand around the boards.
I always had short hair, and I hated my short hair. I was always mistaken for a boy, but my mom wouldn't let me change my hair because she was always chasing me around with a hairbrush, and it was always tangled, so she just would cut it off, and she's right: short hair did suit me.
In my teen years leading up to the Olympics, I loved having the excuse to skip out on parties because of skating. Partying wasn't my thing anyway. Mostly I hung out with other skaters. We were all buddies, so it's not like I missed out on socializing. I was really enjoying myself.
I used to have terrible tantrums. I was temperamental when I was younger. Actually, what I needed was a swift kick in the pants. What a brat!
I had the most incredible time on 'Dancing With the Stars.' It never occurred to me when I took it on that I would physically not be able to do it because that's not in an Olympic competitor's vocabulary! It was the most wonderful environment, such a nurturing environment.
Everybody has to deal with tough times. A gold medal doesn't make you immune to that. A skater is used to falling down and getting up again.
I was really a spoiled brat when I was a kid skating. Meals are cooked for you, you are driven to the rink, they make costumes for you. Your parents sit around and watch admiringly while you skate. You don't have to think about anything but skating. You're just plain spoiled.
It was very much like Norman Rockwell: small town America. We walked to school or rode our bikes, stopped at the penny candy store on the way home from school, skated on the pond.
At times, I feel overwhelmed and my depression leads me into darkness.
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