Great interview. Tara is so well-spoken. While Michelle was the more polished skater, I always thought Tara had her own brand of artistry.
A lot of people like to say that her skating late in the Oly order worked to her advantage, but those long waits have taken down many a competitor. Interesting to hear that she was pretty much freaking out backstage and through her program. I was also impressed by her 3loop-3loop, as well as the 3toe-half loop-3sal at the very end of her program. I don't know if everyone appreciates how really difficult those elements are!
Glad she's enjoying the work as a commentator.
I wish AJ would have flat out asked her "If you lost Olys, would you still have retired?" Tara said she had made up her mind that she was retiring, but that was knowing that she'd won the gold. Would it have been different if it was silver? Wouldn't it have been interesting if the 2002 Nats had MK, Sasha, Sarah and Tara competing?
That was an interesting insight into what kind of competitor she was. It's clear from her interview that she was an emotional but committed competitor and it showed. My only problem with Tara is that she left so quickly. She was on the scene as a threat for 2 years and then, just like that, was gone. True, she won everything there was to win...so why stay? But back then, the pro-circuit was very lucrative because skating was popular in the US, so I get why she left. Still, I do wonder what might have happened had she stayed in longer...
It's good that she's found something she loves and that she wants to be connected to the skating world again. Her commentary is pretty good, so I think she has a future in that. I got over Michelle not winning gold a long time ago, though I still think the judges got it wrong that night...I'm glad they did though. Who knows what may have happened if Michelle won that night? Would she have stayed in until SLC? If she won in SLC, would she have stayed around until 2005? I feel everything happens for a reason, so there's a reason why the fates smiled on Tara that night. That was their way to set Michelle on her path to becoming a legend...
So I'll just say what Michelle said to Tara at the press conference in Nagano: "Tara, I like you..." though I'll amend it to say, "I like you, now...kind of."
It's one of the most refreshing and informative interviews I've ever read about figure skating.
I'm just glad that the whole Tara/Michelle debate was far ahead of my time. They're both enjoying a fabulous life now, why some of the fans still can't get over it?
I agree. I think she would have burnt out rather quickly. She was fortunate to peak when she did, and went out on top. No better way to exit IMHO.
Look at Hughes (2002 champ) who tried to stay longer. She could not duplicate her SLC performance (predictably), and ultimately lost motivation.
I thought of this interview when I read this interview with Brian Boitano - they ask him if he has any special momentos in his house, and one of the three things he mentions is a Lalique trophy
"The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett
I wonder who has won Lalique the most number of times. You can't really put too many of those trophies in a home without it looking gaudy.
Tara basically answered the question of why she didn't skate at Worlds 1998. She said she knew when she left Nagano that she was done competing. Whether in the back of her mind there was also the thought about protecting her gold medal is undetermined. i can see how she trained for her Olympic moment, snatched the brass ring, and felt she did what she set out for. I also have a feeling that Kwan would have been given generous scores at that Worlds regardless, because many many were dissatisfied with Tara's win and I would assume there were judges who felt the same way.
It's interesting to read about her freak-outs because I always thought of her as being remarkably tough, especially for her age. I never could understand how she handled all the pressure and the nasty criticism at such young age. I wasn't a big fan of her skating, but I always was appalled by the way fans and the media treated her and impressed by how well she handled it on top of all the pressure to perform well.
Great, candid interview with Tara. I was always in Kwan's corner, but I never though of anyone being "wuzrobbed" in any of the championships Lipinski won; while I can see why some thought Michelle (myself included) could/should have gotten the nod in Nagano.
Regarding her hip/young retirement; while Tara was very open and honest in this interview, from what I know of the situation, it was a bit worse then maybe even Tara portrayed it to be in this interivew. While I do know she was landing most of all over her triples around the time of 2002, there is a big difference between being able to land them in an isolated, non-consistant manner, and being able to train them day-in-day-out.
Tara said in the interview that speed (lack of it one of her peeves) was the easiest fault to correct in skating. I wish she would have elaborated on how to do that since some skaters seem to have great difficulty correcting that problem. Hope Caroline read the interview and has a consult with her.
TL: I took acting lessons when I was auditioning and I enjoyed it, but I stopped doing as much when the CBS offers stopped coming in. I took classes with friends and went on auditions, but I never did the audition circuit. I have a number of friends who are actors and they give their entire lives to acting the way I did for skating and it takes years. I wasn’t prepared to give myself to acting like that. I did do Still Standing and Malcolm in the Middle after that time, which I'm proud of.