Kristi Yamaguchi Bringing Friends and Family Together for Show
Family and friends are two of the most important things in Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi‘s life. Those influences are what led the skater to begin the Kristi Yamaguchi Friends and Family Ice Show four years ago. After Kristi’s oldest daughter Keara Kiyomi, 5, was born, the 37-year-old realized that "All of us skaters, we were friends growing up together, competing against each other, touring together, then we all had families and drifted apart." So beginning what Kristi calls "a celebration of family," the show gives everyone "a chance to reconnect and skate together" but is "also a chance for our children to make friends and get to know each other." The show is also an opportunity for Kristi to skate with Keara, who will be performing with her mom during the event for the first time.
Keara and her younger sister Emma Yoshiko, 2 ½, have been "on ice since they could walk" and are "skating recreationally right now" and "having fun." Not only have they earned their skating skills from their mom, but also their dad, professional hockey player Bret Hedican. Despite having two parents who skate in some capacity professionally, the couple are "really exposing them to everything — soccer, tennis, music" so that their daughters can choose what they enjoy.
"We want to let them choose what they want to do rather than force them into skating. Of course, if they decide they want to become skaters we’ll wholeheartedly support them."
The girls may decide that they want to follow in Kristi’s footsteps when it comes to dancing after watching her win on Dancing With the Stars last season. The reality show experience "wasn’t too bad" when it came to balancing her family life with DWTS, thanks to a few factors like "the kids were young enough that they were able to come with me out to Los Angeles, and after a couple weeks the hockey season ended and my husband was able to join us." The family also "rented a condo and relied on grandmas, aunts and in-laws to baby-sit, because I was gone eight to 10 hours a day."
Source: Arizona Central