Fun on ice comes early when mom is Nancy Kerrigan — 3½-year-old daughter Nicole first donned skates when she was only 14 months old.
“She seems to like it,” the two-time Olympic medalist tells PEOPLE of her daughter, who doesn’t mind wearing the black skates handed down from brothers Matthew, 16, and Brian, 6½.
Right now Nicole is more into costume changes — Snow White and Cinderella — than doing leaps and twirls on the ice, but Kerrigan, 42, says she’s open to her daughter choosing the demanding sport.
“If that’s what she wants to do, I’m happy to help her,” notes the skater, although she admits it may not be that easy.
“They all like going skating and they definitely like people clapping for them,” explains Kerrigan. “They say, ‘Watch me’ and I try to give them tips, but they don’t necessarily listen to me.”
Nicole and her brothers recently got to watch their mom skate and emcee A Salute to the Ladies of the Ice, a tribute show to 1968 Olympic Champion Peggy Fleming that will air New Year’s Day on NBC.
Kerrigan, who is also the spokesman for the U.S. Figure Skating Association for national skating month in January, has skated rarely in public events since her father died in June 2010 and her brother, Mark, was prosecuted for assaulting him.
“It’s fun to perform and I’m so excited to be a part of an event with these women,” Kerrigan tells PEOPLE of the show, which features 12 skaters with 100 Olympic, world and national medals among them.
Skaters include current world champion Miki Ando, 2006 Olympic gold medalist Shizuka Arakawa and silver medalist Sasha Cohen, 2002 Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes, 1998 Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski and a comeback appearance by 1995 U.S. champion Nicole Bobek.
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– Judy Rakowsky