Courtesy Kristi Yamaguchi
Growing up in the spotlight, Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi relied heavily on her parents to keep her going.
“There are a lot of times when you doubt yourself, or have a disappointing experience, and it’s really that unconditional love and support I got from my mom in particular, and her words of encouragement, that got me back up to continue to believe in myself,” she tells PEOPLE.
And though her daughters aren’t taking to the ice in front of millions at Sochi this season — they’re only 8 and 10, after all! — Yamaguchi finds herself falling into her mother’s shoes these days.
“I see my roles turning into the direction where now I’m the support system, and hoping to do whatever I can to help encourage my girls and pick them up when they need it — and hopefully help them achieve their dreams. Family is my priority now.”