Early Years On Ice
To afford the expensive private skating lessons, Kerrigan's father, a welder at a local food plant, took on an extra job as a maintenance man in the evening. Due to his wife's physical limitations, he also managed many of the household and family affairs. Eventually he would take out substantial loans to keep his daughter's skating career afloat. Never pressured by her parents to skate, Kerrigan enjoyed the support of a large extended family that lived nearby and also helped with lessons and transportation.
Kerrigan's day started at four o'clock in the morning, roused out of bed by her mother who would always eat breakfast with her. Her father drove her to her five o'clock early morning lessons, often staying to drive the Zamboni to prepare the ice. Kerrigan, who was drawn to the more athletic skating performances of the male skaters she watched on television, thrived on the physical dimensions of skating. After her instructors taught her how to skate without leaning over like her hockey-playing brothers, Kerrigan focused on speed and strength in her routines.
Kerrigan entered her first competition when she was eight years old. Because of her constant training schedule during her youth, she missed out on many social activities and found it difficult to develop close friendships simply because she spent so much time on the ice. Yet Kerrigan loved to skate, and her determination and commitment soon began to pay off. She landed her first triple-triple (two consecutive triple toe loops) in practice when she was 14 years old, successfully completing the jump for the first time in competition the following year. Having mastered the difficult combination not attempted by other women skaters at the time, Kerrigan began to realize that she could become an exceptional skater.