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Tara Lipinski

Joined Professional Ranks

In need of surgery on her hip, Lipinski withdrew from amateur ranks in April 1998. She joined the tour of Stars on Ice and resumed competing at events such as the 1999 World Professional Championship, where she won the gold medal. Lipinski also pursued an acting career with appearances on Touched by an Angel, The Young and the Restless, and the television movie Ice Angel. Her commercial endorsements included deals to promote Snapple beverages, the DKNY children's clothing line, and awareness of deep-vein thrombosis, a malady that Lipinski herself had faced after her hip surgeries.

Although she was criticized by some commentators for abandoning her amateur career—which had lasted little more than two years at the senior level—Lipinski's

Tara Lipinski

accomplishments during that period included national, world, and Olympic titles. Indeed, the teenager proved capable of becoming not just a superb technical skater, but an artistic one as well. The most outstanding jumper of her day, Lipinski's command of the ice allowed her to make the transition to a professional skating career at the age of fifteen. "I feel that I accomplished everything I wanted to, and now I can look back with such happiness while I pursue a pro career and keep expanding my horizons," Lipinski told David Barron of the Houston Chronicle in December 2001, "It makes skating as a whole so special to me."

Where Is She Now?

In a Today Show appearance on April 7, 1998, Lipinski announced that she would no longer compete in the amateur ranks. Her departure robbed the sport of one of its finest rivalries, as spectators had looked forward to future competitions between Lipinski and Michelle Kwan, the top two skaters of the day. "I experienced everything I wanted to," Lipinski later told Cathy Harasta of the Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service in December 2001, "I went to the Olympics for three weeks and had the time of my life."

Lipinski had to cut back on her professional appearances after under-going operations on her hip in 1998 and again in 2002. Following her second surgery, she became a spokesperson for an awareness campaign for deep-vein thrombosis, a sometimes-fatal complication from surgeries like the ones she had undergone. Although she still suffered from some residual hip pain from her surgeries, Lipinski continued to skate with the Stars on Ice program as one of its most popular performers. She also appeared in the soap opera The Young and the Restless and the television movie Ice Angel and planned more acting roles in the future.

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Famous Sports StarsFigure SkatingTara Lipinski Biography - Figure Skating Prodigy, Endured Family Separations, Chronology, Won National And World Titles, Awards And Accomplishments - SELECTED WRITINGS BY LIPINSKI: