1 minute read

Tara Lipinski Biography

Figure Skating Prodigy, Endured Family Separations, Chronology, Won National And World Titles, Awards And AccomplishmentsSELECTED WRITINGS BY LIPINSKI:


American figure skater

Although her competitive career in the amateur ranks of figure skating was brief, Tara Lipinski filled the record books with her accomplishments. As a thirteen-year-old, Lipinski claimed her first national medal with a third-place finish at the 1996 United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) National Championship in San Jose, California. The following year, in just her second appearance at the nationals, Lipinski took the gold medal and started a rivalry with former champion Michelle Kwan as the country's top figure skater. Lipinski beat Kwan again at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Championship in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1997; in fact, she triumphed over the entire field and won the gold medal, becoming the youngest women's World Champion in the sport's history. After losing her title to Kwan at the 1998 nationals, the two skaters became the most talked-about athletes entering that year's Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. Although Kwan entered the final stage of the competition as the favorite, Lipinski skated a program that included the highest level of technical difficulty that had ever been accomplished by a female skater. Winning a decisive victory over Kwan, Lipinski retired as an amateur and started a new career as a professional skater. She also struggled to recover from a series of health problems that had been triggered by her intensive training schedule.

Tara Lipinski


(With Emily Costello) Triumph on Ice: An Autobiography. New York: Bantam Books, 1997.

Sketch by Timothy Borden

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsFigure Skating