An Outsider Sport
Turner was born in Rochester, New York on April 10th, 1962. She was a strong skater from an early age, displaying a strength that tended to push her out in front of the pack early in a race. Because of this her trainer decided to focus her on short-track speedskating, the skating equivalent of track's 100-yard dash.
Turner showed a lot of promise as an amateur skater, displaying explosive speed and climbing the amateur circuit, quickly garnering the U.S. championship. But there was one big problem that all of her determination couldn't overcome; the Winter Olympics, a goal so many young athletes aspire to, did not include short-track speedskating in its lineup. Disillusioned with the sport, she left it for another love, music. Under the name Nikki Newland, she performed as a lounge singer around the United States. But after a few years passed, speedskating was again beckoning to her. The decision to compete again got a lot easier when the Olympic committee finally saw fit to include short-track speedskating in the winter Olympics of 1992. Even though Turner had found some success in her singing career she decided to get back into competitive skating at twenty-six years old.
There were many people who had serious doubts about Turner's ability to stage a comeback at her age. But she decisively overcame the skepticism by quickly qualifying to compete in the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. After dreaming of the Olympics throughout her childhood, she didn't want to miss the debut of her sport as an international competition. Her performance was almost perfect. She won the gold in the 500 meter race by 4/100th of a second and helped the U.S. team win the silver in the 3000 meter relay, showing off her incredible short sprints of speed to the world.