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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Yamaguchi follows Hamill's golden example
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

February 21, 1992

Sixteen years ago, when she was four years old and Dorothy Hamill was winning Olympic gold, Kristi Yamaguchi skated while holding a Hamill doll. Tonight, Yamaguchi becomes the United States' first women's Olympic figure-skating champion since Hamill, who visits Yamaguchi before she skates her freestyle program.

After a near-fall on one of the easiest triple jumps in her 4-minute program, Yamaguchi regains her composure and recovers nicely. Landing five triples out of the seven she planned, she is an easy winner in Albertville, France.

In the last 11 months, Yamaguchi has won a world championship, a national crown and now the Olympic title.

This is the first time three American women finish in the top four, as Nancy Kerrigan, Yamaguchi's roommate and good friend, finishes third, and Tonya Harding, the 1991 U.S. national champion, takes fourth. Japan's Midori Ito prevents a U.S. sweep by winning the silver medal.

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