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A pint-sized powerhouse, Tara Lipinski made history as a teenage figure skating icon. Born June 10, 1982 in Philadelphia, PA, Tara Kristen Lipinski started roller skating at three and ice skating at six. She won the 1994 junior-level U.S. Olympic Festival and ascended to senior-level competitions by 13. A year later, she won the 1997 U.S. and World Championships, demonstrating artistry and athleticism beyond her years, becoming the first female skater to land a triple loop/triple loop combination, which became her signature. While her rival Michelle Kwan was heavily favored to win gold at the 1998 Winter Olympics, Lipinski skated with an unstoppable confidence and effervescence, winning the long program with an electrifying program that contained seven triples, including two triple/triple combinations. Winning Olympic gold at age 15, Lipinski retired from competitive skating soon after, holding multiple records as the youngest winner in Olympic and World Championships history. Showered with honors and media attention as the ultimate Cinderella story of that year's Games, Lipinski devoted herself to philanthropy and professional exhibitions while also kicking off an acting career that included guest spots on "Touched by an Angel" (CBS, 1994-2003), "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" (Nickelodeon, 1990-2000) and "Malcolm in the Middle" (Fox, 2000-06). A teen favorite who became a media superstar for a certain generation, Lipinski also starred in her own made-for-TV movie, "Ice Angel" (Fox Family Channel, 2000), booked a slew of endorsements, and became the youngster-ever member of the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
By Jonathan Riggs
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