Sarah Hughes

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Sarah Elizabeth Hughes (born May 2, 1985) is an American figure skater. She is the 2002 Olympic gold medalist and the 2001 World bronze medalist.

Contents

Personal life

Hughes was born in Great Neck, New York. Her father, John Hughes, is a Canadian of Irish descent and was the captain of the NCAA champion 1969–70 Cornell University ice hockey team. Her mother, Amy Pastarnack, is Jewish[1] and is a breast cancer survivor. This led Sarah Hughes to become an advocate for breast cancer awareness. She appeared in a commercial for General Electric promoting breast cancer awareness and research. Hughes stated: "I always said that if I can get one person to get a mammogram, I've accomplished something."[2] Among the other causes Hughes supports include Figure Skating in Harlem, which provides free ice skating lessons and academic tutoring for girls in the Harlem community in NYC. Hughes has supported this program for over ten years.[3]

Sarah Hughes is the fourth of six children. One of her younger sisters, Emily, is also a figure skater and competed at the 2006 Winter Olympics. Her cousin is Gregg "Opie" Hughes from the popular XM/SIRIUS Radio Show "The Opie and Anthony" Show.

Career

Sarah Hughes began skating at the age of three under the direction of Robin Wagner who coached her until Hughes competed at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

Hughes won the Junior title at the 1998 United States Figure Skating Championships in the 1997–1998 season. The following season, she competed on the ISU Junior Grand Prix, winning the silver medal at the 1998–1999 Junior Grand Prix Final and at the 1999 World Junior Figure Skating Championships. At the 1999 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which were held after the World Junior Championships, Hughes won the pewter medal. It was her senior-level debut.

The U.S. had three spots to the 1999 World Figure Skating Championships, and Hughes, by placing fourth at Nationals, would not normally have qualified for the team. However, Naomi Nari Nam, the silver medalist, was not age-eligible to compete at Worlds. Hughes was also not age-eligible for the senior World Championships. However, Hughes had won the silver medal at the 1999 World Junior Championships, held in November 1998, and so was allowed by ISU rules to compete at the 1999 World Championships. She finished 7th at those World Championships.

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