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Thread: Kristi Yamaguchi - Face of America

  1. #16
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    I'm old enough to remember the fuss about Dorothy Hamill, and I remember that there was much less fuss made about Kristi in terms of publicity, endorsements, and so on. At the time, I was very much aware of the discrepancy and wondered whether her ethnicity was a factor. (I think it pretty obviously was, though I think another component was Hamill's unusual star quality--she just had that innate sizzle that few people have.) I remember feeling very disappointed that, after 16 years without a figure skating gold medalist, America was not paying attention to Kristi.

    I think things have progressed since Kristi's win (judging by Michelle's impact), and Kristi herself is part of the reason for the progress. She has always been gracious and her public conduct has been exemplary. Her long pro career (a lot of it seen on TV during those "golden years" of skating's highest popularity) and now her Dancing with the Stars stint have only added to her luster.

    A sidelight to this topic: the name of this TV program, The Face of America, reminds me of that enjoyable TV series about Superman, Lois and Clark. When they cast Superman, instead of choosing some WASP with a chiseled profile and blue eyes to reflect the comic book rendition of the Man of Steel, they cast Dean Cain, and they didn't make him wear contact lenses to hide his brown eyes. Cain is part Japanese. I remember seeing his face and realizing with delight that he was, in the deepest sense, the All-American Superman. It was a small step forward, but to me (a big Superman fan from way back) it meant a great deal.

  2. #17
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    That was good. They surprised Kristi by finding an old newpaper article about Kristi's mother being the first baby born in the concentration camp. Then when they showed Kristi the letter commending her grandfather's service in the army, it made her cry.

  3. #18
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    it was quite interesting, can't wait to see the next episode

  4. #19
    Custom Title merrywidow's Avatar
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    I've spent many hours doing genealogical research into my family's history so find this series fascinating. Kristi has always been a favorite of mine not just as a skater but because she has always been so gracious & giving to the public. Look at the years she spent helping to make SOI a success. She is a marvelous role model for all Americans not just those of Asian descent.

  5. #20
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    could not have said it better, merrywidow... never once thought of her as one of the Asian skaters.. or as asian at all... she's Kristi Yamaguchi. 1992 Olympic Champion. Fantastic skater. Favorite skater...

    and I'll always relate my dad's eyes sparkling with her... man glows when he watches/talks about her

  6. #21
    Custom Title Tigger's Avatar
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    When I saw this being promotied during Roadshow a month ago, I made plans to not only watch, but also tape it. (Of all times for the DVR to die...Grrr!!!) I've seen the other series Dr. Gates has done like this and loved them and loved the episode on Wednesday.

    One thing that really hit me though? That scrapbook they've made for all who have taken part in the series, what a gift for Keara and Emma that is going to be in the future. That really is the best part about Kristi taking part in this thing.

  7. #22
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed watching the 1st episode, and not just for Kristi. All of their backgrounds had so many interesting points.

    To me, 'the greatest generation' doesn't fuss about their accomplishments because it was just the right thing to do. You work hard and act honorably. You don't give up the fight, you just keep on going. IMO, their struggles and gains have made life a lot easier for those that came afterwards. It was just life to them. When my grandmother died, my grandfather was 'dividing' up the jewelry randomly into 5 ziploc bags - 1 each for his 3 aughters and 2 daughter-in-law's. He randomly mentioned that there would've been more, but it was stolen by pirates when they were travelling from Hong Kong back to the home village [before they emigrated to the U.S.]. This was about 20 years ago - long before hearing about the pirates still roaming off the coast of Somalia. So, we were surprised to hear this bit of family history, but he thought it was just an every day occurrence.

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