5 Things You Never Knew About Kristi Yamaguchi (VIDEO)

Mention Kristi Yamaguchi's name and you'll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't know exactly who you're talking about. Most remember Yamaguchi as the Olympic figure skater who took home the gold in 1992, while others know the fierce competitor from her big win on "Dancing With the Stars." But even those who've followed her career from the start may not know much about her private life.

During an appearance on "Oprah: Where Are They Now?", Yamaguchi opened up about everything from her childhood to her own children and revealed intriguing details about her journey to Olympic glory. Here are five things you may not have known about the history-making skater.

She was born with a physical deformity.
Courtesy of Kristi Yamaguchi
"I was born with severely turned in feet," Yamaguchi says in the above video. "They were pretty much crossed... It took wearing casts on both legs to straighten them out."

This might seem like a problem for someone who wanted to be a figure skater since early childhood, but Yamaguchi sees it as the opposite. "I say I've always been bowlegged since the day I was born, but in some ways, I think that has helped me as a skater," she says with a smile.
She didn't have many friends in school.
In order to seriously pursue her love of figure skating, Yamaguchi had to make sacrifices. "I really didn't have a big circle of friends in high school. I didn't do the whole homecoming and football games and all that," she says. "But, it was really by choice."

The trade-off, however, wasn't so bad. "I was already traveling internationally. I had made friends from all around the world," Yamaguchi says. "And some of those friendships are still with me today."

Go inside Kristi's costume closet, with all its sparkles, fringe and even a 10-pound dress.
She keeps many of her figure skating medals in a bowl.
Yamaguchi earned countless medals throughout her figure skating career, several of which she keeps piled in a large bowl. Her Olympic gold medal, of course, is somewhere a little more protected.

"I probably wouldn't want to just throw it in this pile here, so the Olympic medal is in Colorado Springs at the U.S. Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame," Yamaguchi says. "It's in good hands."
She met her future husband the same year she won gold at the Olympics.
Gregg DeGuire via Getty Images
In 1992, Yamaguchi didn't just take home the gold. She also met the love of her life, two-time Olympian and Stanley Cup champion Bret Hedican. (The couple later married in 2000.)

"Bret and I met originally at the '92 Olympic Games. That was a pretty good year, I guess," Yamaguchi laughs. "Now we have two daughters. So, now we're just busy -- busy being Mom and Dad, and running after them!"
She isn't pushing her daughters to follow in her Olympic footsteps.
Eleven-year-old Keara and 8-year-old Emma aren't unlike their mother (Keara has a competitive spirit and Emma does figure skating), but Yamaguchi isn't pushing them to follow the same path she did.

"Keara is a competitive hula dancer. Emma also skates. She's having fun with it -- who knows where it's going to go. I try not to push too hard," Yamaguchi says. "We'll see what happens there."
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