Northshore Magazine

January/February 2013

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 148 of 180

espite being magically transformed into ���Fancy��� Kerrigan in an Old Navy commercial this past summer, Stoneham native and two-time Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan leads a remarkably normal life that is far from fancy here on the North Shore. �� The proud mother is happy to brag about her children���s accomplishments, although not one of them is following in her skating footsteps. Fouryear-old Nicole takes ballet and gymnastics classes, seven-yearold Brian is a gymnast, and 16-year-old Matthew loves acting. �� ���They all can skate, but they don���t take lessons and they hardly ever go to the rink,��� Kerrigan says. The family did practice together in October to prepare for their turn on the ice in the Family Skating Tribute in Atlantic City on November 3 (it will air on NBC in January), which featured celebrity skaters and their children. Gearing up for that show and another performance in January, Kerrigan has been hitting the rink regularly for the first time in several months. She admits that training isn���t as easy as it used to be. ���I like to go to the gym, and now I make it to the rink for 45 minutes about three times a week. I have to get in and get the jump right so I don���t have to do it a million times. My body can���t take the repetition anymore, anyway,��� she explains. ���I did a double axel, which I���m very excited about, but I have to lower my expectation level each year with the amount of time I can put in.��� Although she is occasionally stopped for an autograph or a photo, Kerrigan insists she is just another member of the public when she skates during open-ice hours. Her good friend Jonathan English, a former skating champion who has his own skate shop in Peabody and used to supply Kerrigan with new skates and blades, had coached Matthew for a few years at the same rink where his mother perfected the famous Kerrigan spiral. ���Matthew got the big axel, but then he quit, which was weird,��� she says. ���Once you get the axel, it usually sucks people in for another 10 years. At the same time, he also got the lead in the Pirates of Penzance at school.��� Clearly for her eldest son, theatre won out over skating. Kerrigan began figure skating at age six, mostly due to the fact that her older brothers, Mark and Michael, were already on the ice to play hockey. ���I think I just wanted to do something different that would be my own instead of what they were doing. There weren���t many girls in the area that played hockey at that point,��� she says. Now there are several all-girl hockey teams in the area, but that���s not the only thing that has changed since Kerrigan was a schoolgirl. The landscape of her hometown of Stoneham has changed quite a bit too. ���It was such a different time. I could walk to school because it was close by, and I would stop at a friend���s house on the way and we���d go to school together. My kids can���t walk to school today,��� she laments. ���Also, there was a bowling alley and a movie theater in town when I was little, but they���re both gone now.��� One thing that has remained constant through the years is her family���s closeknit bond. She regularly visits her mother, Brenda, who still lives in the same house where Kerrigan was raised. Although she made the move from Stoneham to Lynnfield, the North Shore has been Kerrigan���s home for 43 years. She stayed not only because of her family but also because of the area���s many draws. ���It���s so nice to live here because we have so many different opportunities just a few hours away. Everything is close by, like skiing and snowmobiling and also the beach,��� she explains. ���It���s beautiful, too, especially the change of seasons. It���s so nice that when you have the same drive all the time the scenery looks different every time. I think it makes doing the everyday mundane things better.��� Kerrigan frequents various North Shore restaurants but is reluctant to single out any particular one, claiming, ���That���s not fair, because we get certain meals at certain places���I would get in trouble with the owners.��� Finally she relents and gives a shout-out to Stoneham Pizza, but does so only because of parental pride. ���My son Matthew created a pizza there with spinach, bacon, and pineapple. I don���t feel so bad getting them pizza if there���s a big pile of spinach on top. I don���t know if anyone else even orders it besides us,��� she says. 146 NSJanFeb13_FE_Kerrigan.indd 146 11/19/12 10:40 AM

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