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 149 of 180

This page, photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images; previous spread, photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images Pep Talk Kerrigan at the 26th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner in 2011. Kerrigan���s father, Dan, who passed away in 2010, once held three jobs���including driving the Zamboni at the Stoneham rink���in order to support his daughter���s training. The strong work ethic he passed on to Kerrigan is one of the things she says she will definitely pass down to her own children. But it was Dan���s commitment to family and his sense of humor that Kerrigan treasures most in her memories of her father. ���Things of importance to my dad were definitely family and being there for each other, but also being able to laugh. He was the baby of nine kids, and now I only have one aunt left. So he saw lots of people pass away that he cared about and loved a lot, but he could still make his jokes and be funny. He would say the same silly little jokes over and over,��� she recalls. Another valuable lesson that Kerrigan says she learned from her dad is about not sweating the small stuff. ���You���ve got to keep going and still find things funny and laugh a lot. Don���t take things too seriously, and pay attention to what���s important. And don���t get so worked up about little things, because life is too short. So, enjoy it,��� she says. Although it was nearly 20 years ago when Kerrigan was one of the stars of the 1994 Winter Olympics, she still can���t believe the outpouring of support she received from fans from all over, not just her North Shore neighbors. ���I got tons of letters. It was unbelievable how much mail there was and how supportive people were not just locally, but also around the country and around the world, too. It was really amazing how many people wrote these positive letters, telling me how my skating helped them or affected them or changed their way of thinking,��� she recalls. ���It���s amazing to think that I could have an effect on someone like that when all I ever did was train, train, train.��� Although she returned from those Olympics with a silver medal to add the to bronze she had earned just two years earlier, Kerrigan hadn���t always dreamed of Olympic glory. ���It was not until about 1991, when I was third in the world, that it seemed realistic. I���m in a sport that���s judged, so you just never know,��� she says. Her parents helped keep her skating in perspective. ���I come from very grounded people who said, ���Hey, you could always get hurt, so do the best you can today and hope for tomorrow.��� We just made goals one year at a time and stuck with those. If I could make them, it would be great. If not, maybe we would think about not continuing. But I was fortunate and made my goals every year.��� After achieving Olympic glory, Kerrigan focused on her other goals���marriage and motherhood. Kerrigan wed her manager, Jerry Solomon, in 1995, and baby Matthew arrived in 1996. ���I knew I wanted to be a mom since I was about 10 years old. It was something I always dreamed of and hoped for,��� she explains. As with most parents, Kerrigan���s current goals now center on her children. ���For now, it���s a lot of figuring out of their schedules. And taking care of them and making sure they���re happy and healthy. They���re really good kids, so I���m pretty lucky.��� With no plans to coach, Kerrigan still offers advice to young skaters. ���First of all, they have to have fun. I really believe that you perform better when you���re having fun. You can do anything you want to do, whether it���s music, sports, or school, but try to make it interesting. Try to make it a challenge but also keep a smile on your face and have a good time,��� she says. ���Then, things become a little lighter, a little easier, a little quicker. If you have fun, you tend to do better.��� There���s nothing fancy about that advice���it���s just practical and straightforward, much like our local Olympian n herself. ��� 147 NSJanFeb13_FE_Kerrigan.indd 147 11/19/12 10:40 AM

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