Olympic gold medalist turned sports commentator Tara Lipinski on how skating as a teen fueled a love of food and travel.
Dinner of Champions
When I was younger, my pregame meal before every competition was spaghetti with tomato sauce. We’d travel with a pasta cooker to boil water and pack jars of tomato sauce in our luggage. Comfort food is still my go-to in life. Even for my wedding, I was like, “We have to have french fries.” So we had french fries.
After I stopped competitive skating, I went on this healthy kick of trying to incorporate fish into every meal I ate—and I got mercury poisoning. Everything in moderation, right?
What I miss most about figure skating is competing all the time. When you’re in the middle of the ice, with all the pressure in the world on your shoulders and so much on the line—the feeling of landing that jump is the best feeling in the world. At the same time, competing all the time is what I don’t miss. All that tension, your legs shaking—it’s not fun.
Spin the Globe
I traveled a lot as a kid, but I’d be in Germany or Japan and all I’d ever see was the arena. In Paris, we dashed to the Eiffel Tower before our flight one time, but that was it. Now, every summer I take a trip somewhere I’ve never been before. I have a map, and I put little pins in all of the places I’ve visited. I really want to go to Poland next.
I’m not the best cook; I’m always burning something. Or forgetting about something. The one exception is breakfast. I don’t know where I learned it, but I’m great with pancakes, waffles, omelets—those are right up my alley.
When I get home [to L.A.] from PyeongChang, I’ll hit up Hillstone, near our home in Santa Monica, for their crispy chicken sandwich. The chicken is so good, and there’s this coleslaw that’s amazing. I crave that so much.—Interview by Karen Shimizu