Sunday, September 7, 2014
The Original Black Swan: Rudy Galindo
(Rudy Galindo with Emma Hedican, Kristi Yamaguchi's daughter. Rudy is Emma's skating coach).
Today the great Rudy Galindo turns 45. Rudy's stunning upset at the 1996 U.S. Championships in San Jose, California, is still one of my favorite performances of all-time. Everyone says that Rudy came out of "nowhere," but really, by that point, he had already been a 2-time National Champion in pairs with Kristi Yamaguchi. When Yamaguchi made the decision to quit pairs and focus on singles skating, Rudy was left without a partner. He tried his hand at singles skating, and struggled for many years, before coming into the San Jose championships, his hometown, with a new attitude and two-terrific programs. After years of heartache, losing his dad to a heart attack and his brother and two coaches to AIDs, and sacrifice, Rudy's win was more than a gold-medal, it was a triumph! To this day I get chills watching this.
In honor of Rudy's birthday today, I'm posting his 1996 Nationals freeskate (have tissues ready), and his 1989 National Championship Pairs win with Kristi Yamaguchi. Happy Birthday, Rudy! Cheers to many more!