In January 1996, Rudy Galindo won a stunning victory at the U.S Skating Championships with eight graceful, mesmerizing triple jumps that had the entire audience on its feet. It was a crowning moment in a life that had been frought with loss and tragedy.
Galindo had lost his brother and two skating coaches to AIDS, his father to a heart attack. In the mid-80's when his pairs partner, Kristi Yamaguchi, left him to pursue Olympic gold in the singles, the devastated Galindo turned to alcohol and drugs. Slowly, under the coaching guidance of his sister, who left the Ice Follies to coach him, Galindo picked himself up and worked his way back to victory on the ice. He's now a hero in his home town of San Jose, California, where he lived in a trailer park with his mother and sister and would ride his bike in the rain to the practice rink. At age 26, he is the oldest national champion in 70 years. He is the first openly gay ice skater.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 04 / 1997