Skating Greats Share Olympic Memories and Advice for Athletes Heading to Sochi

From left: Scott Hamilton, Dorothy Hamill, Apolo Ohno and Kristi Yamaguchi

Focus on Sport/Getty(2); Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty; Jamie Squire/Getty

updated 01/17/2014 AT 2:00 PM ET

originally published 01/21/2014 AT 9:30 AM ET

Everyone is talking about the 2014 Sochi Olympic figure skaters – past gold medalists included.

Four of America’s most celebrated skaters – Apolo Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton and Dorothy Hamill – glided over to Parade to share their Winter Olympics experiences.

As gold medalists, this group knows what it takes to win, and what to expect once the closing ceremony is over. Transitioning from the top of the podium to normal life isn’t easy, but then, neither are triple axels.

Ohno and Hamilton will serve as analysts at Sochi, but they won’t be offering life advice like this. Before the Sochi Games start, see what these skating stars have to say, and relive their winning performances.

Apolo Ohno, Short-Track Speed Skater

Olympics Success: The most-decorated American Winter Olympic athlete, Ohno has won eight medals, including two golds, competing in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.

On Going from the Olympics to Normal Life: “[It’s] probably the single most difficult thing for any athlete, and it’s ongoing. You are the best at your sport, but it’s not like you’re going to leave short-track speed skating and be the best at business. What has helped me is applying the attitudes that made me successful as an athlete to obstacles in normal life. My motto is, ‘Try to live with zero regrets.’ ”

Kristi Yamaguchi, Figure Skater

Olympics Success: 1992 Olympic Champion in Ladies’ Singles

On Her Top Olympics Memory: “The moment I won, and sharing the elation with my coach. But I also remember skating off the ice, thinking, ‘Is that my Olympic moment? Can I do it again? But, no, I don’t want to do it again.’ That s the emotion that shocked me most – the relief that it was over.”

Scott Hamilton, Figure Skater

Olympics Success: 1984 Olympic Champion in Men’s Singles, also finished fifth in the 1980 Winter Olympics

On Being an Olympic Medalist and Parent: “I left home at 13. I have two sons. I’m not capable of letting them leave because I feel like I missed that time with my parents. My mother died when I was 19. It’s like, ‘No, I’m not going to sacrifice that time.’ ”

Dorothy Hamill, Figure Skater

Olympics Success: 1976 Olympic Champion in Ladies’ Singles

On Winning the Olympics at a Young Age: “In life, I have struggled with knowing that I’ll never be a world-class anything again. So I’ve tried to find a way to share the thing that I’m still most passionate about, ice skating. I’m frustrated that I’ve never found another passion. If somebody said, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ – I’m still trying to figure that out.”

These four have put Olympic competitions behind them, but a gold medalist always looks great on skates!

From left: Scott Hamilton, Dorothy Hamill, Apolo Ohno and Kristi Yamaguchi

Focus on Sport/Getty(2); Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty; Jamie Squire/Getty

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