Hughes began skating at age 3 because her two older brothers and sister skated... She is the fourth of six children ... She takes all honor classes at school ... Her off-ice interests include reading, rollerblading and playing tennis ... Her silver medal at the 1999 World Junior Championships enabled her to become the youngest competitor in the 1999, 2000 and 2001 World Championships ... She received the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence ... She hopes to study medicine and become a doctor ... Hughes' favorite quote is "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."
2002 Season NotesHughes announced May 3 that she plans to attend Yale University beginning in the fall of 2003 ... After a busy year, Hughes finished sixth at the 2003 World Championships. .. She faced difficulty in both her qualifying round and short program but bounced back for a solid free skate in Washington, D.C. to move up three places in the overall standings ... Following a leg injury that forced her to withdraw from the 2002-03 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, Hughes returned to competition and finished second at the Crest Whitestrips International Figure Skating Challenge in Auburn Hills, Mich., Dec. 13 ... Hughes appeared in her first television special -- "Sarah Hughes: A Life in Balance" -- on NBC, Dec. 22... Hughes recently won the 2002 Sullivan Award, awarded annually to the top amateur athlete in the nation ... She is the third figure skater to win the award and the second straight, following on the heels of Michelle Kwan's Sullivan win in 2001 ... Hughes was also named as the USOC SportsWoman of the Year for 2002.
2001 Season NotesHughes claimed the Olympic gold medal in in February and became the first person to rebound from fourth place to win an Olympic gold medal since the short program-free skate scoring system was introduced at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games. Hughes skated one of the most technically demanding programs ever attempted in an Olympic ladies competition including two clean triple-triple combinations (triple Salchow/triple loop and triple toe/triple loop). Hughes, 16, also became the fourth youngest Olympic ladies figure skating champion of all time ... Citing exhaustion, Hughes did not compete at the 2002 World Figure Skating Championships -- Jennifer Kirk replaced her ... Hughes captured her second silver medal of the season at Trophée Lalique and qualified to compete in her second straight ISU Grand Prix Final in Kitchener, Canada, Dec. 14-16 ... Hughes' Skate Canada title is the first major of her career ... It marked the first time Hughes has defeated Michelle Kwan and Irina Slutskaya ... Skate Canada was a non-scoring event for Hughes in the ISU Grand Prix Series ... Hughes started out the Grand Prix Series with a second place finish at the 2001 Smart Ones Skate America.