Sarah Elizabeth Hughes was born May 2, 1985 in Manhasset, NY and grew up in Great Neck, NY. Sarah is the fourth of six children. She began skating at age 3 when she saw her two older brothers and sister skate. The figure skating world begun noticing Sarah in 1998 when she won the US Junior Figure Skating Championships at the age of 12. She qualified for the World Championships the next year where she finished seventh. She made it to the podium for the first time at the 2001 Worlds where she took the bronze - finishing behind Irina Slutskaya and Michelle Kwan. A year later, the three skaters would be on the podium together again, but Sarah would be the one at the top, wearing the gold medal. Despite Michelle Kwan being the "favorite" for the figure skating gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, Sarah's final skate was nearly perfect and featured seven triple jumps, more than any other skater. She beat Kwan, and won the Olympic Gold at age 16.
In addition to the Olympics, Hughes has won a variety of awards and honors including the 2002 Sullivan Award Winner, 2002 USOC Sportswoman of the year, March of Dimes 2002 Sportswoman of the Year, Woman's Sports Foundation 2002 Sportswoman of the Year, and was placed on IFS Magazine's 2001-2002 25 Most Influential Names in Skating List. She was Nominated for 5 ESPY awards (2001-2002) (winner, Best Olympian), and in 2002 she was nominated for a Teen Choice Award.
Hughes just finished her freshman year at Yale University. She enjoys playing the violin, reading, and playing tennis. She plans to study medicine in the future. Her favorite quote is "When you work hard you have fun."
Sources: Kidz World;The Unofficial Sarah Hughes Webpage; Photo Courtesy of: Photos On Ice