Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: E(mily) R. Frank (1967-) Biography - Personal to Martha Graham (1893–1991) Biography » Rudy Galindo: 1969—: Ice Skater Biography - Followed His Sister Into Skating, Paired With Kristi Yamaguchi, Struggled To Build A Singles Career

Rudy Galindo: 1969—: Ice Skater - Followed His Sister Into Skating

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Val Joe Galindo, nicknamed Rudy, was born on September 7, 1969, in San Jose, California. He was the third child born to Jess Galindo, a truck driver of Mexican descent, and Margaret Galindo, a part-time assembly line worker in a computer factory. His brother, George, was ten years older than him, and sister Laura was five years older than him. The Galindos lived in a small trailer in a rough neighborhood in East San Jose. Jess Galindo hauled rocket fuel between San Jose and Las Vegas three times a week so he was not home much during Galindo's childhood. Margaret Galindo suffered from manic depression and she was often hospitalized to treat her illness. The Galindo children spent some of their childhood in East Los Angeles living with Jess' sister, Cindy.

When Galindo was six years old, his sister began taking skating lessons at the Eastridge Ice Arena. Galindo tagged along to watch his sister at first, but soon he wanted to get on the ice himself. His father was reluctant because Galindo was so small for his age that he feared his son might get hurt. He finally relented and let Galindo take a turn on the ice. "As I skated around the rink, it felt as if gravity had dropped its hold on me," Galindo wrote in his 1997 autobiography Icebreaker. "It was like flying. It was exhilarating. It made me feel alive. I felt powerful. It was fun. And I was instantly hooked."

After a year of skating at the public rink, Laura began taking private lessons. Galindo would watch his sister's lessons and practice the same moves by himself. Laura's coach Colleen Blackmore noticed Galindo's efforts and encouraged him to keep practicing. She took note of his potential and his desire to skate and she eventually convinced Jess Galindo to let Rudy take lessons as well as Laura. Soon Rudy was competing in, and winning, local competitions. He easily worked his way up the skating ranks from preliminary, to prejuve-nile, juvenile, intermediate, and novice. At the age of 13, Galindo won the novice national championship.

At a Glance . . .

Born Val Joe Galindo on September 7, 1969, in San Jose, CA; son of Jess (died 1993) and Margaret Galindo.

Career: Amateur junior figure skater, 1982-86; amateur senior figure skater, 1987-96; author, 1997; professional figure skater, 1997–.

Memberships: US Figure Skating Association.

Awards: Third place, World Junior Figure Skating Championships, 1985; First place, World Junior Figure Skating Championships, 1987; First place (with Kristi Yamaguchi), World Junior Pairs Championship, 1988; First place (with Yamaguchi), US National Pairs Championship, 1989; First place (with Yamaguchi), U.S. National Pairs Championship, 1990; First place, US National Men's Championship, 1996; Third place, World Men's Championship, 1996; Amateur Athlete of the Year, San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, 1996; Portrait of Success Award, Hispanic Development Corporation's, 1996; Sportsman of the Year Award, National Council of La Raza, 1996; US Presidential Delegation to the Winter Olympics, 1998; Second place, World Professional Men's Figure Skating Championship, 2000; Ryan White Award, 2001; One of the 25 Most Influential Names In Figure Skating 2000-2001, International Figure Skating magazine.

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