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 - Struggled To Build A Singles Career

skating pairs competition national

After their win in the 1990 national competition, Galindo and Yamaguchi ended their pairs career together so that Yamaguchi could focus on singles in preparation for the 1992 Olympics. Galindo was disappointed not only because he had hoped to compete in the pairs competition at the Olympics, but also because he had sacrificed his singles career for their pairs team. It would have been very difficult for Galindo to find another pairs partner at his age and stage in his career, so his only choice was to return to singles if he wanted to continue skating competitively. Galindo hired a new singles coach, Rick Inglesi, and began working on his triple jumps again.

Galindo's return to singles skating was not an easy transition. Initially he set modest goals for himself to get back into the top of the competition, but he hoped to have as successful of a singles career as he had had in pairs. He was also driven by the fact that Yamaguchi had become a shining singles skater, capturing the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics. Galindo placed a respectable eleventh at the 1991 United States National Championships. He finished eighth in 1992 and fifth in 1993, so he seemed to be steadily improving. However, Galindo seemed unable to break through to the top. He finished in seventh at the 1994 nationals and eighth at the 1995 nationals. He was completely frustrated with his inability to finish in the top three and he considered quitting the sport.

Galindo also experienced a series of personal problems beginning in 1993 that jeopardized his skating career. In particular, he was involved in a destructive romantic relationship and he had started taking drugs. His short-lived drug habit affected his finances, his friendships, and his skating. In addition, his father had passed away from a heart attack and his brother was dying of AIDS. Galindo was able to end his drug habit with the help of his family and friends. However, his career was still suffering. Galindo suspected this was because of discrimination in the skating world. Galindo had been openly gay since he was a teenager. In 1993 he was chosen as an alternate for the prestigious international competition called Skate America. When one of the selected skaters cancelled his appearance in the competition, Galindo should have taken his place. However, he was overlooked and skater Todd Eldredge was sent instead. Galindo's coach had learned from the skating judges that they disapproved of the fact that Galindo was effeminate. This prejudice could have also contributed to his rankings in the national competitions.

After several disappointing results at the United States National Championships, Galindo decided to make some radical changes. He left coach Rick Inglesi, who later died of AIDS, and he hired two friends of his sister: Kevin Peeks, a jump expert, and John Brancato, a choreographer. The new coaches immediately worked to change Galindo's image. They got rid of his long hair and earring, changed his flamboyant costumes to more conservative ones, and minimized his more feminine moves. They also put him on a rigorous training program. Although Galindo improved his style and his skating, he did not immediately improve his results. He finished a disappointing eighth at the 1995 nationals.

Rudy Galindo: 1969—: Ice Skater - Became A National Champion [next] [back] Rudy Galindo: 1969—: Ice Skater - Paired With Kristi Yamaguchi

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