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Kristi Yamaguchi And Mark Ballas


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Kristi Yamaguchi

PROFESSION:

Olympic champion figure skater

PARTNER:

Mark Ballas

BACKGROUND:

An Olympic Gold medalist and World Champion, Kristi Yamaguchi is one of the most popular and successful figure skaters of our time. Since winning the 1992 Winter Olympics, Yamaguchi retired from competitive skating, performing in numerous television specials and traveling the globe on Stars on Ice tour. Along with her many awards and accomplishments, she is a member of the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame, World Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the US Olympic Hall of Fame. In 1996, she founded the Always Dream Foundation dedicated to fundraising and supporting children's charities. Yamaguchi is married to Stanley Cup Champion and Carolina Hurricanes star, Bret Hedican. Together, they have two young daughters.

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Mark Ballas

ACHIEVEMENTS:

British Juvenile Ballroom and Latin American dance champ

US Open to the World, British Open to the World and International Open to the World Junior Latin American Champ

Junior Olympics Gold Medal Winner

British Open to the World, US Open to the World, International Open to the World twice, United Kingdom, Youth Latin American Dance Champion

CELEBRITY PARTNER:

Kristi Yamaguchi

STATS:

Style: Latin

Nationality: American

Based in: London, England

Status: Not Currently Competing

BACKGROUND:

Mark was born in Houston, Texas to Corky and Shirley Ballas, two of the biggest names in dance. When he was very young, they moved to London, England where he began his performing career. He joined the Italia Conti Academy of Dramatic Arts Associate School at age 4, where his training in acting and singing/dancing began. At age 11, he earned a full-time spot at the Academy. He also earned a full scholarship to the college and won performer of the year in 2005.

Mark has also performed in theater. He played the lead in the musical Copa Cabana, as well as playing roles in Maria de Buenos Aires, The Buddy Holly Musical and at the London Palladium.

His dancing partner, Julianne Hough, and her brother Derek Hough moved to England when they were young and lived with Mark and his parents. There, they were trained by Mark's parents, Corky and Shirley Ballas. They became close friends and still are to this day.

Mark's biggest passion is his band "Almost Amy." Together with his best friend and fellow dancer, Derek Hough, they write and perform all their original music.

ABC

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  • 1 month later...

She is my favorite dancer so far with Mario right behind her. I am really impressed. She was not quite as good tonight but she is just so darn graceful and gets those steps down so well.

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  • 3 weeks later...

shouldnt be allowed on the show

totally unfair

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What a beautiful dancer. She is very competitive and that is why she is so good. Sometimes it is easier for others but I think she puts 100% into her dance.

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I agree that she has a lot of dancing experience. And I also agree that it's probably not fair. But I still like her and like watching her dance. Come on -- let's not get too worried about who gets to take home that crappy trophy! Think Kristy will put it next to her Olympic medals?

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I love watching Kristi and Mark dance. She almost looks like a professional!!! I think that the judges (especially Len) are wayyyy too hard on her. Clearly, their choreography is much more difficult than most of the others!!! I hope that they win the trophy!!!! She's doing great!!

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Again, I thought that Kristi and Mark did a super fantastic job last night and they were super hard on her for her 2nd dance!! Their content is so much harder than anyone else's. Part of the reason, IMO, is the song--if it is not a good song, the performance isn't as much fun to watch but I still loved it!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

they got ms. kristy who couldnt win a gold medal post 92 to save her life to be a ringer on the show

kudos kristy

not

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Geeez uvp give her some credit. She worked very very hard on her routines and deserves that ugly silver ball.

I am really glad she won and what a fantastic dancer and a good gracious person.

If Jason had won that would have been so wrong. In my eyes he was such a great person but not deserving of winning.

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marty i love to give her credit

lol

but i just cant she had a built in advantage

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Actually, UVP, Kristi DID win Olympic gold in 1992. You are probably confusing her with Michelle Kwan, who although she has won numerous US and World gold medals, has never won Olympic gold.

As for a built in advantage, I call BS on that. Her main advantage was being an athlete who is extremely competitive (much like Apollo, Jerry, Emmit, or Helio).

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As for a built in advantage, I call BS on that. Her main advantage was being an athlete who is extremely competitive (much like Apollo, Jerry, Emmit, or Helio).

I agree SugarB

We have also had many guys to that were boy band dancers and had dancing experience.

I say Kristi is just a hard worker and tough competitor.

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Kristi was the best dancer and got even better during the season and deserved to win. She did have a built in advantage imho. Apollo, Jerry, Emmit, or Helio were athletes, yes, but not in dance. Apollo is a speed/track skater, Jerry a football player, Emmit a football player and Helio a race car driver, none of them as far as I know had dance experience. Occasionally, they have had singer/dancers and I feel they too should not be recruited for the show. Several of them have either won or gotten 2nd place. In previous years you had Mel, two guys from boy bands who danced and you had Mario and Sabrina too. All of them started ahead of those who actually had no professional dance experience at all and most of the time they did better and made it to the end. So yes, if you are an actor or athlete who is taking the risk of embarrassing himself/herself on national TV, I think they deserve a contest where no one has previous professional dance experience.

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