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Icebreaker

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Overview

Those present at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, California, witnessed nothing less than a miracle: a series of flawless, transcendent performances that whirled Rudy Galindo to his surprise win. But the true miracle was that he competed at all. In this candid, inspiring autobiography, Rudy Galindo reveals the personal and professional challenges that nearly destroyed his career, but which ultimately gave him the push he needed to achieve his lifelong dream - and earned him a place alongside the...
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Overview

Those present at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, California, witnessed nothing less than a miracle: a series of flawless, transcendent performances that whirled Rudy Galindo to his surprise win. But the true miracle was that he competed at all. In this candid, inspiring autobiography, Rudy Galindo reveals the personal and professional challenges that nearly destroyed his career, but which ultimately gave him the push he needed to achieve his lifelong dream - and earned him a place alongside the great champions in figure skating history. As a young, gay Mexican-American from a working-class family, Rudy grew up in a neighborhood where drugs and gangs were far more prevalent than Olympic hopefuls. But his future was bright: hard work earned him two U.S. pairs skating championships with partner Kristi Yamaguchi - and they seemed headed for Olympic gold. His hopes were dashed when Kristi decided to go it alone. Despondent, his career in crisis, Rudy soon faced even greater personal trials. Within six years he would lose his brother, George, and two coaches to AIDS, and his father to a heart attack. Feeling cursed and hopeless, Rudy fell into a period of self-destructive behavior and an eight-month hiatus from training that almost marked the end of his career. Supported by his beloved sister, Laura, Rudy got back out on the ice, where he discovered something far more elusive than a gold medal: a sense of inner peace. With Laura as his dedicated coach, Rudy overcame many hurdles, including his decision to go public with his sexual orientation. At the 1996 Nationals he trusted his own artistic instincts for the first time, and delivered two stunning programs that brought the electrified crowd to its feet, and to joyous tears. No one could deny the poetic beauty of Rudy's achievement.

Here is the emotionally wrenching and inspiring autobiography of the first openly gay figure skater--world bronze medalist Rudy Galindo. 16 pp. photo insert. 304 pp. Print ads. National publicity. 48,000 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rumor has had it that many male figure skaters are homosexual. Galindo was the first to declare his gay orientation; his sometimes startling candor is revealed throughout this autobiography: "When I had sex for the first time, I didn't know I needed to practice safe sex.... you might find that hard to believe. But I was completely immersed in my skating." The youngest of three children of a Mexican American family, with a father who was supportive but tyrannical and a mother who was periodically institutionalized, Galindo grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in San Jose, Calif. His elder brother, George, also gay, was banished from the house after he came out to his parents, served a prison sentence and eventually died of AIDS. A successful young singles skater, the author joined Kristi Yamaguchi to win the U.S. National Pairs Championship in 1989 and 1990, but she decided to go her own way in 1990. Galindo was devastated but, after many vicissitudes, including the death of his father, he triumphed in the singles, winning the U.S. National Championship and finishing third in the World Championships in 1996. Much of his success he attributes to the self-sacrifice of his sister, Laura; and with the help of Marcus, who collaborated last with Greg Louganis in Breaking the Surface, Galindo reveals his debt to her and to supportive friends. The result is a moving autobiography. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Galindo has faced more than his share of barriers on the road to fame and glory in the figure skating world. He grew up in a working-class Mexican American family, and many sacrifices had to be made to enable him to pursue an expensive dream. Although he and his partner, Kristi Yamaguchi, appeared to be headed for the Olympics, Yamaguchi ultimately decided to go the singles route. His mother suffered from mental illness, his father died of a heart attack, he was openly homosexual, and his brother and two coaches died of AIDS. However, Galindo's fortitude and determination enabled him to become the U.S. men's figure skating champion in 1996. With the help of writer Marcus, coauthor of Greg Louganis's biography Breaking the Surface (Random, 1995), Galindo smoothly invites the reader to share in his struggles and triumphs. Recommended.J. Sara Paulk, Coastal Plain Regional Lib., Tifton, Ga.
Kirkus Reviews
Tonya Harding is not the only figure skater born on the worng side of the tracks—and others, like Rudy Galindo, have achieved respect along with their success. Galindo—a gay Mexican-American who grew up in a trailer park—pulled off a stunning coup in 1996, winning the men's title at the US National Figure Skating Championships; he followed that with the bronze medal at the world championships. It was a wonderful triumph for the 26-year-old Galindo, after a halting career punctuated by tragedy: the deaths of his father, coach, and brother. With the help of Eric Marcus (Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 19451990), Galindo writes in straightforward, unself-pitying prose of his anger when Kristi Yamaguchi ended their successful pairs partnership; his difficulties at home with a manic-depressive mother; and the question of whether the US Figure Skating Association held him back because of his homosexuality. His story is more edifying than Ekaterina Gordeeva's—but can he join her on the bestseller list?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671003913
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 5/1/1998
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 0.63 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2001

    The All-American Boy

    'Icebreaker' reads like something out of a 1930s movie or the 'Rocky' series--triumph over tragedy. Rudy Galindo grew up in a trailer, his father a long-distance (and much-absent) truck driver; his mother manic-depressive. The family just managed to stay at the upper end of poor. Galindo's older brother developed AIDS. Galindo fell in love with figure-skating and, as in the rest of his life, pursued it with a passion. Early as a teen he was paired off with Kristi Yamaguchi--a mixed blessing, because even as the duo were setting records they knew there was a time they would have to split up and go solo. 'Icebreaker' is upfront about Galindo's homosexuality, but there was a time when he got hassled by the skating establishment for wearing too 'flamboyant' costumes when he skated. To his everlasting credit, he ignored them and went on to become the number-3 solo male skater in the world. Not just the USA--the world. Rudy is a professional skater now, and he has some pointed opinions in this book about the perils of excessive juvenile skating competition for those who are willing to listen. Skating enthusiasts will enjoy the extensive technical vocabulary in this book; I just held on and enjoyed the ride. A very good read about a very admirable young man who is a role model in several different ways

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