Skip to main content
Tara Lipinski
Photo: Gary Gershoff/WireImage via Getty

Tara Lipinski

  • Publish date:
Tara Lipinski is an American figure skater who became the youngest Olympian to win gold in the individual ladies' singles event in 1998. She currently serves as a TV commentator with figure skater Johnny Weir.

Who Is Tara Lipinski?

Tara Lipinski is an American figure skater, who, at the age of 15, became the youngest Olympic champion to win gold in the individual ladies' singles category at the 1998 Olympics in Japan. She also became the youngest World champion when she won the title in 1997. 

Beginning in 2014, Lipinski began working as an NBC sports commentator with fellow figure skater Johnny Weir, and together, they're set to cover the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Early Life

Born on June 10, 1982, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Tara Kristen Lipinski is the daughter of parents Patricia and Jack Lipinski. Her mother worked as a secretary, while her father was a lawyer and oil executive.

Lipinski grew up in New Jersey and began taking ice skating lessons in 1988. In 1993 she moved to Delaware to train and eventually landed in Detroit to work with famed figure skating coach Richard Callaghan.

She made her national debut at the 1994 U.S. Olympic Festival competition and won an historical gold medal. From there, she continued to climb the competitive ladder, winning various national and international championships.

1998 Olympics

With figure skater Michelle Kwan as her main competition at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Lipinski fell in second place to Kwan after the short program. 

However, she edged Kwan out for the gold medal in her long program when she achieved seven triples, including a history-making triple loop/triple loop combination and finishing off with a triple toe/half loop/triple Salchow.

Lipinski's win not only made her the youngest female Olympic gold medalist in figure skating but also the youngest in the individual category.

Scroll to Continue


Representative Deb Haaland, a Democrat from New Mexico, speaks during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, June 29, 2020. The hearing is titled "U.S. Park Police Attack on Peaceful Protesters at Lafayette Square Park." Photographer: Bonnie Cash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Deb Haaland

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 09: John Major attends the annual Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph on Whitehall on November 9, 2014 in London, United Kingdom. People across the UK gather to pay tribute to service personnel who have died in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts, with this year taking on added significance as it is the centenary of the outbreak of World War One. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

John Major

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 1: Jason Collins #35 of the New Jersey Nets poses for a portrait during NBA Media Day at the Nets Practice Facility on October 1, 2007 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by Ed Jimenez/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jason Collins

Other Figure Skating Accolades

With her signature triple loop/triple loop jump combination, Lipinski has won numerous awards. Among them, she was crowned World champion as well as U.S. national champion in 1997 and also became a Champion Series Final champion twice in 1997 and 1998.

After her gold medal win in 1998, Lipinski announced her desire to turn professional and subsequently skated in pro-competitions events such as Ice Wars and toured extensively with Stars on Ice. In 1999 she made history again by becoming the youngest person to win the World Professional Figure Skating Championships.

Television Appearances

Lipinski has appeared in a multitude of television shows such as Touched By an Angel, Malcolm in the Middle, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and 7th Heaven. She also had a cameo in the movie Vanilla Sky

Lipinski and Johnny Weir

In 2013 NBC announced Lipinski would be a sports commentator for the Sochi Winter Games, pairing her with figure skating champion and fellow Olympian Johnny Weir. The duo resonated with audiences and used social media to bring in new fans.

“We brought in a lot of people that never watch figure skating at all," Lipinski said. "We really don’t know, [but] we go off of our Instagram and our Twitter.” Lipinski and Weir were so well received that they were asked to cover every major figure skating event for the network going forward.

Lipinski and Weir have also graduated beyond the ice skating rink and positioned themselves as lifestyle personalities. They worked the red carpet as fashion commentators at the 86th Academy Awards and have also appeared at the Kentucky Derby in 2014, the Super Bowl in 2015 and the National Dog Show in 2017, among other high profile events. 

Personal Life

In June 2017 Lipinski married television producer Todd Kapostasy in Charleston, South Carolina. TV partner Weir attended the wedding, serving as Lipinski's "bridesman."


Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!