Kristi Yamaguchi Encourages Kids To “Always Dream”

Kristi Yamaguchi is a force to be reckoned with! She is an Olympic ice skating champion, the first woman to win Dancing with the Stars, and now she’s taking on children’s literature! The mom-of-two recently penned the inspirational tale, Dream Big Little Pig!, which encourages children to find their passion and follow their dreams.

Kristi – who is married to former Olympic/retired pro-hockey player, Bret Hedican – opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about their two adorable daughters, Keara, 7, and Emma, 5, her personal motto to “Always Dream,” and how motherhood has changed her.

CBS: Tell us about your new children’s picture book, Dream Big Little Pig! What inspired you to write a children’s book?

KY: “It’s about a little pig named Poppy who is trying to find her niche in life. She attempts a few different activities without finding any spark or magic. With encouragement from friends and family, she discovers ice skating and finds her passion. It’s all about determination and perseverance. I was inspired by my own children and their love of books.”

CBS: Did your kids help you write it?

KY: “They didn’t help me write it, but my older daughter Keara helped name Poppy the pig. And Emma my younger one has her name as Poppy’s best friend. They were a perfect test audience though when the manuscript was done. As long as they liked it, I felt good with it.”

CBS: Tell us about your two daughters, Keara & Emma. What are they into?

KY: “Keara is 7. She’s into art, skiing, gymnastics, hula dancing and playing. Emma is 5. She’s into ice skating, gymnastics, skiing and playing.”

CBS: Are your girls into ice sports like mom and dad?

KY: “They are both in group skating lessons. I don’t see the ‘spark’ there that I had, but I’m fine with that. I just hope they find something that they have a passion for.”

CBS: How has motherhood changed you? What are some of your favorite mom moments?

KY: “I now know what complete unconditional love is. I understand how parents will do anything in their power for the benefit of their children. I do find that I am a lot more cautious now as a mom. Some favorite mom moments – cuddling, seeing them laugh and smile, seeing them learn something new and the fascination that comes with it.”

CBS: We hear your personal motto is “Always Dream.” Tell us how you inspire your girls to “Always Dream.”

KY: “I want to try and give them opportunity to try many things and find that something special. I ask them every so often what they want to be when they grow up and then explain to them what they need to do to get there.”

CBS: It seems like you win at everything you do! You’re an Olympic champ and you were the first woman to win Dancing with the Stars. What’s next?

KY: “[Smiles]… well, I love a challenge! I hope my lifestyle brand ‘Kristi Yamaguchi’ will bring some fun, innovative products to market. The goal is to direct a portion of the proceeds to my Always Dream Foundation to support it’s work in early childhood literacy.”

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