Grace Under Pressure with Peggy Fleming

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In 1968, a teenage girl in a chartreuse dress delivered a breath-taking free-skating program that captured the only winter Olympics gold medal for the United States. Peggy Fleming continued to earn the highest marks in her skating career, but she deserved even higher marks for her grace under pressure off the ice. Possessing that rare ability to learn and grow from all of life's experiences--even the worst setbacks--without feeling sorry for herself, Peggy Fleming coped with the death of the entire U.S. Figure Skating Team (including her coach) at only twelve years of age. Her biggest personal challenge was a bout with breast cancer. Her solid advice is for all women, everywhere. "My heart goes out to anyone who has to go through it, it's frightening, and it's tough. When I got my diagnosis, I treated it like the Olympics. I tried to stay positive and told my doctor I was going to be the best patient he'd ever had." (hosted by Michael Toms)


Fleming has won five U.S. figure skating titles, three World titles and an Olympic gold medal.

She is the author of:

  • The Long Program: Skating Toward Life's Victories (Pocket 1999)

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Powerful advice on coping with cancer
  • Glimpses into the extraordinary personal life of Peggy Fleming
  • How Fleming's family coped with the hard economic realities of their daughter's skating career
  • How to deal with Olympic level pressure
  • Fleming's perspective on the ice-skating profession and other famous skaters
  • How the skating profession has changed in the last thirty years
Host: Michael Toms       Interview Date: 10/15/1999       Program Number: 2795