TODAY | December 16, 2013
>>> well, the excitement is building for the winter games in sochi russia. tara lipinski brought home the gold medal at the 1998 games at just 15 years old. she became the youngest person ever to win gold and now she will join us in sochi in february as an analyst for nbc olympics. good morning.
>> good morning.
>> we have a big routine planned; we do. pretty big.
>> how are you feeling about skating pairs with me.
>> i'm a little nervous. it's our debut but i think we'll do good.
>> i noticed we didn't clear the ice which concerns me. there's so many nice people that have come from around the world and they're in harms way. i'll be honest with you.
>> energy. it will give us energy. we have a very dramatic program.
>> we do. let's talk about the real skaters. handicap the field. anybody can take her on this time?
>> yes, her biggest rival is from japan. she hasn't had the ideal olympic season. she just had her first event and she wasn't perfect and if anyone can put out perfection when it counts it's her. but she has been doing really well this year. undefeated at every event.
>> you call her the best technical skater you have ever seen.
>> it's unbelievable. i have done it and i watch and i'm in awe.
>> she is perfect.
>> there's are some americans that could take a run at the podium. who should we be looking at?
>> ashley wagner is the favorite. she's had a great season. she's going to have to bring it. there's a lot of good skaters this year. we have gracie who stormed on the team last year. she is brilliant. triple triples. and then a third spot with a toss up there.
>> we have three spots this year. what advice would you give to the americans as someone that's been there and been in the bright spotlight, what would you tell young women ?
>> just enjoy the olympic experience. there's no other event like it and you can get caught up with so much about the ice and your programs and all the pressure. but if you just look around you realize this is the best thing ever. all of these athletes not just skaters and you're representing your country, it's the best.