Rudy Galindo is the third child of Jess and Margaret Galindo, having a brother, George, who was ten years older and sister, Laura, five years older. He began skating with his sister. Although the sport was expensive, his parents were supportive and forewent a chance to buy a house, settling instead for a larger trailer.
As a singles career, Galindo won the 1987 World Junior title.
Galindo was paired with Kristi Yamaguchi by his coach, Jim Hulick. They placed 5th on the junior level at the 1985 U.S. Championships and won the junior title in 1986. Hulick died of AIDS-related cancer in 1989. Galindo did not compete in singles in the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons in order to concentrate on pairs. Galindo and Yamaguchi won the 1988 World Junior title and the U.S. senior championships in 1989 and 1990. However, in April 1990, their partnership came to an end when Yamaguchi decided to focus on her singles career. As there was no one of her caliber available, Galindo returned to singles competition.
Rudy Galindo's father died of a heart attack in 1993, his brother, George, died from AIDS in 1994, as did another coach, Rick Inglesi, in 1995. Galindo took eight months off after the 1995 U.S. Championships. However, with the following year's event in his hometown, presenting a chance to compete in front of his mother who no longer traveled, he decided to resume training in September 1995. In January 1996, he won the men's title at the U.S. Championships at the San Jose Arena, becoming the oldest male to win this title in 70 years. He went on to win a bronze medal at the 1996 World Championships. His sister, Laura, was his coach.
Galindo retired from eligible competition in the summer of 1996 and toured with Tom Collins' Champions on Ice. He underwent hip replacement surgery in August 2003 after finishing the season's tour with a broken femur on his left side. After recovering, Galindo continued to tour with COI until it went out of business in 2007. After residing a number of years in Reno, Nevada, Galindo moved back to San Jose, California. He coaches at Sharks Ice San Jose (Logitech Ice), the same rink where he trained during his competitive career. Among his students is Yamaguchi's daughter, Emma Hedican.
Galindo was inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
Galindo is of Mexican descent by way of his grandparents on his father's side. In 1996, he disclosed his homosexuality in Christine Brennan's book Inside Edge: A Revealing Journey Into the Secret World of Figure Skating (ISBN 0-385-48607-3), which was published shortly before he won his national title in 1996. He is the first openly gay skating champion in the U.S. He published his autobiography Icebreaker in 1997 (ISBN 0-671-00390-9). In 2000, he announced he was HIV positive.
In 2006, Galindo was a celebrity judge on the WE tv series Skating's Next Star, created and produced by Major League Figure Skating and hosted by Kristi Yamaguchi.
Inside Edge: A Revealing Journey into the Secret World of Figure Skating by Christine Brennan
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (January 20, 1997)
Amazon: Inside Edge: A Revealing Journey into the Secret World of Figure Skating
Figure skating is the most beautiful and mysterious of all sports. When the skaters are on the ice, every twitch of a muscle and every slip of a skate blade is visible for the world to see. In Inside Edge, Christine Brennan chronicles--for the first time--a season on the skating circuit, intimately portraying the lives, on and off the ice, of the sport's current and upcoming stars. Woven into the narrative are stories of figure skating luminaries past, present, and future--including Peggy Fleming, Katarina Witt, Brian Boitano, Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi, Nancy Kerrigan, Oksana Baiul, Michelle Kwan, Rudy Galindo, and Tara Lipinski. Revealing the backstage conflicts high-profile figure skaters face, and the ambition that drives them, Brennan also tells the stories of their families, of improbable rises to the top, and of wasted talents.
If skaters are perfect, they can become international heroes. But if they fall, if they miss a three-revolution jump on a quarter-inch blade of steel, the despair is theirs alone. This is their life on the edge, where decades of training culminate in little more than four crucial minutes on the ice. There is no other sport like it. There is no other story like theirs.
The figure skaters gathered slowly in the mahogany-paneled lobby of the majestic Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid, New York, flashing no smiles, barely saying a word. The collection of gregarious entertainers had been reduced to silent, wide-eyed stares. The crackling wood in the fireplace made the room's only noise.
They had met in hotel lobbies in fancy street clothes hundreds of times in the past, but never for an event as devastating as this. On a cold night in late November 1995, they were to travel through snowswept Adirondack mountain roads to a nearby funeral home for a private wake for Sergei Grinkov, their colleague and friend who died of a massive heart attack during a skating practice the day before.
Icebreaker the Autobiography of Rudy Galindo by Rudy Galindo
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Atria; 1St Edition edition (April 1, 1997)
Amazon: Icebreaker the Autobiography of Rudy Galindo
The U.S. Figure Skating champion reveals the personal and professional challenges that nearly destroyed his career, his difficult childhood in a violent neighborhood, his identity as a gay athlete, and his struggles with losing loved ones to AIDS.
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