Michelle's FAN STORY
I became a Tara fan the first time I saw her skate on TV, during the 1997 National Championships. It has been my dream ever since to meet her. I have attended Stars on Ice every year she has been in it, but never had the opportunity to meet her. That was until I heard about Limited Too's Passion for Fashion tour...
I remember reading about it for the first time...wishing and hoping that my parents would be willing to drive from our house in a small town south of Dallas, to the mall in Lewisville. I was in luck! They understand how much I admire Tara, and like watching skating quite a bit too. They enjoy SOI almost as much as I do!!
We arrived at the mall and found the Limited Too store. We asked the employees there about the possiblilty that Tara would be signing autographs after the show. They were skeptical, saying it could or could not happen, depending on what Tara wanted to do. But of course, that only gave me hope. We all know of Tara's amazing dedication to her fans. There was already a line of one or two people forming at the store so my mom got in the line while my dad and I went to watch the rest of the show.
We got to the show during the lip synching contest. We were standing at the back of the crowd, and as I was looking around for Tara I saw the judges' chairs set up behind us and there she was! I couldn't believe it. I always thought that being on the front row at Stars on Ice would be the closest I would ever get to Tara, but I was wrong! After awhile the lip synching ended and I turned to look at Tara, but she was not in her chair. I turned back around just in time to feel someone brush up against my shoulder as they walked by. Tara was making her way to the stage, and had walked right past me. Looking back on it, I'm sure I should have said "Hi Tara" or something, but I am a very shy person!! The cat had my tongue, and it didn't want to let go. It was also kind of strange, because even thought I know she is only 5'1", she never seemed that tiny until I saw her next to me (I am 5'4").
Right before the show ended, in order to avoid a crowd, my dad and I walked back to the store to get in line with my mom. We were 3rd in line. I could hardly believe I was so close to realizing my dream. I just knew Tara would stick around. Then, sure enough Tara and Erin were escorted into the store and the line started moving at last. With me I had brought my Triumph on Ice book and the SOI program from 98-99. They informed us that only one item could be signed per person, so my mom took the program to be signed for me. When it was my turn, I saw first hand that everything said about Tara's dedication to her fans is true. She was extremely friendly, which helped a lot considering I was tongue tied, and I could hardly say hi!! It all seemed over in an instant, but I will treasure the memory forever. I still get my book out all the time, flip to the page with the autograph of my ultimate role model, and remember nearly every detail of that day. We stayed until Tara left, and watched her sign more autographs, take more pictures, give more smiles. Then, when the line was gone, the bodyguards began to escort her away. She had hardly gone out the door when she stopped, bent over, and signed a few more autographs for some other fans that had been overlooked. She finally left only after she had made certain that every fan present had and opportunity to meet her.
Now I would like to end my story by saying a very big thank you to Tara Lipinski. I want her, along with all the other Tara Fans out there to be reminded that Tara is right: Always believe in your dreams.
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