Good gig! Olympian Nancy Kerrigan hits the ice once again in a new ABC TV special, and this time her costars are extra special. Her kids, Matthew, 19, Brian, 11, and Nicole, 8, will skate alongside her in the Muscleman's Apple Sauce Family Skating Tribute, airing Sunday, November 27 on ABC.
"It's a family special," the two-time Olympic medalist tells Us, "So my kids skate with me, which is special, because they aren't professional skaters."
While they're not going for the gold on the ice, Kerrigan says her children are into activities of their own. Explains the mom of three, "They're so busy — the two younger ones do gymnastics — my son Brian is at the gym six days a week, so he doesn't have a lot of time to get on the ice and create his number. And my daughter is at the gym four days a week and at ballet two days a week. And then my oldest, Matthew, is working, he's in the theater, doing costume design. So it's challenging just to get the three of them together, let alone find time to practice!"
But will the budding gymnasts compete for Team USA? Kerrigan says she won't push them. "Brian already has said, 'I want to go to the Olympics!' But they're so young, they don't really realize how hard that is. I think they think, 'How hard could it be? My mom did it!'"
And they don't want to take her medals for show and tell. "They've seen my medal when I've taken it out or brought it someplace, I think they think it's cool," says Kerrigan. "I think they are proud of me, but we never really talk about it! They aren't like, 'Wow, Mom!' They are happier with their own trophies!"
Emphasizing that she could never be a stage mom, she explains, "If they don't want to do it anymore, I'll say, 'Then let's not go.' It's a lot of commitment, and it's a lot for an 11-year-old. They have to keep it in perspective. So any time they need a break, I say, 'Oh, you don't want to go today? That's OK! You're 11!'"
Even though she's an Olympic legend, Kerrigan, who now lives with her family just outside of Boston, says she's just like Us — a superbusy mom whose kids come first. Of her regular schedule, she says, "I'm driving, hurrying home to change the laundry, and then driving again! And wishing we could all eat dinner together but rushing around and eating on the go. They love it. I'm here to support them as long as they love it. It's my job to just be supportive at this point."
And the best thing about carpooling? "Sometimes the best thing to do is give them advice while you're driving around with them in the car — then they're trapped and they have to listen to you!"
Muscleman's Apple Sauce Family Skating Tribute airs on on ABC Sunday, November 27, at 2 p.m. P.T. and 3 p.m. E.T.