Olympics a busy season for 2002 gold-medalist Sarah Hughes
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It may seem odd to have Sarah Hughes at a Super Bowl meet-and-greet with Jets fans near Penn Station.
But as the 2002 Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater exclaimed with typical gusto on Thursday, "I'm a New Yorker!"
That she is. Now 28, the Great Neck native arrived at One Penn Plaza from Rockefeller Center after an appearance on "The Today Show" in preparation for her work for NBC at the upcoming Sochi Games.
Hughes breezed in wearing a red, white and blue scarf and mingled with Olympians from 2010 who were also present for the event.
"I'm the oldest one here!" Hughes said with a laugh.
Hughes has a lot going on. First up is appearing on a figure skating wrap-up show during the Olympics on NBCOlympics.com.
"We'll talk about what happened, what to look for, we'll have special guests," she said. "There's three more days of figure skating this year. So a lot of figure skating."
Hughes is also going to appear on an "American Legends of the Ice" show on NBC this Saturday with skaters such as Brian Boitano, Dick Button and Nancy Kerrigan. Hughes skated in matching outfits with her 9-year-old niece, Alexandra Parker.
Asked if she considered herself a legend, Hughes chuckled and said, "They consider me a legend. I just always consider myself a figure skater, a fan and now for NBC I'll be doing some analysis and commentary. But first and foremost I'm a Long Islander!"
Hughes is also working with former Rangers great Mark Messier on a project to bring a massive ice skating rink complex to the unused Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx.
"We're looking to build nine ice skating rinks," she said. "It'll be the largest ice rink facility in the world. It's an exciting project. We've been working on it for a long time."