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   Nicole Bobek was born on August 23, 1977 in Chicago,  Illinois. Her mother, Jana and her grandmother were both figure skaters in the Czech Republic who immigrated to the United States in the 1960's.  Her grandfather, also from the Czech Republic was a famous composer.  
   Nicole is best known for her infectious personality both on and off the ice.  She is considered one of the most charming artists of her time. In 1995,  Nicole realized her childhood dream when she became United States champion with her elegant interpretation to the film score, Dr Zhivago. The following month, she won the bronze medal at the World Championships.  
   In January of 1998,  her ultimate goal was realized  when she was selected to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. Following a disappointing 17th place finish at the Olympics,  Nicole nixed her plans to turn professional by opting to stay amateur one more season with the intent of finishing her eligible career on a high note.  
   Her 1999 season began with a few difficult performances in various international competitions. However, as she neared the US Nationals, Nicole began consistently landing her triple jumps which culminated in victories at the World Team Challenge and The Canadian Open. A major health problem forced her to withdraw from the US Nationals and her season came to an untimely end. In the spring of 2000, Nicole joined the professional figure skating ranks, where she signed a four year contract with the popular Champions on Ice tour and accepted invitations to several pro competitions.
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Photo by Jay Adeff for Ice Skating Magazine