SI: Now that you're a reporter, you're finally getting a sense of what it's like to work hard at the Games, right?
Hughes: Hey, I worked hard at the last Olympics.
SI: What's the best question you've asked in your new gig?
Hughes: I was with Michael Phelps's mom, and I asked her, "What are my chances of getting a date with Michael?"
SI: What did she say?
Hughes: She said since Michael and I are friends, she didn't think dinner would be too difficult.
SI: Have you gotten a chance to interview Australian softball pitcher Tanya Harding?
Hughes: No, but one time I did interview American boxer Tonya Harding.
SI: At Yale how often did you party with the Bush daughters?
Hughes: I think this a trick question (laughs).
SI: Are you going back to Yale next fall?
Hughes: I'll be going back to Yale often but not to take classes. I'll be skating on the Smuckers Stars on Ice tour. I got a year of Yale under my belt, and I made great friends, but it turned out I miss skating. This is a one-year thing, and afterward I'll see what I want to do regarding [the 2006 Games in] Torino. But ask me why I wanted to do the tour.
SI: O.K., why did you want to do the tour?
Hughes: Well, I figured if I want to find a boyfriend, I can go to every city in the country, find the cute boys and give them seats on the ice to watch me do what I do best.
SI: You were one of Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People of 2002. Are you still fascinating?
Hughes: I didn't even know if I was fascinating in 2002. Perhaps I'm two years more fascinating.
SI: So, what should Michael Phelps know about living life as an Olympic champion?
Hughes: That there are other very cute Olympic champions from America who were not in the Summer Games. --Richard Deitsch
For more from Sarah Hughes, go to si.com/siexclusive.
AL TIELEMANS (HUGHES)
DONNA MCWILLIAM/AP (HUGHES SKATING)