I would like to take this time to welcome everyone to my page. It is dedicated to one of the best figure skaters of all times MICHELLE KWAN!!!
TO ANY ONE WHO HAD VISITED MY PAGE IN THE PAST. I HAD COMPUTER TROUBLE SO I HAVE TO REBUILD MY PAGE FROM SCRATCH. SO DO NOT DISPAIR IF YOU DO NOT SEE SOME OF THE PREVIOUS THINGS. I AM WORKING TO MAKE MY PAGE BETTER!!!!
CONGRATULATIONS TO MICHELLE KWAN ON BEING A 4 TIME WORLD CHAMP!!!!!!
Michelle was born of July 7th, 1980 in her hometown of
Torrance California. She began skating at the age of five after
watching her brothers playing hockey. After watching 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist Brian Boitano acomplish his dream, Michelle knew what she wanted to do: She was determined that she would someday go to the Olympics.
Michelle's parents always made sure that Michelle would "Work hard, be herself, and have fun." This became Michelle's motto, and certainly expressed all aspects of Michelle's skating. After sneaking behind her
coach (Frank Carroll)'s back, Michelle applied for Senior status
before Frank thought she was ready (at the age of 12!!!), but Michelle was accepted....
Michelle spent her first few years as a senior skater behind the
shadows of other American skaters, and was sent to Lillihammer
for the 1994 Olympic games as an alternate, should Nancy Kerrigan
not be ready, or should the USFSA force Tonya Harding to withdraw. That was a very interesting year for Michelle, filled with valuable experiences in her first World Championships. Michelle placed 8th, and assured the US team two places on next years team.
In the 1995 Nationals, Michelle placed second to Nicole Bobek, who
later earned a bronze medal in the 1995 World Championships. Michelle
placed 4th that year in the worlds, despite the fact that she had
skated a clean program. From feedback by judges, Michelle realized
that the judges wanted to see more of a young lady than a girl. So
Michelle did away with her pony-tail and changed to a sophisticated
bun, along with makeup to make her look more mature. She worked
long and hard on improving the artistic side of her skating. And
in the 95-96 season, Michelle unvailed her Salome program, bringing
a new and exotic style to her skating. The judges and the world
were in awe of her new-found maturity and beauty, and she went on
to win both the national and world titles. The world title was
particularly a tear-jerker for Michelle, that competition being
one of her biggest goals.
With those gold medals behind her, Michelle began the 1996-97 season
winning nearly all of her competitions. Michelle was deemed
unbeatable, and I, myself, nearly expected her to win the nationals
with not trouble at all. But what can you do when a win is expected
of you by an entire country? Well, for Michelle, her emphasis moved
from skating, to winning, and under the immense pressure by her
country and most of all herself, Michelle stumbled in Nationals, and
later in the Champions series soon after. However Michelle was not
out of the running. After placing 4th after the short program of
Worlds, Michelle finally realized that skating isn't about winning,
but about being an artist on ice. The tragic death of her close friend, Harris, along with the death of Carlo Fassi and Scott Hamilton's ilness, Michelle got new perspective on her skating. She went on to win the long program,
and would have won the entire event, had some of the other skaters
scored a little higher. For her long program, Michelle skated like
she had earlier that season and the season before - for the true
love of her sport. And that is why she has my respect and admiration.
The 1997-1998 Olympic Season got off to a wonderful start as Michelle competed in Skate America. I honestly could not see how Michelle's artistic expression could have gotten any better, but Michelle was captivating in her short program, skated to Rachmanninoff piano conertos. She also introduced a new long program skated to "Lyra Angelica", which means "Angel's Song". This presented Michelle in a different way from the exotic and dramatic toned performances of the past two seasons. The program was not about any biblical charaters, or Indian love stories. The program was about Michelle and her personality. She finished her program with a look of absolute happiness. She took first place in the first competition of the Olympic Season.
Things got a little rough a month or so later, when Michelle competed at Skate Canada. At the end of her program, Michelle had a strange fall on her simple butterfly jump. Everyone was kind of confused: what a silly mistake for Michelle to make. However, little did Michelle know at the time that it was really a stress fracture in her left toe. Things got a little bleak for the rest of 1997. Michelle's spirits were down a little as she had to sit out of the NHK Trophy and the Champions Series Finals. However, Michelle got back to training in small intervals, and kept herself strong off the ice. Nobody was sure of how she would be in the 1998 Nationals in the beginning of January. In this competition, Michelle had to switch some jumps and choreography around to accomodate for her pain. This meant replacing easy, but painful jumps (like the triple toe loop) with harder jumps (like the triple flip). Michelle's practices were okay, but not too revealing on how she would actually do in the competition.
But the day soon came, and on January 8th, 1998, Michelle performed the short program of her life. Everyone was holding their breath as she flawlessly performed her lutz/toe combination and her triple flip (which she was having lots of problems with). Michelle was radiant when she finished that program, and sat down to see the scoreboard light up with seven 6.0's for presentation. This was wonderful- Michelle was in first place at a competition she wasn't sure if she could hold up for. However, the worst part was yet to come. The long program included all the jumps she had struggled with, in addition to the two jumps which hurt her (the triple salchow and the triple toe loop). People all over America were nervously pinned to the screen (like me!!) and watched as one jump after another were delivered with perfect ease. Michelle just beamed the whole program, with a smile of complete joy showing through after she landed her second triple lutz. All anyone could say was WOW. THat's what the judges said too: they awarded her EIGHT 6.0's for a total of 15 from the whole competition. Michelle triumphantly won her title back.
Another chapter of Michelle's story was written at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, where Michelle Kwan rallied to win a silver medal to fellow American, Tara Lipinski. The dissappointment and sadness were present, but Michelle held her head up and accepted her silver medal with maturity and dignity. Many, including myself, wish that Michelle had been able to skate later, when the scores would not have been held back. However, what will be, will be. Maybe Michelle wasn't meant for Olympic Gold this year. However, the future still looks bright for Michelle: she has assured the world that she will fight to the 2002 Olympic Games. Her fight took her to a second World title this past April in her home country. Despite a slip on a double axel and the doubling of a salchow, Michelle skated an otherwise wonderful program and won herself the title. In addition to that title, Michelle won the 1998 Goodwill Games title with spirited and emotional final performances of her Olympic Programs. What Michelle plans to do for the upcoming season remains a mystery, but regardless of the gold medals that Michelle Kwan wins, she will always be remembered as a true champion in every sense of the word
Misc. Michelle Information
Michelle is now 5'2", weighs 106 lbs, and trains in Lake Arrowhead
California with her coach, Frank Carroll, and her choreographers
Lori Nichol and Elena Tcherkassky. Her sister, Karen, another acomplished skater from the Kwan family, is now at college in Boston. Karen and Michelle are not only
sisters, but best friends who support each other and share
in each other's joys and disapointments. Michelle always wears a
gold Chinese good luck charm around her neck (given to her by her
grandmother). She loves to do charity
work as a spokesperson for the Children's Miracle Network, and she
makes time to visit hospitals in the LA area where she donates
the stuffed animals she receives at shows and competitions to the
For a detailed account of Michelle's story from Michelle herself, check out her book: Michelle Kwan: Heart of a Champion. It's a great story.