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Californian girl? Chinese girl? Figure Skater? American? A legend? An icon? A role model? A fun-loving girl?
Michelle Kwan is all these....and more!
She is famous as an American figure skater. But she is a legend because she has led a life of hard work and dedication towards becoming a better person.
In 2002, kids voted her as their Favorite Female Athlete at Time for Kids.
This is what Michelle Kwan wants kids to know about success:
o Sometimes you need to sacrifice to achieve goals and dreams,
o The importance of loving and respecting family and elders
o And not to forget: doing something because it’s fun!
She is praised by many observers as a metaphor for sanity in her sport, the multi-dimensional, well-rounded young adult emerging from a sport that demands an almost-mindless devotion from its tiny teen stars.
serves as a national spokesperson for the Children's Miracle Network
About her future, the popular skater said she aspires to be "the Michael Jordan of my sport."
"You always keep on going at it and hope for the best," she said. "What you give is what you give back."
Her Chinese name is Kwan Wing Shan Nickname: Shelly
Michelle Kwan wears a gold dragon necklace which her Grandma gave her many years ago.
When she was younger, she had a pet squirrel with a big bushy tail and evil eyes.
Her favorite actors are Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Pastimes: Biking, bowling, swimming
Earnings: $1 million a year from tours and promotions
CHILDHOOD AND FAMILY
Michelle was the third child of Danny and
Estella Kwan, born on
At age five, Michelle's parents took her to one of Ron's ice hockey games. It was here, that Michelle decided she too would like to lace up the skates. Little did she know that this was a decision that would forever change her life.
"I was wearing rental skates and eating Nerds candy," she remembered.
To pay for her childhood skating lessons, Kwan's parents mortgaged their home. "I learned from my parents that if you work hard enough, your dream just might come true," said the popular Kwan.
By 1990, the Kwan's hired esteemed coach
Frank Carroll to lead and train Michelle towards championship level skating.
Such a decision did not come without sacrifice, as the parents lived between
two cities so Michelle could train in
From: Michelle Kwan, An American Icon http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/j/r/jrp227/assignment6.html
TEEN AND YOUNG ADULT
At age seventeen, Kwan was a "normal" teen -- a serious bargain shopper who loved roller coasters and music (but not head-banger music); a teen who kept a diary and swooned over Brad Pitt!
Michelle decided to go to university, to have a normal life. From an article Michelle Kwan By Amy Klein:
“In class, Michelle, a Chinese-American, looks like any other university student. Wearing a baseball cap and no makeup, she's yawning after a sleepless night of studying.
But outside of class, Michelle Kwan leads a very different life. Just 21 years old. She has already won four World Figure Skating Championships and the 1998 Olympic sliver medal . She stars in skating shows , commercials, TV specials and even a new video game. But Michelle doesn't skate for the money and fame. Since childhood, skating has given her joy-and plenty of challenges.
"It gets harder every year." She says. But she still finds joy in skating.”
Sometimes, she escapes to her childhood as the time she was spotted skating at a pond:
Kwan wanted to be a child again, to be the 12-year-old who delighted herself with every new jump. When she talked at the beginning of the season about going back and finding the motivation again, that was what she meant. Back to a place where there was only a girl with a ponytail and an open sheet of ice.
finds that sweet spot, and everything melts away By
At age 15, Kwan was the
She even struggled against her own body: Like most teenagers' bodies, Kwan's was changing. The natural development of her figure, and the 10 pounds of weight that came with it, made many of her spins and jumps more difficult.
These obstacles caused her to
stumble several times at the Nationals at
"After my performance, I said, 'Hit me, Dad. Wake me up.' It was like someone else took over my body. My evil twin skated for me. But I threw her away. She doesn't live here anymore."
Olympic dreams were nearly shattered when it was discovered between November
and December that she had a stress fracture in her left toe. Her doctors were
optimistic that if she stayed off the foot, she could have the chance to be
recovered in time to skate at the
Her magnificent performance caused observers to begin comparing her to the greatest skaters in history.
"I love competing .I love the challenge. "Michelle's love of challenges shows today as she juggles skating with university studies. "I want more than just to be a skater," she says.
Source: 2 WHO MADE DEFEAT WORK FOR THEM by Bob Herzog and http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/j/r/jrp227/assignment6.html - Michelle Kwan, An American Icon
the only one
--She is the only skater in history with her own video game: Michelle Kwan Figure Skating, by EA Sports.
The winner of more perfect 6.0 marks than any other female skater in history
She began skating at age 5 and won her first competition at 7.
Michelle won her first World Junior Championship at 13.
After winning four of the past five World Figure Skating Championships, she won the bronze medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
She is a five-time recipient of SKATING magazine's Readers' Choice Award for figure skater of the year.
1985 : 5 yrs. old
A star is born!
Sees elder brother Ron play ice hockey. Becomes interested in figure skating
Starts to figure-skate with elder sister Karen
1986 : 6 yrs. old
The first win
Enters her first skating competition and finishes first
1992: 11 yrs. old
Coach Caroll comes into her life
Coach Frank Caroll sees Michelle skate: athletic skills, joy, but no discipline! He decides she needs a coach.
1993: 12 yrs. old :
Youngest lady competitor of all time
1994: Carefree 13 years old
The Promise of things to come
The finest program of her young career; the audience boos the judges’ decision.
Judges want a less child-like figure skater
1996: 15 yrs. old
Becomes world champion
captures all of figure- skating's biggest crowns.
Armed with a more mature look, makeup, a shorter hairstyle, and much faster
and sophisticated skating, Michelle Kwan wins 9 of the 10 competitions she
enters that year. She claims her first
1997: 16 yrs. old
Didn’t go quite as well, as her body changed and her confidence was shaken by the idea that she was defending her championships. Even so, she placed 2nd at both the National and World Championships. Rivalry with 14 year-old Tara Lipinski who won both championships
1998 : 17 yrs. old
Wins a silver medal at the Winter Olympics
No giving up
Wins 3 of the 4 World Championships and all four U.S. Championships
Bronze at the Olympics
faces disappointment at the 2002 Olympics by winning the bronze medal in
The most victorious
Skates a flawless
program to "Aranjuez" to win her 7th
Source: Michelle Kwan, An American Icon http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/j/r/jrp227/assignment6.html -
Kwan, Michelle. Encyclopedia Britannica
Kwan, Michelle. Heart of a Champion: An autobiography.
Kwan, Michelle. My Special Moments.
Klein,Amy.Michelle Kwan Graphics by rita liu Talent+hard work +love of skating=world champion http://e365.cc163.net/topic/topic16.htm
Winfield, Heather. The Michelle Kwan Fanpage. [Updated
2 WHO MADE DEFEAT WORK FOR THEM by Bob
AN INTERVIEW WITH WORLD CHAMPION MICHELLE KWAN - by Michael Boo, American Skating World.
Kids Voice Their Choices! by
Dina El Nabli TIME FOR KIDS -
Kwan, Michelle. Encyclopedia
Britannica 2003 Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Kwan, Michelle. Heart of a Champion: An
Kwan, Michelle. My Special
Winfield, Heather. The
Michelle Kwan Fanpage. [Updated
Michelle Kwan, Heart of a Champion: an
autobiography, by Michelle Kwan as told to Laura James.
Michelle Kwan, by Sam
Michelle Kwan By Amy klein/Graphics by rita liu Talent+hard work +love of skating=world champion http://e365.cc163.net/topic/topic16.htm
Michelle Kwan, An American Icon http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/j/r/jrp227/assignment6.html
MICHELLE KWAN FRONT AND CENTER THIS WEEKEND
by Christine Brennan ,