"When I first got out it was a little overwhelming, but then I kind of loosened up. I felt like a star."
Michelle Kwan could be describing the feel of taking the ice in a big competition, such as the Goodwill Games, which begin in New York later this month. However, she's talking about posing for The Cable Guide in the middle of Times Square.
Come July 19, the world's attention will be focused on the Big Apple as athletes from more than 60 countries compete for medals and $5 million- the largest purse in multisport event history.
Kwan, who recently signed to skate in four Disney TV specials, plans to compete in the 2002 Salt Lake City games.
"People have different goals in life, in skating," she says, referring to Tara Lipinski, who won Olympic gold at 15 and promptly turned professional. "[For] some, it's just to have won the Olympics. I can take my skating to another level. I don't feel it's over."
Kwan admits she once believed the gold was everything. But after years of competing, the Nagano silver medalist says she realized how you skate matters more than where you place. And somehow, she makes it believable.
"After I skated at the World championships in '95, I started crying. It wasn't because I didn't win. It was emotion because of how I skated. I did a perfect program," she explains. "I got fourth; I didn't even medal. [But] that was one of my highlights. All the hard work was all there in a perfect package that night."
It's that spirit of competition she will bring to New York. "It's always the same attitude. People want to get number one," she says. "You always have to fight."
Check out the picture with the article.
Thanks to Teresa for typing this out for us!