Being a media volunteer at the GWG, I've seen quite a few press conferences. But more reporters and photographers showed up for Michelle's than any other press conference I've seen so far. Here's what I've learned from the press conference (this was made known only to the press who was present, and not all of it will be released, so this is kind of GWG inside information! Oh yes, and I'm also doing this from memory, I couldn't take notes there, since I wasn't press, and I had to be ready to help them out if they needed it)
Michelle looked so pretty, and she didn't seem the least bit tired. Michelle told the press that she studied the tapes of the Olympics very carefully, and that she hadn't done that since right before Worlds. She says she found some things that she can improve on, and that we will see a triple- triple in the future, and perhaps even that triple axel she's been talking about since she was 13! She says that she watched the Nagano tapes with a smile on her face, shouting, "Push, Michelle! Push!"
She also said that she will miss Tara being in these events, because Tara provided a challenge for her. But she also said that we never know if someone new is coming along.
Michelle mentioned that she actually hasn't completed high school yet, but she will by September.
She says she hasn't committed to any competitions after the GWG except a few pro-ams, so that it'll give her some time to improve, especially technically. She says that she doesn't want to come out with the "same old Michelle" for Skate America, CSF, Nationals, etc.
Michelle will be on vacation after the GWG! She will spend a few days in New York with Karen, who is currently interning for Vera Wang, the famous designer. She says she will see some broadway shows, walk around NY and of course, shop. Then she will go home for a few days and then it's off to Hawaii for two weeks!
Frank Carroll, who was also at the press conference, says Michelle has matured very much since he first met her. He says when he first saw her, it was a Pacific Coast Championships in 1992, and he saw her as a skater who had a lot of spring in her jumps, a great love for skating, and absolutely no discipline. Frank says he was there to provide the discipline, and Michelle provided the talent.
Frank also told a little story about a practice with Michelle a few days ago. He says she was in a "funk", and was messing up everything. She took a break, and just looked at Frank. He said, "What do you want me to do? What do you want me to say?". Michelle told him, "Nothing, this is my problem, not yours." In a few minutes, she was skating wonderfully. Frank says this told him how much Michelle has matured in the 6 years that they've known each other, that she has control over herself.
He also told the press that Michelle is very prepared for this GWG competition, that she has practiced hard for it.
Michelle shared her reasons for staying around for another 4 years. She says that there are still challenges ahead of her, and that she won't feel that old in 2002, she'll only be 21.