12/28

Don't miss the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade! Michelle will be on the Anheuser-Busch float "Quest for the Best," float #71, which will feature U.S. Winter Olympic legends and hopefuls. Bonnie Blair & Dan Jansen are the other legends on the float. The theme of the parade this year is "A Cut Above the Rest" (how perfect is that for Michelle!?) The Rose Parade will be broadcast on New Years Day from 11am-1pm EST on ABC, NBC, HGTV, Hallmark Channel, Travel Channel, The Learning Channel, Univision, RFD-TV, and KTLA (local LA station & syndicated via Tribune). I always love watching this parade & jump all over the various stations since they all have different angles. Some might talk to stars on the float, while others don't. So, keep that remote handy just in case! :)

Oreo posted the following on the MK Forum:

Right now the Anhauser/Busch float is #71 out of 92 entries. The parade starts at 8am (PST) and will start passing by the TV cameras at about 8:05 (PST). I think if you turn on the TV by about 9:15 (PST), you'll have plenty of time to catch the float. But in any case, check to see if the entry order hasn't changed.

Check out the press release for more information.

Michelle posted on the MK Forum on December 24! Check out her thread, Happy Holidays MKF!! xoxo MK, and respond! Here is what she wrote:

Hi MKF,
I hope you’re all ready for the holidays! I finally finished my last minute Christmas shopping for my friends and family. I didn’t have much time to prepare for the holidays since I was busy studying and writing papers for grad school. I didn’t finish my last final until Monday morning! And trust me I was very relieved when I finished my Econ final! I was a studious student and finished my U.S.-East Asia and Public Diplomacy paper early because I knew that the Econ exam would take all the brainpower that I needed to do OK. I absolutely love living in Boston and going to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. The Fletcher community consists of people from all walks of life, each contributing their knowledge and experience to our school, and together we try to prepare ourselves to address key issues that we might face in the future…well, at least I think we all hope that we can make the world a better place: )
I am really happy to be home. For one thing, I get to watch Lakers games (I was there last night, when they beat Oklahoma City). And it’s also nice not having to put on 10 layers of clothing just to walk outside. Now I know why my sister Karen told me to buy a really really really good winter coat (she went to Boston University and has dealt with the chilly Boston weather).

In addition to my busy schedule at school, I’ve been able to pack in some really fun excursions. I was selected to be one of the Godmother’s of “Oasis of the Seas,” the greatest Royal Caribbean cruise ship (it even has an ice rink!). I was on the cruise ship for one night, where we launched off at Fort Lauderdale and sailed overnight. It was an absolutely incredible experience.

And before school even started I skated with Yu-Na Kim (current World
Champ) in Korea. I got a little emotional stepping back on the ice… I can’t believe it has been 3 years since I last performed in front of an audience. It reaffirmed everything that I love about figure skating…And I definitely look forward to performing in front of the U.S. audience again soon; )

On top of everything, I am also very committed to working with the State Department as an American Public Diplomacy Envoy. There “might” be an announcement soon about my next State Department trip (hint hint: ).
Well, it’s way past my bed…My family and I are headed out tomorrow to Hawaii for a small family vacation, R&R, and a close friend’s wedding. I hope all of you have an incredible Christmas and a Happy New Year! I wish all of you the best. I hope to see you all soon!
Take care! Hugs ,
MK

12/2

Michelle was one of the seven celebrity godmothers for the new Oasis of the Seas cruise ship. From the press release, "Putting a new twist on one of maritime’s longest standing traditions, the global cruise line had not one, but seven celebrity godmothers – Gloria Estefan, Daisy Fuentes, Shawn Johnson, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Michelle Kwan, Jane Seymour and Dara Torres – preside over the festivities. The celebration took place throughout the seven signature neighborhoods onboard Oasis of the Seas, culminating with the traditional Champagne bottle breaking ceremony followed by a fireworks display in the AquaTheater, the ship’s dazzling oceanfront theater." Michelle's neighborhood is "Entertainment Place." The naming ceremony took place on in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on November 30.

After the naming ceremony, Royal Caribbean hosted a charity Gala for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Along with Michelle and the other godmothers, celebrities in attendence were Michael Jordan, Corbin Bleu, and Karina Smirnoff.

You can watch a video of the naming ceremony with Michelle on the Oasis of the Seas main site (also found in this article, if the other site is giving you problems.) The site also has lots of pictures of from the naming ceremony. There's also a short clip on youtube, though Michelle is sort of blocked from view. ;)

Check out some more pictures and articles from this event:

10/14

Michelle attended the Women's Sports Foundation Gala on October 13 in New York. She was interviewed on the red carpet by ice network. She said that Karen choreographed Winter Song and how much both enjoyed it, that the comeback skate was emotional, that her hip is healthy & she's back on the ice, and how much she's enjoying classes at Tufts. Be sure to read the full interview! Also, check out a picture of Michelle on the red carpet (courtesy of Lois Elfman), and a picture of Michelle with other female athletes at the awards.

9/26

Michelle co-hosted Skate for the Heart on September 19 with Peggy Fleming. She only hosted, no skating. :( Check out this youtube video of Michelle meeting Charice & Jordin Sparks during rehearsals, and you can hear her introducing Charice at the beginning of this youtube clip. Check out the following pics from the show:

8/29

Michelle will be co-hosting Skate for the Heart on September 19 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois! So far, it doesn't look like she will be skating in the show. The show airs on January 31, check out my TV Schedule for more info! Also, check out the article from Ice Network.

Some more pics & videos from the final shows of the Ice All Stars show in Korea:

kwanwingsahn_fan posted on the MK Forum that she saw this East West ad with Michelle in her local paper. Check it out! (Thanks kwanwingsahn_fan!)

IceSkates98 posted on the MK Forum that the September/October 2009 issue of IFS has an article about Michelle. IceSkates98 posted a scan of the article, check it out! (Thanks IceSkates98!)

8/15

The first Ice All Stars show in Korea took place Friday, and Michelle looked fantastic! Her programs were wonderful, well worth the wait!! The commentators apparently said that Carmina Burana was going to be her short program if she competed this season (which is really obvious to see, and what an amazing short that would have been!) & that Winter Song was choreographed by Karen Kwan.

I have tons of pics & video from the show to post, so I'll just jump right to it!

I've also added a bunch more press conference pics to the Ice Allstars Show (Korea) part of the Links to Other Photo Pages section.

8/14

Lots more pics & videos from Ice All Stars show in Korea! Don't forget, you can watch the show live online. It starts 8:45pm local time on Friday, which is 7:45am EST (same time Saturday through Monday.) You can see a list of sites to watch the show in this post on the MK Forum. (Thanks SamChez!)

The practice video I linked to on youtube in my last update has changed, you can watch it now here.

Videos (all except the last listed are from youtube) & pictures from Michelle's last two days in Korea:

Aug 12 videos:

Aug 13 videos:

Press Conference pictures:


8/12

Michelle has arrived in Korea, and there has already been tons of media coverage! Two pieces of info before I post the many pics and videos! From the show's site, check out the official program for the show. Michelle's second program will be Winter Song by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. You can hear the song on youtube. From the program, it looks like Moonlight Sonata, which ends the first half, might not be a duet with YuNa, but a group number.

In an interview after arriving in Korea, YuNa & David Wilson (the choreographer) had some nice things to say about Michelle (as posted on the Ice All Stars show Twitter page, which is not the official show twitter page, but from a fan compiling the info from the Korean media):

"Kwan returns a long time after she left the ice. The fact that she is now with Yu-Na on ice makes me speechless. This is good for Yu-Na since Kwan is a special skater who has always inspired Yu-Na. Kwan is like a symbol of figure skating. am really glad to work with them together" says David Wilson at the interview.
"I met Kwan twice. It's my first time to practice with her on ice. I am honored to go on the same stage with a skater I admired since I was young. I was amazed by her excellent skills. Although she left ice for a long time, she seems always ready She hasn't lost her shape. I was really my dream just to watch her skating." says Yu-Na at the interview.

OK, onto the media (first 3 vids from youtube)! First, check out this video of Michelle skating during practice! This is the first time we've seen her skate in 3 years, how exciting! Also, there was lots of media at the airport when Michelle arrived in Korea. Check out this video of Michelle arriving at the airport and another short interview clip at the airport. I can't seem to get this interview clip to work on my computer, so I don't know if it's different than the youtube video, but in case it is, I'm posting it! :) This video also from a Korean news site, and it takes forever to load, but there's footage of Michelle & YuNa practicing in there!

There have already been TONS of pics, just from the first practice alone! There have been more pics from this practice (65 at last count!) than some competitions Michelle has been in over the years! Hopefully this continues for the actual show! :) Enjoy!

8/9

Some updates on what music Michelle will using at YuNa's show in Korea, from the Ice All Stars show Twitter page (eta, this is not the official page, a fan is posting the info)! Michelle will be skating to Carmina Burana for one of her gala programs. Also, Michelle will skate with Yu-Na to Moonlight Sonata with an orchestra.

MichellianeKwanjuez posted the following on the MKF Forum, from Korean articles:

All the performers, NBC, and Asahi TV crews will arrive in Korea on the 11th of August. Michelle and Yu-Na will have a duet performance together at least three times throughout the show and ‘Moonlight Sonata’ could be used either in the show’s opening or in the closing.

The show is just a week away, now! Can't wait to see Michelle skate!!

8/1

Michelle has announced that she will not be competiting this season. She will instead attend graduate school full time at Tufts University's Fletcher School this fall, where she will pursue a master's degree in international affairs. About the decision, from the USFSA article, Michelle said:

“Skating will always be a part of me. But, in the bigger picture of my life, I have always wanted to find a career that will allow me to make a positive contribution and difference in the world. Representing the United States as an American Public Diplomacy Envoy the past three years has been very rewarding, and I want to do more. Furthering my education will bring me closer to that goal, and I don't want to wait any longer to continue the journey.”

The article also says that Michelle will continue in her capacity as an American Public Diplomacy Envoy for the U.S. State Department and a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. In addition, she will perform in skating exhibitions, work as a television commentator, serve as a corporate spokesperson and be involved in special projects as her school schedule permits.

Selfishly I'm sad, lol, but hopefully she will do some shows so we can continue to watch her skate.

Good luck with grad school, Michelle! :)

YuNa's Ice All Stars 2009 show in Korea from August 14-16 that Michelle will skate in will not air in the US. However, I'm sure her performances will end up online, and I'll be sure to post them as soon as they go up! I can't wait to watch her skate again!!

Also, here's another option. visaliakid posted the following on the MK Forum:

Korea's SBS TV will telecast Ice All Stars 2009, staring Kim Yu Na and featuring guest performances by Michelle Kwan on Thursday, Aug. 14 starting at 20:50 local time. That's 04:50 a.m. PDT and 07:50 a.m. EDT on the morning of Friday, August 14. This information is reported today by a Korean poster at Kim Yu Na's Forum. The SBS telecast can be viewed on the free TVAnts program. Get it here...

http://www.tvants.com/

MichellianeKwanjuez posted some articles about the show in the same thread on the MK Forum. YuNa said the following about Michelle, “The first time I saw Michelle Kwan was in the ‘98 Nagano Olympics. Ever since then, each of her performance made a great impression on me and she became my favorite athlete. I was ecstatic to have a short encounter with her last March. I am honored to be performing in the same show with the athlete I have always admired since I was very young. As a fan of Michelle, it’s going to be very special to see her return on ice after three years of wait. Just the fact that I’ll be standing on the same ice with her itself is a great honor.” (Thanks visaliakid and MichellianeKwanjuez!)


I recently found video on YouTube of Michelle's speech at the Committee of 100 11th mentoring event from May 2, 2009 in DC:

Also, here are some pictures of Michelle from the event (Thanks Grace!)

7/7

Happy birthday Michelle! Michelle is 29 years old today, July 7, 2009. Check out my birthday page for Michelle

7/4

Michelle's appearance at the Korean ice show has been confirmed! In the AP article, Michelle's agent, Shep Goldberg, said, "Michelle has turned down other invitations, but she and Yu-na have a mutual admiration society going. Michelle is feeling healthy and has her abilities up to the standards she sets for herself, which are very high standards." Later in the article, he says, "The timing was a factor. She is skating at the standards she demands of herself to perform in front of an audience." The article also says that she hasn't decided yet about trying for another Olympics.

A couple of recent Michelle clips I found on YouTube today.

 

7/2

Finally! Some Michelle skating news!!! Michelle will be skating 2 programs from August 14-16 at YuNa Kim's show, Ice All Stars 2009, in Korea! The article is in Korean, but greengal5874 posted a google translation on the MK Forum.

IB Sports, Yu-Na's management agency just announced that MK is visiting Korea to skate on ice from August 14-16 at Ice All Stars 2009. She will prepare two gala programs for this show.
"I am really glad to skate at Ice All Stars 2009 in Korea. I am really excited to appear on this special stage with talented skaters. I am really looking forward to skate with Yu-Na in her home country, Korea." said MK through IB Sports.
After hearing this news, Yu-Na excitedly said "I have admired Kwan since I was young. It's really an honor for me to skate with her on the same stage".

SO exciting!!!!

6/7

Congratulations Michelle for graduating from the University of Denver on Saturday, June 7. She received a BA in International Studies.

A couple of quotes from a great article on DU's site:

Kwan came to DU in 2006 to pursue an international studies degree from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. She minored in political science. “It was a turning point in my life when I came to DU,” says Kwan. “From seventh grade on I had tutors while I was training and competing, and it was a big transition to go from full-time skating to full-time student.” She recalls spending the first few weeks at DU on crutches following hip surgery. 

<snip>

There are no plans for Kwan to stop traveling on behalf of the U.S. Recently, she met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss continuing her role with the State Department.  However, Kwan will still have tests waiting for her when she returns from each trip. She has been accepted to the graduate international affairs program at Tufts University’s Fletcher School.

Kwan won nine U.S. skating championships, five world championships and two Olympic medals. She is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history. But despite all she’s done in her life, participating in Commencement is something she looked forward to for a long time. “I am so excited,” she says.

Another congrats for being accepted to Tufts grad school!

Check out this video of Michelle receiving her diploma from the local Denver CBS news!

Check out the following pics & screencaps of Michelle during the commencement ceremony

In possible comeback news, there was speculation about Michelle competiting at Skate America. The Grand Prix assignments were announced at the end of May, and some felt if a "To Be Announced" was posted for one of the ladies USA spots, then it's possible Michelle could be added later. Well, a TBA was listed for Skate America! So...who knows!

I know I still have lots of pics and such from the last few months to post. Michelle has been busy in the public eye, including attending the American Idol finale, and a Lakers playoff game, among others. I just wanted to quickly post about Michelle's graduation. :)

3/30

Hope you caught Michelle during NBC's broadcast of Worlds on Saturday! She was on 3 segments with Bob Costas and Dick Button. Michelle did great! She was asked about her possible return, and she definitely didn't rule anything out! :) She said that she's "got my triples down."

I made clips of each segment (and I was able to make them smaller today, so they are easier to download.) They are uploaded to sendspace, and wmv files. The first clips is also on youtube, but the others aren't yet.

Also, check out skatefan20's clip on youtube from the prebroadcast (on Universal Sports site that was streaming the event): Michelle saying hi to fans.

Here are a bunch of screencaps from the broadcast, as well as some from the prebroadcast

A few reports from those who were at the long program. First, from Oreo:

When Alyssa gave her terrific skate tonight Michelle and Dick (and Scott and Sandra on the other end of the arena) gave her a standing ovation. Michelle also clapped for Fumie when she did her 3 lutz combination right in front of her.

From MKGrace (the fan that Michelle waved to in the clip I just linked to)

OMG that was me and a fellow MK maniac!! We yelled we loved her etc. and she looked up, waved and smiled, and she and Dick posed for a picture I took which I'll try to post tomorrow. I also talked briefly to Michelle after the competition, got her autograph and told her we love her at MKF and she said to tell everyone hi and she loves us too. :) She is so darling. My fellow Michelle-junky friend told her she flew out here from NYC just to see Michelle (to heck with World's) and Michelle got the biggest smile on her face and said "Really?!", asked her where she was staying, what restaurants she'd been to etc.It is such an honor to be a Michelle fan.

A few other odds & ends from Worlds:

Here's a youtube video of Michelle being interviewed about YuNa Kim's short program. At the very end she talks about if she has plans to come back. Then there's another youtube video of Michelle talking about YuNa Kim's short program (Michelle is about 4:31 into the clip.)

Also, I wrote earlier about Simoner119's great fan encounter with Michelle. Well, this blog has the pic of her and Michelle. Cute!

I wrote earlier about Michelle attending the2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho. I just found this youtube clip of Michelle & Scott Hamilton on the ice, talking to the crowd during the event.

3/28

Don't forget to watch the ladies final during Worlds this Saturday, March 28! Michelle will be doing commentary on NBC from 9-11 EST with Dick Button.

During the ladies SP on March 27, which aired on Oxygen, Michelle & Dick Button were interviewed about the ladies event. Michelle was also asked about rumors of her possible return. I capped it, but was having computer issues, so the clip is a bit bigger than I would hope. You can download it from sendspace, it's a wmv file, about 29MB. Also, check out a few screencaps I made from the interview.

Michelle has been getting a lot of press during Worlds, almost as much as some of the skaters competiting! Here's a cute picture of her waving during the Mens SP. There's been several articles written, including this LA Times article. She was interviewed by the local LA NBC news, check it out! Also, Ross (who's no longer an intern!) had a Michelle encounter. You can watch it online here or here (the first link doesn't seem to work for everyone.)

Finally, here's a fan encounter, from Simoner119 at the MK Forum, during practice:

While sitting in the stands my coach spotted Michelle across the rink in the box near the kiss and cry with Scott Hamilton. We were so far away i could hardy see her but it was still exciting. Later we went over to the Convention Center to watch practice ice, where there was a make-shift rink and a couple sets of fold out bleacher. To my surprise, i walk in to see Michelle sitting in the bleachers with Caroline Zhang watching the ladies practice. I literally sat 2 rows behind her and thought i was gonna die. She was classy as always and didn't want to sign autographs during practice so she wouldnt take attention away from the skaters. At one point a huge crowd moved away from Michelle where I discovered that Kristi Yamaguchi was also present. Michelle went over to talk to her and then the two of them sat together in the bleachers for the remainder of the practice. Afterwards she signed autographs and my friends and i got a picture with her It was truly an amazing experience.
Oh, and of course she looked gorgeous and friendly as ever, and is even more beautiful in person. Hope some of you also got a chance to see her

Glad everyone enjoyed the update, because I have more! Today I sat behind Michelle at another ladie's practice session, again she was sitting with Caroline Zhang and Karen Zhou. It was hard to even watch the practice session with the Kween right in front of me. Afterwards I went up to her and she laughed when she saw the pin I was wearing, which said "KWAN 2010" on it. She then took a picture with me, and she was pointing to my pin (I take that as confirmation of her comeback, haha)I'll definitely post these pictures but I may not be able to for a few days. Lots more of the competition to see...

Later in the thread, niteddy & Quixadar posted a few youtube videos of Michelle spotted in the crowd during that ladies practice:

synnabun posted on the MK Forum that Michelle was on Entertainment Tonight on March 26:

They did a quick thing with MK. "I'm Michelle Kwan and you're watching Entertainment Tonight" When they came back they spoke with Alissa, Joannie, Tanith, Ben, Evan and MK. It went by so quickly I've mostly forgotten what they said, lol!MK said she was asked to do DWTS (yeah, way old news) but she said (and I'm totally paraphrasing) "I'm so busy. You have to go at it with umph." and she did a cute little fist pump.

Iskatgal then posted this link to a skating story on ET's site, and said you can see Michelle in the background when they are talking to Tanith & Ben, but synnabun said it was different than the piece shown on TV. (Thanks synnabun & Iskatgal)
3/24

I appologize for not posting this sooner. I was away for 2 weeks (same time as Michelle's Ukraine trip), and when I got back, was sick for another week. I'm just now catching up with everything!

Michelle's fourth trip as the US Public Diplomacy Envoy was to Ukraine! She traveled to Kiev, Yalta, Sevastopol, Bakhchisarai and Odessa from February 28-March 7. Check out the press release, Michelle Kwan to Visit Ukraine.

While in Ukraine, Michelle kept a blog on the state department's site, which also has some pictures. Read her blog!

Check out the following picture and videos from her trip!

Check out this great article from the Washington Post, Still on the World Stage, Kwan Keeps Options Open. A sample quote:

The answer is not as obvious as in her teenage years. She doesn't know if she can muster the single-minded determination that drove her to five world titles. Though healthier and stronger than when she left, she isn't sure her body can withstand the pounding it used to take. And, even after three months of heavy training, she remains uncertain whether she can produce her former excellence.

"I want to see how far I can push myself and then make a decision," she said. "All options are out there. I'm not eliminating anything."
2/21

Be sure to watch the ladies final during Worlds this year! Michelle will be doing some commentary on NBC with Dick Button! Phil Hersh wrote the following on his blog:

Michelle Kwan will be part of NBC's broadcast team for the upcoming World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles, according to Tribune sources.The five-time world champion will be joining Bob Costas and Dick Button in giving overviews and reflections during the live telecast of the women's free skate final March 28. This will be Kwan's debut as a TV commentator. Kwan had declined an opportunity to work for NBC after she withdrew from the 2006 Olympics with an injury because she said she would have felt uncomfortable commenting on skaters against whom she had been planning to compete. If her NBC debut goes well, and Kwan decides not to attempt a comeback for the 2010 Winter Games, count on her being a part of the broadcast team in Vancouver as well.

Michelle attended the Grammy Awards on February 8. She wore a full length black dress, and looked beautiful! Check out the following pictures of Michelle on the red carpet:

Michelle was part of the Presidential Delegation to the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho on Thursday, February 12, which was led by Vice President Joe Biden. Here is the full press release:

Washington, DC – Vice President Joe Biden will lead a Presidential Delegation to the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho on Thursday, February 12. Vice President Biden and the delegation will join approximately 2,500 athletes from nearly 100 countries worldwide, their families, as well as thousands of coaches, family members, volunteers and spectators for the largest international sporting event this year. Special Olympics programs serve more than 2.8 million people with intellectual disabilities.The Delegation will observe the Final Round of the Figure Skating Competition and the Vice President will congratulate and present medals to the athletes. Following the medal ceremony, the Delegation will visit the Special Olympics’ Healthy Athletes Event to learn about this ongoing, worldwide program in which athletes receive a variety of health screenings and services. The Vice President will then host a reception for Special Olympics athletes, their families and volunteers. The Vice President will offer remarks at the reception. The Presidential Delegation will include:Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
United States Representative Walt Minnick (D-ID)
Susan Axelrod, President, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy; Chester Finn, President, Self Advocates Becoming Empowered; Ralph Cetrulo, President, Delaware Special Olympics; Mark Shriver, Head of U.S. Programs for Save the Children; Lisa Brown, Assistant to the President; Michelle Kwan, former Olympic Figure Skater; Scott Hamilton, former Olympic Figure Skater

Michelle & Joe Biden were a part of the pairs medal ceremony. He gave out the medals, and Michelle gave each medalist their bouquets. A cute quote from Biden touches down, touched, "Biden took the microphone and shared with the crowd that one of his lifelong dreams had just come true: Being on the ice with Michelle Kwan and being asked to participate in the Special Olympics."Check out the following articles and pictures from the visit:

You can also watch a video from KTVB, a local Idaho station: Sitting in the stands & walking on the ice for the medal presentation

Also, the Special Olympics site has 2 videos with Michelle: Day 4 Highlights with Michelle Kwan (2/12) and Day Three Highlights with Nick Vidinsky (2/11). If those links don't work, you can just go to the Special Olympics site, click on latest videos on the side, and then select the videos mentioned on the sidebar.

Michelle sat courtside at the Staples Center for the Lakers game vs the New Orleans Hornets on February 20. Check out this Getty Image picture of Michelle at the game with Amber Corwin! (Thanks kwanatic712!)

2/1

On Thursday, January 29, Michelle, along with Brian Boitano & Evan Lysacek, did some promotion for the 2009 Worlds in LA at the Staples Center. She was interviewed and skated a little for the local stations. Check out the following video clips from the promotion:

Also, check out this LA Times article from the press event, which includes a cute pic of Michelle & Brian.

Check out these touching articles about Michelle meeting with Leah Smith, a pediatric heart transplant survivor. Both articles also have nice pictures.
1/28

Michelle's name has come up in many articles about Nationals this past weekend. These 2 articles are my favorite because they point to the possibility of Michelle skating again!

The first is this article from the NY Times. It's an article after the mens short program, and talks about looking for the next superstar & spokesman for the sport. Here is what Michelle's agent, Shep Goldberg, has to say towards the end of the article:

Shep Goldberg, a longtime agent of figure skaters and gymnasts, said the United States would not go into Vancouver without a female skater who had been anointed the next big thing. In the next 12 months, that person will naturally emerge from the pack, as one always seems to, he said.

But it is not likely that the skater will be the next Kwan, whom Goldberg represents. Kwan, who won eight national championships in a row, had the talent but also the bubbly personality that made her the perfect face of the sport. “There might never be another Michelle Kwan, but there will definitely be someone who has the skating and also the ability to light up a room,” he said, before pausing. “But Michelle still hasn’t ruled out a comeback, you know,” he said. “She’s back to intense training. Whether that could take her to the Vancouver Games, no one knows.”

intense training! That's the first time we've heard that!

Phil Hersh wrote a great article, If Kwan Returns, Celebrate. Phil writes what a lot of Michelle fans are thinking about her possible return, so be sure to check it out! Here's the beginning of the article, with an update from Michelle:

When I finished writing about the women's free skate Saturday night at the U.S. championships, I immediately began to think about Michelle Kwan.

I remembered that Kwan recently has said there is a possibility she may skate again in public for the first time since an August 2006 show and that she has not ruled out anything about her future in the sport, including a shot at the 2010 Olympics.

Since there seems little exciting about the present state of women's skating in the United States, I figured it was time to find out what she meant.

When I got her on the phone Monday, she was packing boxes in her Denver apartment, preparing to move back to Los Angeles with her 2-month-old University of Denver diploma in hand. She had spent Sunday snowboarding in Vail.

"I have been working with a trainer for two months," Kwan told me. "I'm starting to do [triple jumps] to see how far I can push myself.

"I want to get in good shape and see how far that takes me, because I don't know. But I have made no decisions whatsoever."

She also says in the article that she doesn't have any pain:

"It makes me feel so good to get off the ice and not feel sore,’" she said.  "I'm an athlete, and I'll always be an athlete.  I’m going to keep working out, on and off the ice, and we’ll see what happens."

1/20

This update has lots of info on Michelle possibly skating for the public again!

Michelle was interviewed during the January 9 Lakers vs Pacers game. rbpier posted the following on the MK Forum:

I don't know if they will reshow it. What happens at the Laker's game is that all the celebrities get these special seatings. Michelle was seated court side. I did not see who she was next to but my husband said he thought she was talking to Jack Nicholson (sp?). They show the celebrities on camera sometimes and say oh there is so and so enjoying the game, etc. And occasionally they will go to them and ask them a few questions. So the sportscaster approached her and asked her a few questions. He talked about how she said she was on the ten year plan for school. She laughed and said yes she promised she would finish and she just finished in December and moved back to LA. Then he asked everyone wants to know about the Olympics in 2010. She said she has been training on and off ice "trying" is the key word that I am pretty sure I heard, "trying to get back in Olympic shape, so, we'll see." Is how I heard it. So keep everything crossed that she will feel like she can get back competitive enough. But bottom line, they don't usually re-air those casual court-side talks and unfortunately, I was not expecting it so I did not tape it. I actually was upset with my husband wanting him to turn the game off and I looked and said, "Wait, is that Michelle??"

Grace found the game online and made an audio clip (download). Here's what Grace wrote about the clip & a transcript:

okay, the person who created the file cut her image off >.< but the audio is off (or the video)

Okay, finally got it uploaded properly, the file is really small. Audio gets cut off from the beginning, and no video given the copy I got cut MK off and is only a blip - the audio and video is out of sync, so I opted only to grab the audio file - in mp3 format. I grabbed a few screencaps of what video I was able to see. Size is only about ~260KB.

Transcript though:
MK: (cut off) Hopefully I'll be back in Olympic shape soon uh off ice on ice and we'll see.
Patrick: So you want to?
MK: It's a year from now, we'll see, I'll let you know, I'll let you know..you'll be the first to know.
Patrick: Alright. I want the answer now.
MK: (laughs )
Patrick: Apparently I'm not going to get it guys, but I wouldn't bet against her.

Here are some screencaps from the interview: (Thanks rbpier, Grace, and skatefan20)

As posted above, in the Lakers interview, Michelle confirmed that she graduated from the University of Denver. Congrats Michelle!! Also from Phil Hersh's blog, Michelle Kwan graduates:

Congratulations to two-time Olympic medalist and five-time world champion Michelle Kwan on completing what she jokingly referred to as her "10-year plan" for college. Kwan, who took her first college courses at UCLA in the fall of 1999, was graduated from the University of Denver in November with a major in international studies, a minor in political science and grades good enough to consider applying to some of the country's elite graduate programs in international relations.Last week, she was named to the President's Council on Physical Fitness, and she has dropped some hints about performing again.

The January 2009 issue of Skating Magazine had a Kids Questions column with Michelle. Check it out on their site. My favorite part of the interview:

Q: I miss you and your skating, and was sorry to see you withdraw from the Olympics. Will you ever return to compete or perform in shows? Your fans are sad because we didn't get a chance to give you a much deserved farewell.
Mae Allan, 12
Cleveland, Ohio

Michelle: I miss you guys, too! I took a long break from skating because I wanted to focus on finishing up college. I do look forward to performing again soon…stay tuned.

Hopefully soon comes SOON! Also, Bonnie scanned in the article (with several pics!) from the magazine: page 1 / page 2 (Thanks Bonnie!)

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Michelle has been appointed to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, which runs until May 3, 2010. From the council's site:

About the Council:

The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports is an advisory committee of volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services about physical activity, fitness, and sports in America. Through its programs and partnerships with the public, private and non-profit sectors, the Council serves as a catalyst to promote health, physical activity, fitness, and enjoyment for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities through participation in physical activity and sports. The twenty Council members are appointed and serve at the pleasure of the President.

For the full list of appointments, check out CNN's site (scoll down.)

Check out this video where Michelle talks about Barbie & gives her birthday wishes for Barbie Doll's 50th Birthday! Be sure to watch the full video, the clips with Michelle are spread out throughout the video. Here's one just of Michelle. (Thanks Grace!)

Phil Hersh wrote the following about Michelle in his current blog entry, On the Tonya-Nancy anniversary, skating limps along, which I thought was nice:

But in considering why interest in the sport has diminished so drastically, especially over the past five years, I immediately think not only of the scoring system but of Michelle Kwan.

    It seems more than coincidental that the Kwan era was quietly beginning in 1994, when she was an alternate to the U.S. Olympic team.   As the sport exploded into the public consciousness, Kwan was on the verge of a decade-long run in which she became the most decorated U.S. skater in history and one of the country's most recognizable athletes.

    Kwan's (apparently?) final departure from the spotlight, which occurred when she pulled out of the 2006 Olympics with an injury, deprived skating of its only transcendant star, and no replacement has emerged.

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Michelle posted on the MK Forum on December 23! She didn't start a new thread, instead she posted it in her profile. To read it, go to her profile, then scroll down and click on "last" page to see her message (hers is the 2nd to last message)! Here is what she wrote:

Hi Everybody!! It's been a long time.... I am home for the holidays. It's fun to have a chance to see all my friends and family. It seems like everybody is having Christmas parties, and I have enjoyed going to them: ) Last night I was at our family rink for our yearly Christmas show. The skaters were so adorable, they were are dressed up in Christmas costumes. It gave me a chance to turn the usual traditional roles around, as I gave a flower to each skater as they came off the ice. They sure earned it!! I am really proud to have so many talented skaters at the rink.
I am not sure what I am going to do for the New Year, but I imagine it will be pretty busy. I hope you all have a pleasant and safe holiday season!!!
See you all soon!!
xoxo MK

Many times over the years, Michelle has been mentioned on Jeopardy. On Dec 29, Michelle was again the question! WorldsGreatestMK posted on the MK Forum that the answer was "This 9 Time National Champion and Five Time World Champion Figure Skater began skating after watching her brother play hockey." We must all be smarter than the Jeopardy contestants, since none of them knew the correct response was "Who is Michelle Kwan?"! (Thanks WorldsGreatestMK!)

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Last Updated August 25, 2010

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