Michelle received another huge honor on Monday! She won the Billie Jean King Contribution Award at the Women's Sports Foundation's Annual Salute to Women in Sports. The event took place on October 15 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, where Billie Jean King presented the award to Michelle. The Billie Jean King Contribution Award to given to the athlete who has made significant contributions to the development of women's sports and has demonstrated lasting commitment and dedication to the growth of women's physical activity. From the award's press release:
Olympic gold medalist Michelle Kwan's history with the Women's Sports Foundation began in 1999 when she received a Travel & Training grant from the Foundation so that she may continue pursuing her passion. Almost a decade later, Kwan is now the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history and has continued to achieve off the ice. In 2006, she was named the U.S.'s first Public Diplomacy Envoy by U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. Her accomplishments have earned her the Billie Jean King Contribution Award, given to an athlete who has made significant contributions to the development of women's sports and has demonstrated lasting commitment and dedication to the growth of women's physical activity.
And from the WSF's site:
The Billie Jean King Contribution Award went to the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, Michelle Kwan. Kwan was recognized for her significant contribution to the Women’s Sports Foundation and to the development and advancement of women’s sports by inspiring girls and women to become healthier through sports, fitness or physical activity. Always a forward thinker, Kwan proclaimed her continued commitment, “I look forward to working with the Foundation to provide more opportunities in sports.”
Check out the following pictures of Michelle arriving to the awards & receiving her award:
You can also check out all these pictures at the MK Gallery. Others in attendance at the award ceremony included Sheryl Crow, Holly Hunter, and Laila Ali. For more information, check out the following articles:
This AP article has some positive news about Michelle's health and possible skating future:
The two-time Olympic medalist and five-time world champion is studying political science at the University of Denver with an emphasis in international studies.The 27-year-old Kwan said she'll decide in 2009 if she'll compete in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. She's running, swimming and skating to stay in shape.Kwan had hip surgery about a year ago."It's the first time in four years I've skated pain free," she said. "I haven't made a decision about 2010 — I'm keeping my options open."
Michelle was named to the U.S. Presidential Delegation for the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, China. The members of the delegation attended the Opening Ceremonies on October 2.
The U.S. Presidential Delegation was led by Margaret Spellings, Secretary of Education. Along with Michelle, the other members of the delegation were: Ernie Banks (Member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame), Clark T. Randt, Jr. (US Ambassador to the People's Republic of China), John H. Hager (Former Assistant Secretary of Education, Special Education and Rehabilitative Services), Dr. Lynn Fuchs (Professor of Special Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University), Eunice Kennedy Shriver (Founder, Special Olympics), Dr. Timothy P. Shriver (Chairman of the Board, Special Olympics), Anne Sweeney (Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney-ABC Television Group), and Jennifer Polk Wardlow (International Global Messenger and Special Olympics North Carolina athlete.)
On October 1, the day before the opening ceremonies, Michelle was one of several celebrities to open the new Sports Experience Center. Other celebrities in attendance included WWE Stars Mick Foley and Torrie Wilson, Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver, Special Olympics Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Coca Cola CEO Mutar Kent, Vanessa Williams, Bianca Jagger, and Brenda Song.
Watch this cute video of Michelle, from ABC.com, in China on October 3. Also, here are a few pics of Michelle while in China:
Check out some translations from Chinese articles about Michelle from KwanKat on the MK Forum, including the following quote from Michelle:
I was in China early this year in my capacity as goodwill ambassador for the international Special Olympics committee, my goal was to engage in dialogue with youths, sharing with them some of my experiences from skating. I would like to tell all the Special Olympians that I believe that as long as you work hard towards your dreams, you can be successful.
For more information, check out the following articles:
Michelle is on the cover of the October 2007 issue of Blades Magazine. Check it out! Also, debbwin from the MK Forum scanned in the Michelle pictures from the magazine, check out her slideshow of the pics! There are 8 other pictures of Michelle in the magazine, including: Fields of Gold Spread Eagle, East of Eden Spiral, Aranjuez end pose, Salome pose, Romanza #1, Romanza #2, 98 profile pic, and 99 profile pic.
There is a new book out about women athletes that includes Michelle, titled How to Be Like Women Athletes of Influence: 32 Women at the Top of Their Game and How You Can Get There Too. Michelle is one of 4 athletes featured on the cover, along with Serena Williams, Annika Sorenstam, and Mia Hamm. Michelle's chapter is subtitled "Flawlessness." You can find the book on Amazon.
Check out Michelle's ultimate playlist, courtesy of SI.com
Michelle attended a few sporting events this summer! On August 11, she attended an AVP volleyball tournament in Manhattan Beach. Check out a picture of Michelle at the 2007 Manhattan Beach Open Women's Final.
The next day, she attended the East West Bank WTA Classic at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. She presented the trophy to the winner after the match. ESPN also showed her sitting with the CEO of EastWest Bank during the match between Ana Ivanovic & Nadia Petrova. Check out a picture of Michelle with the trophy, along with a few screen captures during the match, at the MK Gallery.
s0nginmyheart posted on the MK Forum that there is a picture of Michelle in the Disneyland BackstagePass:
So I have an annual pass to Disneyland and as a perk they send out these little booklets/mags and I finally got a chance to sit down and thumb through the latest issue. To a nice(!) surprise I find a picture of MK on one of the pages. It's only a small pic with a brief caption "MK is one of the familiar faces hosting Disney Travel On Demand", no article though. I've scanned the page for all you to enjoy!
Check out the scan!
A few Michelle mentions on CNN recently!
On October 3, Dorothy Hamill was on Larry King, and she mentioned Michelle. Check out a transcript of the interview (scroll down about halfway through the transcript.) Here is the section about Michelle:
KING: An e-mail from Rex in Philadelphia - "What is your opinion on the U.S. ladies who won Olympic gold medals after you, Kristi, Tara and Sarah? And what do you think of Michelle Kwan not giving up her eligibility?
HAMILL: Oh, boy, that's a tough one. Kristi, beautiful. Sarah Hughes, she was the star that night, absolutely.
HAMILL: Tara Lipinski. Yeah. She's been injured. I think of the moves the girls have to do today, they get injured so quickly.
KING: And Miss Kwan.
HAMILL: And Michelle Kwan. Talk about a woman who has really sort of changed the face of finger skating. It was Michelle. And she's injured. She hasn't given up her Olympic eligibility status but, you know, she's professional, so she's not ever going to have to worry about making a living.
littlelamb posted on the MK Forum that Michelle was mentioned on CNN on October 5:
I was watching CNN earlier today. The newscasters were talking about the Marion Jones fiasco. One female reporter mention how people like Michelle Kwan and Billie Jean King being sports figures to look up to. Because not only have they had great success in their sport, but also do great things outside of sports. I agree whole heartedly. Michelle is great even without an OG. I love that young woman.
As posted earlier, Michelle lit the torch at the Opening Ceremony for the State Games of America. The event took place on Aug. 2 at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Check out some pictures of Michelle before and during the ceremony:
Two Colorado television stations have video of Michelle on their sites! KOAA has footage of her lighting the torch, as well as an interview with Michelle before the event. Check out the KOAA video!
KKTV has an interview with Michelle before the event. Check out the KKTV video! (The video should be on the right hand side, just click on it for it to play. If it isn't the current video anymore, you should still see it listed below the current video.)
Also, C# Minor was lucky enough to attend the ceremony, and posted a recap on the MK Forum! C# Minor's report, over 3 posts in the thread (Thanks C# Minor!):
I just had to join after tonight. I just got home from the State Games opening. There was a record crowd for the World Arena, the arena only has 7,500 seats, but we packed in 10,007 tonight! I wonder why that was...
Michelle was beautiful (when is she not?) She talked for awhile about dreams and hopes, and how it was an event like this that was her "springboard" back in 1993.
The athletes marched in Olympic-esque. There were some "important" people who spoke, some really cool trampoline acrobats, a band, and the Broncos Cheerleaders, but I think that all of them were just filler!
Michelle came out near the end, and the crowd gave her a standing ovation! She talked for 5-10 minutes about events like this. She remembered the Olympic Festival in 1993, and said that it was the biggest event of her life. She said there were 25,000 people in attendance, and that she was really scared. But she went out, did her best, and did well. She went on to say that she hoped that the athletes taking part in these games would be as excited as she was way back then.
After her speech she got in the line for the torch. Unlike the Olympics, this event has all of the Presidents, CEOs, and important people representing the sponsers line up in the middle of the arena floor, and all of them get to pass the torch to the next person (really exciting... ...not).
Someone who did something last year (yeah, my memory's shot, Michelle does that to me) ran the torch into the arena, and then handed it off to be passed down the line. What was really cool was watching Michelle, she looked really excited! She was jumping up and down a little at the beginning, then she just stood there waiting as all the guys in suits waved to the crowd.
She got the torch, ran to the cauldron, and lit the flame. The crowd was going nuts at this point. It seemed like they would never stop cheering! It took a few minutes before you could even hear the emcee talking!
It was a great night! I've attended two of these State Games openings, and this one was by far the most energetic, and I swear that's Michelle's effect on people.
Be sure to check out the following articles about Michelle from the event:
I wrote earlier about several "The Simpsons Movie" articles that mentioned Michelle since she was on the show in Feb 2005. Well, Michelle attended the premiere of movie on July 24 at The Mann Village Theatre in LA! Check out the following articles & pictures of Michelle at the premiere!
Check out a ton of pictures (including those linked above) from the premiere at the MK Gallery.
Be sure to watch this great interview with Michelle from Russian Today. Thanks to Kathy Sullivan for posting the link to the interview on the MK Forum! Also, skatefan20 made the following screencaps from the interview: (Thanks Kathy Sullivan & skatefan20):
With the Simpsons movie coming out soon, there are a few articles talking about the show & sports, and they all mention Michelle! The article Eat my sports: athletes and `The Simpsons' is about athletes in general on the show. A few quotes from the article about Michelle:
"When my brother saw it, he said, `Now you've finally made it,' " figure skating champion Michelle Kwan said.
While athletes don't get rich - well, richer - from "The Simpsons," it is inaccurate to say that they walk away empty-handed. Guest stars get one of the coolest gift bags in Hollywood. The big prize is a Simpsons leather jacket, with patches of all the characters."That jacket is among my most prized possessions," said Mike Scioscia, the Los Angeles Angels manager, whose possessions include two World Series rings.
Kwan said she has never touched her gift bag from the show. It remains in a cellophane wrap, and she joked that one day she would sell it for a billion dollars.She does make an exception for one Simpsons item though - she uses the TV tray."I think it's important to be able to eat while watching TV, just like Homer would," the skater said.
The second article, The Raider and the skater, is about Michelle & Warren Sapp taping their Simpsons episode together. I'd quote the whole article if I could, so be sure to check it out. This is my favorite quote from the article:
"When you're sitting there with a re`sume` that reads off seven straight Pro Bowls, you think it's pretty impressive," [Warren] Sapp said. "Until you look across the room and there's someone with nine U.S. championships and five worlds. I'm like, holy smokes. I thought I was doing a good job, but that's nothing compared to what that girl has done."
Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes had an online chat on the White House website earlier this month, and in one of her answers, she mentions Michelle & her diplomatic trips:
I believe public diplomacy is a dialogue, not a monologue, and I have actively continued my "listening tours." During the last two years, I have visited close to 40 countries to reach out, listen and show America's respect for different people, culture and contributions. My first trip this year was to China, and I traveled with Olympic skater Michelle Kwan, who we named as our first public diplomacy envoy. Michelle is a wonderful representative for our country and has a real gift for relating to young people. She just finished a similar successful trip to Russia.
A survey by the HSBC, “Successful Youth Development: The Contribution of Sport,” explored the link between the values adults believe children need to develop in life and ways sports can best teach those values.The survey also identified the top five male and female athletes considered to be the best role models for young people. Michelle was one of the top 5 female role models! The others were Mia Hamm (soccer), Jennie Finch (softball), Kaitlin Sandeno (swimming) and Maria Sharapova (tennis.) The male role models are Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong, Peyton Manning and Phil Mickelson. So, Michelle is in pretty good company!
The survey was conducted online among men and women in the United States during May and June 2007 among a sample of 600 adults (aged 18+) which was nationally representative of the U.S. adult population. For more information, check out the press release.
Michelle will light the torch at the Opening Ceremony for the State Games of America on Aug. 2 at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado! Information on attending can be found on the State Games of America official site.
A few quotes about her appearance:
"We’re thrilled, said Tom Osborne, president of the Colorado Springs Sports Corp., which hosts the event. "She is just a terrific Olympian. She will ignite the crowd...It’s great for someone like Michelle to give back to the kids. She’s just a perfect pick for us this year with all these figure skaters. I can’t wait to see those figure skaters when we introduce Michelle."
Osborne said Kwan will attract more fans to the Games. "There’s no question the torch lighter is the highlight of the evening. To bring in Michelle, we set the bar high. She’s such a great name and a great representative."
"We are thrilled and honored that Michelle Kwan will take part in the Opening Ceremony," said State Games of America honorary co-chair Bill Hybl. "She is not only one of our nation's greatest athletes, but a young woman who has inspired our nation with her grace, passion and performance."
Also, annie94 posted on the MK Forum that, "SGA sells a recap DVD after the event is done. There will be some of the opening ceremony on the DVD."
For more information, check out the following articles:
Happy birthday Michelle! Michelle is 27 years old today, July 7, 2007. Check out my birthday page for Michelle
Epcot has added Michelle to it's American Adventure show! From the article Epcot updates salute to U.S:
Epcot's American Adventure has entered the 21st century, adding Michelle Kwan, Tiger Woods and the firefighters who raised the flag at the World Trade Center's ground zero to Walt Disney World's show of American history and inspiration.The update, which adds images from America's most recent 14 years of history, was completed and debuted a couple of weeks ago. This is the second time that American Adventure has been updated since the show, in the World Showcase American Adventure Pavilion, premiered when Epcot opened in 1982.
I hope you were able to watch Michelle's piece during ESPN's My Wish! If not, you can watch it on ESPN's "My Wish" main page. I also made a video clip of the feature on SportsCenter (it's uploaded to sendspace & is 58MB.) Check it out! (The link has expired, so I have to reupload it. In the meantime, someone uploaded my clip to youtube, so you can see it online here.) I also made a clip of all the times Michelle & the feature are mentioned earlier during SportsCenter. This clip is 7MB, also uploaded to sendspace, and you can download it here.
Also, be sure to check out Dani's mother's story on ESPN's site. It is a must read! A few quotes about Michelle:
I knew Michelle was a special person when she offered to fly to Chicago to meet my daughter Danielle. It was a completely unselfish act designed to provide as much comfort as possible for my daughter. But as great as that act was, it was only a small window into the generosity of spirit that infuses Kwan.
I can't say enough how gracious Michelle was to Dani. From the moment we arrived and she walked out to open the limo door for us, I was impressed with her kindness and grace. She was a total class act and went out of her way to make sure Dani was enjoying herself.
Check out skatefan20's screencaps from the piece: (Thanks to skatefan20) :
I've uploaded all of skatefan's screencaps to the ESPN My Wish album in the MK Gallery, so you can see them all in one place.
Finally, Chris Connelly, the host of the "My Wish" series, had a chat on ESPN's site on Wednesday. Here are some of the Michelle & Dani mentions from his chat:
Question: What a beautiful & touching series this has been the last 2 years! Chris, what were your impressions of Michelle Kwan?
Chris Connelly: I typically don't go on the wishes, so that the focus can be on the child and the athlete. That said, you can't say enough about Michelle Kwan and what she did for Dani Krause...so gracious and thoughtful throughout...very caring. This is one of my favorite stories we've ever done, because the family was amazing and Michelle was so terrific with Dani.
Question: How do you pick the kids to be on the show? I think this is a great thing and more stuff like this should be happening.
Chris Connelly: We try to select a diverse group of kids with diverse wishes -- in terms of sport, and geography and so forth. And then some stories, when you read about them, just grab you and you say, "Wow, wouldn't it be cool if...." I don't think we came into this year planning to do a figure-skaing wish. But Dani's story...I mean, what a hero she is, and her family.
Question: Chris, have you guys tried to get any sports stars that turned it down or were just to busy to film it?
Chris Connelly: I know Michelle Kwan turned her schedule inside-out to make Dani's wish a reality. And Dwyane Wade was just hours out of surgery when he faxed this handwritten note to Noa. Jimmie Johnson had lots of other resposibilities the week he hung out with Jennifer. So what we see is athletes who really make a major committment.
A nice quote about Michelle from this article about one of the SAMMY winners:
The scholar athletes were selected to be marshals at the Disney's daily parade before being greeted by Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan and Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman at the weekend's closing ceremony. Altman was lucky enough to sit at Kwan's table at the event. "She was great," Altman said of Kwan. "She was a fantastic orator and was very open with everyone." Kwan's best advice: Never stop working because there is always someone better out there.
Even more information on Michelle appearing on ESPN's "My Wish" series. ESPN has a preview (the first few minutes) of the feature up on their site. Check it out! Also, Tuesday's SportsCenter had a promo for the Michelle "My Wish" piece. I made a video clip of the promo (it's uploaded to sendspace & is 2MB.) Check it out!
Don't forget to watch when Michelle's feature airs on Wednesday, June 27 during SportsCenter on ESPN. The first airing will be during the 6pm-7pm broadcast, but it will also air on later SportsCenter airings that night. Of course, I will be posting the video on my site after it airs, and ESPN also posts the features on their site, as seen on their "My Wish" main page.
Speaking of ESPN, va_girl posted on the MK Forum that Michelle was mentioned on SportsCenter on Monday (Thanks va_girl!):
Michelle was mentioned on SportsCenter today (6pm, ET)! It was supercool... They were talking about Roger Federer going for his fifth straight Wimbledon title, and gave their list of "Top Ten all-time best streaks." Our girl was listed at #9 for her eight straight national titles! They showed about a 10-sec. clip of her in various costumes, mostly doing the Kwan Smiral ;-). Among other athletes listed were Martina Navratilova, Tiger Woods and John Force Jr. (funny car hot rod driver).
I posted earlier that Michelle was going to be interviewed on the Pulse on ESPNews on Saturday. It was a great interview, where Michelle said that she had no pain! She was asked if we'll ever see her 2006 Olympic programs, and she said "perhaps." She didn't seem to rule out a possible run in 2010! A quick rundown of the topics in the interview:
- SAMMY awards/milk mustache. Host asked what the mustache was made up, she said whatever it was, it was yummy. (The interview took place via satellite from the SAMMY awards.)
- Russia trip (which obviously was shorter than originally announced. She said she got back from Russia a few days ago)
- ESPN's My Wish on Wednesday (she seemed to really light up when talking about this!)
- What it was like during Nancy/Tonya thing
- Being a Miss Universe judge, and how she felt when Miss USA fell during the show
- two fans questions (if we'll get to see her programs/if Olys aren't out of the question, and then what's been the hardest over the last year, with school and everything. She answered "finals!")
If you missed it, I made a video clip of the interview. The clip contains the intro where Michelle is mentioned, a short clip from Rex Grossman's interview where they show Michelle at the SAMMY awards (he was interviewed just before Michelle on the show), and then Michelle's interview. The clip is a large wmv file, uploaded to sendspace, and about 75MB (I'm sorry it's so large, I had to do a LOT of work to cap this show, and then no matter what I tried, I couldn't get the file size any smaller.) Check it out! Someone has uploaded the video I made to YouTube, so if you don't want to download it to keep, you can watch it on YouTube here.
skatefan20 made some screencaps from the interview:
Be sure to check out this great AP article about what Michelle's been up to, and possibly skating in the future: Kwan's Routine: School, Diplomacy, Skate
Michelle is once again one of the top 10 favorite female athletes, according to the latest Harris Poll! Michelle finished 10th among all female athletes. Serena Williams is #1, Danica Patrick is #2, followed by Venus Williams, Mia Hamm, Maria Sharapova, Annika Sorenstam, Layla Ali, Michelle Wie, Anna Kournikova, and Michelle at #10.
Harris Interactive has asked the question "Who is your favorite sports star?" of the public almost every year since 1993. Michelle appeared in the top 10 overall in 2003 (she was #8, and was one of only two women in the top 10, along with Serena Williams.) In 2004, the Harris Poll also started asking "Who is your favorite female sports star?" Michelle has appeared on that list every year since (4th in 2004 & 2005, 6th in 2006, and 10th this year...when she didn't even compete!)
The Harris Poll is conducted online by Harris Interactive among a nationwide sample of 2,372 US adults between June 5 and 11, 2007. For more information, check out the press release.
More information on Michelle appearing on ESPN's "My Wish" series. Michelle's feature airs on Wednesday, June 27 during SportsCenter on ESPN. The first airing will be during the 6pm-7pm broadcast, but it will also air on later SportsCenter airings that night.
skateslikeagoddess posted on the MK Forum that ESPN has been airing a promo for the series during SportsCenter. I caught it a few times yesterday. Check out video clip (uploaded to filesend.net) of this promo, as well as these screencaps from the promo (Thanks to skatefan20 for the screencaps & video of the "My Wish" promo.) :
Also, some great quotes from the LA Daily News article, ESPN stays in the 'Wish' business: ESPN has five more stories to tell, starting Sunday. One is focused on 10-year-old Dani Krause of Chicago, suffering from a brain tumor, who asks Michelle Kwan for a skating lesson. It took place two weeks ago at Kwan's rink in Artesia. That piece airs Wednesday."Michelle did an amazing job getting on the ice with Dani, who has trouble with her balance," said Chris Connelly, the series' host. "There was one point where Dani was getting chilly, and Michelle ran over to the concession stand, jumped behind the counter and made her hot chocolate."
And more great quotes from the LA Daily News blog (scroll down for the My Wish part): "It was an easy decision to do it again." Druley said what athletes get chosen to participate are all up to the Make-A-Wish foundation; it's not up to ESPN to peg an athlete and then ask if anyone had a request in to meet that person just to get a piece done. "We had a lot of athletes respond to the series last year, but we don't pick them," she said. “Michelle was very anxious to want to do this and juggled her schedule a lot for it. And in the end, she gave Dani her jacket from the Olympics.” The piece that airs Wednesday on "SportsCenter" throughout the day featuring Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan and 10-year-old Dani Krause, who developed a brain tumor when she was 7 that prevented her from skating, was fun to watch, said host Chris Connelly, because "the affection Michelle showed was great. They had a conversation about fashion and Michelle really locked in to her as a human being. That was great to see."
Finally, two pictures from the taping of the feature:
YS01 posted on the MK Forum that Michelle will be on the Pulse on Saturday, June 23 on ESPNews. The Pulse airs from 1pm-4pm. The Pulse lets you ask Michelle a question through their site. Check it out!
I posted earlier that Michelle was on the panel of Milk Mustache celebrity judges (which also included Andy Roddick, Jason Kidd, Mia Hamm, and Tony Hawk) that selected this year's SAMMY winners. The June 22nd issue of USA Today has a special edition Milk Mustache ad with all the SAMMY winners, with pictures of the celebrity judges along the side. The ad is on page 6A-7A, and Michelle is the 4th picture down. You can find this edition of USA Today throughout the weekend, because it's the Friday-Saturday-Sunday edition.
Michelle's second trip as the US Public Diplomacy Envoy is to Moscow, Volgograd & Elista, Russia, from June 13-23. Michelle's activities in Russia will help commemorate the 200th anniversary of U.S.–Russia diplomatic relations. As stated in the press release, "During her visit to Russia, she will meet with students learning English in an ECA-sponsored English language enhancement program for Russian youth in Kalmykia, connect with aspiring student entrepreneurs working on Junior Achievement projects, and share her experiences with women leaders as well as Russian athletes."
Check out the following articles & pictures from Michelle's Russia trip so far:
Michelle will be part of ESPN's "My Wish" series, a collaborative effort between ESPN SportsCenter and the Make-A-Wish Foundation that chronicles the granting of unique sports-related wishes for 5 children with 5 different athletes. Each story will air on SportsCenter from Sunday, June 24 to Friday, June 29. Along with Michelle, the other athletes involved are Jimmie Johnson, Dwyane Wade, Drew Brees and David Ortiz.
From the ESPN press release:
"My Wish" is presented by ESPN, in cooperation with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and The Walt Disney Company. As part of the series, ESPN will help grant sports-related wishes with leading sports stars to five children referred by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Each wish will then be the subject of one SportsCenter feature segment. The SportsCenter segment will feature the reason for the wish, interviews with the kids and their families, and a behind-the-scenes look at the wish fulfilled, including the interaction between the youngster and the athlete.
Several ESPN multimedia platforms such as ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, and ESPN360.com will offer additional and complementary content related to the five wish-granting experiences.
The Make-A-Wish press release states that "Each story and experience, taped and produced by SportsCenter's award-winning Features Unit, will be the subject of a lengthy segment, generally debuting on the 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter." Also, ESPN's media site says the following:
SportsCenter My Wish Series to Debut Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The 2007 edition of ESPN’s critically acclaimed and award-winning SportsCenter “My Wish” series will debut Sunday, June 24 at 10:30 a.m. This year, the series will tell of the unique bond star athletes – Jimmie Johnson, Dwyane Wade, Michelle Kwan, Drew Brees and David Ortiz – share with their fans by chronicling five Make-A-Wish® children whose sports-related wishes were granted by the athletes.
So, I know that each piece will air on a different day from June 24 to June 29 (and I read elsewhere that the Jimmie Johnson piece will air on Monday, so we know Michelle's feature will NOT air on Monday.) From the ESPN media site, though, I guess all the features will air during the 10:30am-12:30pm SportsCenter on Sunday, June 24 as well? In any case, I remember last year that these features were well promoted the day before, so we should know which day Michelle's piece will air at least the day before.
I watched this series last year, and these features are incredibly moving. You can see the features from last year on ESPN's site.
From the courierpress.com, this bit of information about Michelle's feature:
Michelle Kwan was skating at the East West Ice Palace in Artesia, Calif., as the cameras were rolling. Skating with her was 10-year-old Danielle Krause of Chicago. "Danny," as her parents and friends call her, used to be an excellent skater. But in October 2005 she had a brain tumor removed and she lost her sight and ability to walk and speak. Kwan was taping an episode for an ESPN "My Wish" series, which makes its debut June 24. The series is a joint venture between ESPN and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Also, from the Make-A-Wish press release:
KEY HIGHLIGHTS FROM EACH WISH
Danielle Krause – Ice Skating Lesson With Michelle Kwan
- Age – 10; Hometown – Chicago; Condition – medulloblastoma (brain tumor)
- Wish: Ice skating lessons with Kwan
- Joined Kwan on the ice for a lesson
- Kwan gave Danielle a personal tour of the displays of memorabilia from Kwan’s career
Check out some thumbnail images from the feature on ESPN's media site.
Michelle will be at the award presentation for the National Milk Mustache "got milk?" 2007 SAMMY (Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year) winners. The SAMMY awards recognize the nation's 25 top student athletes. Michelle will be joined by quarterback Rex Grossman at the award ceremony at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Florida. Michelle was also on the panel of Milk Mustache celebrity judges (which also included Andy Roddick, Jason Kidd, Mia Hamm, and Tony Hawk) that selected this year's winners. Each of the 25 winners will also grace the pages of the June 22nd issue of USA Today in a special edition Milk Mustache ad, which, if past years is any indication, also include pictures of the celebrity judges. Michelle also was at the SAMMY awards in 2004. For more information, check out the press release.
If you missed it, check out some pictures & video clips of Michelle as a judge during the Miss Universe Pageant ! During the introduction of the judges, she was introduced last and received a nice applause from the crowd. She was also randomly chosen by Miss Brazil to ask one of the final questions. Her question was, "Is it better to live life following your heart, or following your mind?"
(Thanks to skatefan20 for the screencaps. I made the video clips, all of which are large wmv files, and uploaded to my server here.)
Michelle is going to be a celebrity judge for the Miss Universe pageant on May 28. The pageant will air live from Mexico City from 9-11pm on NBC. The other celebrity judges are "Heroes" James Kyson Lee, "Deal or No Deal" briefcase model Lindsay Clubine, quarterback Tony Romo, rocker Dave Navarro, celebrity hairstylist Ken Paves, fashion designer Marc Bouwer, "Project Runway" judge and Elle magazine fashion director Nina Garcia, and former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres. For more information, check out the Miss Universe Press Release as well as the judges bio page on the Miss Universe site.
Disney is launching an On Demand cable channel later this month. One of the shows, "Dream Makers", will feature celebrity guests, including Michelle! From the press release:
"Dream Makers" - Join celebrity hosts like Joey Fatone and Michelle Kwan, as unsuspecting guests are randomly surprised with some of the most extraordinary and unique experiences Disney has to offer. From spending the night in a brand new royal suite built within Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort, to taking over the one-of-a-kind Mickey Mouse Penthouse Suite in Disneyland, viewers will get a peek at the excitement behind surprises that are uniquely Disney during "The Year of a Million Dreams."The station is set to debut on Time Warner Cable the week of May 21 and on Cablevision the week of May 29 (neither of which is my cable provider, unfortunately.) For more information, check out the following articles:
An interesting Michelle mention from an SI.com article about women in sports:
The Davie-Brown Index is a constantly-updated bible for brand marketers. It evaluates celebrities' appeal and relevance, and their influence on consumer buying behavior, by getting 1.5 million Americans to appraise famous people on eight different attributes. Female athletes are part of the 1,000-celebrity pool and guess what? This week, Michelle Kwan's ranked highest among them. Then comes Mary Lou Retton, Peggy Fleming, Chris Evert and then ... [Anna] Kournikova.
Michelle wasn't seen during the CSPAN coverage of the White House Correspondents Association Dinner on Saturday, April 21, but there are several pictures of her attending the Bloomberg News After Party! Check them out:
Hopefully more pics will come out over the next few days. Be sure to watch the entertainment shows and such on Monday, hopefully they'll show Michelle!
Looks like Michelle will attend the White House Correspondents Association Dinner on April 21! The event airs on CSPAN, and usually many entertainment shows & news networks cover the event. Check out the following articles for other celebs & guests invited to the dinner:
I've finally finished my pictures of Michelle at ESPN the Weekend!. Check out my pictures from the Dream Job Experience. There are 105 pictures, and I didn't want to put all those thumbnails on one page, so I split them into 3 pages of pictures for the Dream Job Experience. So, make sure you look at all 3 pages! As I wrote earlier, the event took place inside with bad lighting, so I really had to play around with the pictures. There are still some that are dark or not that great, but hopefully you will enjoy them all anyway!
Even though I've already posted the video files from ESPN the Weekend, I have an update with the videos as well. I've uploaded larger file size versions of both clips (the Q&A is not split into 4 parts, as the smaller version was) to sendspace. I've also uploaded all of the smaller versions to my server here, so if you have problems downloading from sendspace, you should be able to get them now. The files uploaded here are zipped, so you have to unzip them with a program like WinZip before watching them. You can see all the links for the video files here.
I've finished working on my videos from ESPN the Weekend. I will probably upload them here to my own server in the near future, but for now, I've uploaded the videos to sendspace. Check them out! I still am working on my pictures from the Dream Job experience.
Be sure to read this article from the University of Denver's newspaper, which gives a nice update on Michelle:Kwan adjusting to life as student
I'm back from vacation, and, as I said before I left, I went to MGM Studios at Walt Disney World for ESPN the Weekend while I was there. I saw Michelle at two events on Saturday, March 3: A Q&A on the main stage, and as a celebrity judge for the "Dream Job Experience." I took many pictures and also took video. So far I've posted my report (which I wrote as soon as I got back to the hotel) and pictures from the Q&A. There are 91 pictures from the Q&A, and I didn't want to put all those thumbnails on one page, so I split them into 2 pages of pictures for the Q&A. So, make sure you look at both pages! Check out my report & pictures from ESPN the Weekend!
My pictures from the Dream Job experience (which was inside with bad lighting, so I'll have to play around with the pictures before posting them) and my video will be coming later this week.
Maxxis has put out a 4th poster of Michelle, check it out: "Ultra High Performance" Poster (you can select a download size at the bottom of the page.)
And, as in the past, Maxxis will be sending out this 24"x36" poster free to all Michelle fans who would like one! Just go to the contact page on their site. On that site, be sure to select Web Site as your "Topic of Interest" so the request is forwarded to the correct department. I've been told it may take some time (they compile a list and generally mail them out once a week), but they will be delivered! Thanks Maxxis, for being so great to Michelle's fans!!
If you missed the past posters, you can check them out on the official Maxxis site: "Control in Motion" Poster, "Outlasting, Outshining" Poster, and "A Champion Forever" Poster.
Michelle is in the February 26 issue of Sports Illustrated Magazine! It's the "Q&A" article. On the MK Forum, debbwin posted a scan of the article. Check it out! You can also read the article, plus several Q&As that were not included in the magazine, on SI's site: Q&A: Michelle Kwan. (Thanks debbwin!)
I'm going to be away until March 6, so there probably won't be any updates until then (not that updates have been as frequent from me in the last few months, I know!) I'm going to Florida for spring training, and while I'm there, I will hopefully make it to Disney World for ESPN the Weekend because... Michelle will be there! If I do get to see her, I'll be sure to post a full report & pictures when I get back (not sure if I'll be able to update while I'm still away.)
A few MK TV updates. Two shows Michelle did several years back will be repeating on cable next week. On March 1, Michelle's 1999 cameo on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch will air on Noggin. On March 3, Michelle's Biography special will air on the Biography Channel. For more information, check out my FS TV schedule.
I didn't have the chance to be online much this past week, so I appologize for being behind in updating about Michelle's visit to China. Because I'm behind, rather than link to all the pics separately, I'm going to link to the "First Trip to China acting as Public Diplomacy Envoy" album of the MK Photo Gallery that Grace & I maintain. Be sure to check it out, it contains over 150 pics from her visit!
Also KwanKat was able to capture some videos of Michelle's visit, and posted them on youtube (Thanks KwanKat!):
At a school
At Special Olympics Day event
Be sure to check out this great article about Michelle from the LA Times, Kwan's body of evidence points to lack of ice time
On January 19, Michelle visited the Bethel foster home, which is dedicated to the care and education for Chinese orphaned blind children, in Lan Fang, China. Bethel Foster Home was founded in December 2003 and is the first project of its kind in China offering visually impaired orphans with foster care. Check out the following pictures of Michelle's visit:
Also, be sure to keep checking out this thread at the MK Forum about Michelle's diplomatic visit to China. It contains several translations of articles and reports about her visit.
Info is coming in from Michelle's trip to Beijing, China as Public Diplomacy Envoy. On January 18, she visited Dandelion School, a hardscrabble school for migrant children, and one of Beijing's most prestigious high schools, for 2 hours each. She also attended a dinner party (either January 17 or 18) at the U.S. embassy, where she met up with Shen & Zhao. Check out a picture of Michelle with Shen & Zhao at their blog!
Check out the following articles & pictures of Michelle's trip to Beijing, China:
heartMK from the MK Forum uploaded a great Chinese news clip of Michelle visiting the school. You can download it from quicksharing.com
Also, WorldsGreatestMK on the MK Forum typed out a transcript of the press conference when Michelle was appointed as the Public Diplomacy Envoy in November. Check it out! (Thanks geisha, heartMK and WorldsGreatestMK!)
It appears that, in conjunction with Michelle's visit to China, she is on the cover of China's Sports Illustratred magazine! Check out the cover (with a gorgeous picture!)
As mentioned earlier in the LA Times article, Michelle's first oversees trip as the US Public Diplomacy Envoy will be to China this month. Michelle will travel with Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes on January 16 for a week long visit. They will meet with students, women's groups, business and community representatives, government officials, and the media. Michelle will talk about U.S. values and engage young people in dialogue in China. Karen Hughes said about the trip, "We're also recruiting and deploying special American public diplomacy envoys. Our first is world champion skater Michelle Kwan, who will be traveling with me to China. And I imagine if it's true to form, the young people there will be a lot more interested in hearing from her than they will this middle-aged woman. And so we're expanding those type of programs so that we can tap into the creativity and talent of America to send it out across the world and speak on our behalf."
Michelle will be in Beijing from January 17-21, in Guangzhou from January 21-23, and in Hong Kong from January 23-25.
For more information, check out the following articles:
Michelle posted on the MK Forum on December 23! Check it out! Here is what she wrote:
Merry Christmas xoxo Michelle Kwan
Phew...I made it out of Denver just before the blizzard. I hope everybody is having a great holiday. My sister Karen and her husband had an early Christmas party at their house. Unfortunately Karen and Peter will be going to the east coast to celebrate Christmas day with the other side of the family. It was so cute to see my two neices dance around the Christmas tree. Olivia is almost three years old and she is finally understanding the concept of Christmas. Her favorite thing is to help EVERYBODY open their presents. ha ha.....My parents gave Olivia and Sophia matching pink jacket with white fur trimming. It will be perfect for them when they go to the rink to skate!
I am planning to make Christmas Eve dinner at my house....I made a deal with my parents that if I cook they help clean up :D I am trying to enjoy all the time I have with my family and friends before I head out to Denver again. Winter quarter starts up pretty soon....then it's time to hit the books again.
My hip is feeling a lot better....shhhh....I snuck onto to the ice the other day!! I plan on getting back onto the ice soon. There's no work out like skating....I prefer the rink over the gym any day :)
I want to wish all of you a wonder Christmas and a fantastic New Year!! I miss seeing all of you!
In the 5th post in the thread Michelle replied:
oops!! I meant
miss you more....
Check out this great article from the LA Times, which has a current interview with Michelle: Kwan expands outlook as part of her healing process. She talks about her college experience, the Olympics, her life with skating in a lesser role (at the moment), watching her old programs on YouTube, her public diplomacy envoy appointment ("she plans to travel to China next month with Karen Hughes, undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, and will probably speak to youth groups."), and more. It's a must read!
Michelle has recently taped a PSA for the Women's Sports Foundation that will air on WE-TV in January! You can see the PSA by going to WE-TV's site, then click on 'videos' on the left hand side. About Michelle the site says:
WE tv is a national Media Partner of the Women's Sports Foundation, a national charitable educational organization seeking to advance the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity. Michelle Kwan, World Champion Figure Skater and two-time Olympic medalist, is helping raise awareness of the Foundation and its programs, which inspire and empower girls to live healthier lives.
Some articles and pictures from the press conference where Michelle was named the first American Public Diplomacy Envoy!
Michelle will be named as a U.S. public diplomacy ambassador on Thursday, November 9! From the AP article:
Michelle Kwan, the American figure skater who owns nine national championships and five world titles, is about to become a nonsalaried U.S. diplomat.
On Thursday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to name the 26-year-old Californian and daughter of Chinese immigrants from Hong Kong as a public diplomacy ambassador, said a senior U.S. official who spoke anonymously pending the formal announcement.
Kwan, the biggest star in her sport for a decade, will represent American values especially to young people and sports enthusiasts and is expected to travel widely, the official said.
Congrats Michelle!! The announcement will be made at 4:00 pm in the Treaty Room of the U.S. Department of State by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Secretary Rice, Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes and Michelle will deliver brief remarks at the event.
Watch a brief news report about the appointment from LA's local CBS station. For more information, check out the following articles:
Official news about Michelle's surgery and her decision on the upcoming season. From the USFSA's site, Michelle Kwan To Skip 2006-07 Competitive Season:
Five-time World and nine-time U.S. champion Michelle Kwan will take a year off from figure skating and will not compete during the 2006-2007 season. Instead, beginning this fall, Kwan will attend the University of Denver (DU) in Denver, Colo., as a full-time student. Kwan will continue to perform in skating exhibitions, work on special projects and serve as a corporate spokesperson.
“Each year, since 2002, I have taken a one-year-at-a-time approach to my figure skating plans,” Kwan said. “Education is very important to me and this year I have decided to put college first. Next year at this time I will again evaluate all my options including returning to competitive skating.”
Kwan, 26, previously attended UCLA, earning one year's worth of credits which have been transferred to DU. Kwan plans to major in political science with a minor in international studies.
In August, following the Champions on Ice tour, Kwan underwent elective arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn labrum in her right hip, an old injury which she sustained during the 2004-2005 season. She will be off the ice for approximately four months for healing and rehabilitation and is expected to make a full recovery.
Good luck to Michelle in her recovery. The most important thing is for her to be healthy, happy, and pain free.
I know I'm incredibly behind in updating. I still have other articles and lots of pics from COI this year to add to the site, but rather than trying to catch up all at once, I wanted to make sure to post this breaking news about Michelle's future.
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Last Updated October 17, 2007
Photo © Jay Adeff