Goodwill MC: Hi Michelle :) Thanks for joining us at AOL Live.

Michelle Kwan: Hi everybody :)

Question: In a career of many highlights, what's your favourite moment of your career??

Michelle Kwan: There have been so many highlights in my skating career. In '96, Edmonton was one of the best skates, and I've skated nationals... Being in the Olympics was quite an experience - something that was memorable - a dream come true because I have always wanted to be in the Olympics. The 2000 and 2001 championships were also pretty amazing - last year's world championships were the best because I was struggling with the season and I was able to pull myself together.

Question: Michelle, I think you are the best and good luck in the upcoming Olympics! I wish you the best and know you will do wonderfully! Good luck!

Michelle Kwan: Thank you :)

Question: Who do you look to for inspiration?

Michelle Kwan: There are many people I look up to. Brian Boitano. He's been my role model since I was seven years old. He is here covering the Games.(Brisbane).

Question: So when did you start skating?

Michelle Kwan: I started skating when I was 5 In a local rink that was in a shopping mall.

Question: What is the most unique thing you've ever gotten from your fans?

Michelle Kwan: There are lot of stuffed animals that are thrown onto the ice the weirdest thing I have gotten on the ice is a suit like an outfit that actually fit! I wear it :) All the stuffed animals I get on the ice I usually donate to the hospitals.

Question: When was the last time you went into a rink and just skated for the heck of it without the pressure of a competition or exhibition looming?

Michelle Kwan: The last time I left the rink - just for the heck of it - it was last week before I left for Australia. I didn't wear the normal clothes I wear, I just wore a warm up suit and casually strolled onto the ice. It's the place I train at -- normally I would be warming up and jumping around and having a prep session beforehand.

Question: When did you know you wanted to be a figure skater? Was it always your first love?

Michelle Kwan: Well actually I started with ballet and gymnastics, tap dancing - you name it. I've tried everything! But ice skating was always my favourite.

Question: What do you think about the competition for next years winter games?

Michelle Kwan: Well there is a lot of great skaters competing at the Olympics. It's the best of the best and I guess you can't focus on who you are competing against. Just go out there and do what you want to do.

Question: What will you do differently this time around in Salt Lake City in comparison to Nagano 4 years ago?

Michelle Kwan: There are not many things I would do differently. I would try to watch some of the events beforehand like hockey or skiing or something because last time I wasn't able to.

Question: Hi, Michelle! Congratulations on your achievements! You're a joy to watch! I'd assume that your success keeps you happy with the decision you made to follow this career path. But, do you ever wish you'd done something different?

Michelle Kwan: There hasn't been much that I have regretted in my career. I've been happy with the decisions I have made after the Olympics staying amateur. I love competing and I wouldn't change anything.

Question: Hello Michelle, I am really looking forward to your new long program. In 1998 you used Lyra Angelica which is not character driven. Can you tell us a little about what made you decide to portray a character for this Olympic season?

Michelle Kwan: Well, I wanted to skate to Scheherazade because I think I could portray her and bring out the feeling with the music.

Question: How much do you think will be to your advantage that the games will be held in the US?

Michelle Kwan: I don't think there's much of an advantage because the panel of judges are from all over the world. But it's nice to have the Olympics in your hometown. The family members and friends cheer me on and it's also nice that it's Salt Lake and close to home.

Question: What inspires you to keep going in a sport that takes up so much of your life?

Michelle Kwan: Lots of things inspire me. I do have low days but when I step onto the ice and feel like I am flying it's all worth it.

Question: What do you look for while choosing the music for your programs?

Michelle Kwan: Something that inspires me and energies me, and of course something that I love. :) Energizes me I mean to type :)

Question: What do you hope to achieve at these games? Other than a medal? Are you looking forward not only to having fun, but to expand and grow with all aspects of your skating?

Michelle Kwan: Well this will be the first comp of the season. I will be competing against the world's top skaters. I want to debut my long program which I will be skating at the Olympics and also just to have fun and skate well.

Question: Hey my name is carrie and I did want become a skater but I ice skated once I thought I could not do it again so how long did you practice each day and how were you able to do every thing else like school and family?

Michelle Kwan: Well it's been hard to juggle skating and going to school at the same time. Just have fun and enjoy the sport.

Question: How difficult is it to switch from a choreographer you've worked with for 8 years to a new one during an olympic season?

Michelle Kwan: Well I've worked with Sarah Kawahara on many specials so it's not something out of the blue.

Question: Michelle, what triple/triple jump combinations do you hope to perform by Olympic or Worlds time?

Michelle Kwan: Triple lutz, and triple toe :)

Question: Michelle, I am a relatively large fan of yours. I would like to say I think your very graceful, elegant, and stylish when you perform on the ice rink. I would like to know how you feel about yourself and how you are doing in your career?

Michelle Kwan: I feel great about where I am at in my school and competing. I've experienced a lot in my skating and it made me grow as a person.

Michelle Kwan: Goodbye and thanks for all the questions!

Huge thanks to Liz, luenatic, and Susan for this transcript!


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Photo Jay Adeff