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Announcer: "She carries America's Olympic dreams, but coming back from a new injury could be Michelle Kwan's toughest test. Right now, she is supposed to be tuning up for the Winter Olympics in Japan. But instead, Michelle finds herself in a familiar position riding an emotional and physical roller coaster."

Michelle Kwan: "In my 17 years, I've gone through a lot of ups and downs."

A: "But Michelle's latest challenge puts her Olympic hopes in jeopardy."
Debbie Becker (a writer for the USA Today Paper) speaks about her injury

A:
"Debbie Becker has been in touch with Michelle and her coach. She says that Michelle originally injured her toe in August, but kept quiet about it until she aggravated it 2 weeks ago in this performance [a picture of Michelle from Skate Canada is shown] at Skate Canada."

DB:
"She has a small cast on her left foot, and is not going on the ice at all."

A:
"Doctors told Kwan to rest for about 10-14 days, or risk breaking the bone. It's forced her to drop out of a major competition later this month in Japan. With just 7 weeks until the US Nationals, and the Olympics shortly thereafter, Kwan is losing crucial training time.

Dr. Edward Castner (sports psychiatrist):
"It's a major loss. She going to experience sense of depression for everything that she's worked for. Obviously, this throws a monkey wrench into the works."

A:
"Dr. Edward Castner says that the stress fracture in her toe may seem like a minor injury, but it could devastate her mental outlook."

Dr:
"The most positive thing she can do is say I've worked, this is almost like an act of God, and I had no control over it. But, it doesn't mean my chances, my career is gone."

A:
"Michelle Kwan has never been a quitter, though she admits the last year has been a challenge. Her body changed dramatically, maturing, and adding pounds to her 5'2" frame. She had to cope with her friend Scott Hamilton, who battled with cancer, and she lost her US and World titles to her archrival, Tara Lipinski. But, Michelle has battled back in recent competitions with flawless performances, like this one, like this one featured on the December 12 USA network special [tape of Michelle skating to Winter at Skating Romance 3.] She has reemerged as the favorite for gold in Nagano. Now, the question, will the injured toe derail her comeback, and give Tara the edge?"

DB:
"Tara and she are having a great rivalry. It's believed one or the other will win the gold medal. So, this may open a little bit of the door."

A:
"But Kwan's coach says she's upbeat, taking the situation in stride. And as Michelle told Extra in a recent interview, she doesn't plan to let anything come between her, and the Olympic gold."

MK:
"If I set a goal, I'll give my life to achieve it. I guess I'm very determined in whatever I do."

A:
"Well, Michelle's coach says that Michelle is doing a lot of aerobic training off the ice to keep in shape. And, he insists she will be back in top form for the National Championships on January 4."

At the end of the show, they showed her skating to Winter from Skating Romance 3.


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Photo Jay Adeff