Voice Over: The year is 1987 a diminutive Michelle Kwan is just 7 years old but it is apparent in this amateur video she skates like a champion.

Michelle Kwan: When I was young I always wanted to be a legend, you know leave a little mark in skating.

VO: She surely left a mark on Derek James he was Michelle's coach during these formative years.

Derek James: You could see she had the opportunity and the chance to go all of the way, definitely.

VO: James said that from the moment he met Michelle Kwan here at the Skater's Edge in Torrence California, she was almost the perfect student. And that's because, according to him, she had total concentration.

DJ: She's a little bit like a sponge. I told her something, and she absorbed it.

VO: James convinced Kwan's dad Danny to push Michelle to practice more as much as 6 hours a day, 6 days a week. And these are the results. A 7 year old who landed difficult jumps with precision. A 7 year old who's routines blended power and grace. And this photo from her new book shows Michelle with one of her many trophies. Michelle took James' advice, the world took notice and she eventually got sponsored, moving into a training facility at Lake Arrowhead California. Now this former student is tuning up for next week's Olympic competition and he can't help but feel responsible for her success.

DJ: I hope so, I hope she feels the same way.

VO: There is certainly one thing Michelle feels...confident.

MK: I enjoy skating, I enjoy competing and, I don't think anything could stop me! (laughs) This is what I've always dreamed of and everything's coming true.

Maureen O'Boyle: A grown up Michelle graces the cover of next week's People Magazine. Kwan appears along with Olympic teammates Tara Lipinski and Nicole Bobek. The cover headline reads: 'You Go Girls!'

Listen to a real audio clip of the piece.

Huge thanks to Grace for this transcript and the audio clip!


Back to News / Transcripts
Photo Jay Adeff