Jim Lampley: Meanwhile, hereís a beauty shot. Sheíll take to the Goodwill ice in 9 days. Two time World champion Michelle Kwan joins us live from California, next.

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JL: Bringing you live now, once again, Michelle Kwan from her home in Lake Arrowhead, California. Michelle will be competing here in figure skating at the Goodwill Games in 9 days. Michelle, after your silver medal winning performance at the Olympics, you went to Minnesota and won the World Championship, a lot of the other top skaters skipped that competition. The bottom line is, you havenít had a break for about a year. How are you keeping your competitive fires going?

Michelle Kwan: (Michelleís hair is shoulder length. She is sitting in front of the rink. She is wearing a black top under a striped shirt.) Well, in the beginning of the season, I decided, you know, I want to be at the World Championships, I want to be at the Goodwill Games after the Olympics, and I just really had a mind set to go in and compete. So, Iím really excited, and I canít wait to be there and do my Olympic programs.

JL: Your silver medal at the Goodwill Games in 1994 was regarded at that moment as a milestone in your developing career. Does it seem now like a thousand years ago?

MK: Um, not really. Four years ago, it just went by (She snaps her fingers) went by so quickly. And, I had a lot of fun that year. St. Petersburg Russia, that was where the Goodwill Games was in 1994. And it was a huge milestone in, in my career because it was the first time Iíve ever beaten anyone in the international rank. And, it just gave me motivation to do better in 95.

JL: Um, you pleased a lot of people after the Olympics by stating clearly that it was your plan to remain eligible for Salt Lake City and stay in the sport for another 4 years. Holding firm to that decision?

MK: Um, well, I think 2002 is, um, a great idea to compete at. Itís in Salt Lake City, right in our back yard. And, I think Iíll be young. Iíll be 21. And, just really excited because itís in my hometown, you know. Not my hometown, my (she makes a grand gesture with her hands) in our country, so, it will be great.

JL: Yea, itís a home area for a lot of us who live in the Western United States. Youíve been battling a toe injury. How is it?

MK: Itís doing pretty well. I havenít had trouble in the summer. Itís just finally getting better. Iíll be fine at Goodwill Games.

JL: And a thumbnail sketch of the competition here as you see it?

MK: Um, (She holds her earpiece meaning she canít hear) sorry, I couldnít hear.

JL: Well, what do you know about who else is competing against here, and your thoughts on how the competition is going to go.

MK: Um, well, I heard thereís a lot of great competitors. People from Russia, the United States, um, from different countries. And, Iím looking forward to competing against them. Weíll see how it goes. The competitors that will be competing there will be at all the competitions next season.

JL: You like New York?

MK: I love New York. The shoppingís great. The people are great. And itís a fun city. Iíll be there in a couple of days, so Iíll see you. (She waves at the camera.)

JL: All right. Michelle, thank you so much for your time. Once again, weíll look forward to seeing you here in Gothem in 9 days, and look forward to seeing your skating. One of the most graceful presences in American athletics, Michelle Kwan.

Listen to the interview.

Thanks to Jenny for the audio clip.


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