Ernie Johnson, host of the Goodwill Games for TNT, was joined by Skippy, a kangaroo that's a "national hero" in Australia, and has it's own show. They equated it with Lassie in the US.

Ernie Johnson: (continually feeding kangaroo throughout interview) Welcome back to the Goodwill Games, and I'm joined by Michelle Kwan, and we're joined by--

Michelle Kwan: Skippy! (laughs)

EJ: --the bush kangaroo, who's just a national hero here.

MK: No one's stopping Skippy.

EJ: Yeah, and he just wants to eat nonstop so as we talk about the Goodwill Games, Michelle, we'll just kind of spend some time with Skippy here too. You just got into town yesterday, and I know from last week's experience when you get here you try to stay up late that first night, get yourself acclimated. How ya feeling on day two now?

MK: Oh, I'm feeling better. I actually slept pretty good last night and yesterday I had a practice in the afternoon. I just wanted to, you know, go out there and skate a little bit and man, my eyes were just closing on me, and I was thinking come on, stay up, stay up! I actually made it to 9:00 so that was pretty decent.

EJ: You feel good about being ready physically for the competition that begins this week?

MK: It's early in the season for us, and you know at this point (clip of Sunday practice doing triple toe/double toe in black pants and red halter begins) I'm really happy where I'm at, um, I'm debuting my new program, my new long program for the uh..(kind of stumbles over her words here)

EJ: Salt Lake City.

MK: For Salt Lake City, so, should be good.

EJ: Tell me about the choreographer switch though, (end clip of Michelle practicing) and I'm not gonna pretend like I'm an insider in the world of figure skating, but in the summer, before the Olympics, you switch choreographers. Is that dangerous at all and uh, do you wonder if this was the right decision at this point in your career?

MK: Well, I worked with Frank who's my coach, um, and we've worked together for 10 years, so it's nothing that I haven't done before, um and also Sarah Kawahara is also helping me with my long program, and I don't know what you can call "dangerous" because right now at this point I feel that I'm capable of doing other things, challenging myself, um by myself, and from Frank also, so we're working together with it.

EJ: You know what, you're only 21 years old, and it seems like you've been around forever. We saw you in St. Petersburg at the age of 14 at the Goodwill Games. How do you think, when you think back to that performance, you're on a world stage, how have you changed, how have you grown, uh, as a skater, and handling the uh, I guess mental demands of the sport too?

MK: Well the first Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, um it was my first big competition against great skaters, and it seemed like a millions of years, millions of years ago since then, and I've done a lot since then, and you know, it's...I've had a wonderful skating career and you know, it's just all about challenging myself and getting better and improving and improving.

EJ: Driven by that desire for a gold medal, silver you had in Nagano?

MK: Oh yes (with emphasis!) um, gold is always on my mind but, you know, since Nagano I know that gold isn't everything, that all...that I can just challenge myself and just have fun with it because it's once in a lifetime and uh...(laughs at kangaroo, who had obviously been doing something distracting while Michelle was trying to talk.)

EJ: He's a little frisky, but I know, I know where you're going from it, I know that's out there as something in your career that will complete things after World Championships and National titles

MK: It de- It'd be definitely like the cherry on top of the perfect sundae (makes motion of putting cherry on a sundae), is what I can say. (smiles)

EJ: You know, we're giving obviously a big flavor, an Australian flavor here, and I know yesterday when you checked in (start clip of her "koala experience") immediately you had the koala experience and I believe that--

MK: And the wallaby.

EJ: We have some video of the uh, koala experience (Michelle laughs) you had there. Now did you just pat him, or did you let him climb on you at all?

MK: They wouldn't let you.

EJ: Oh really?

MK: No, because he was a little frightened at that time.

EJ: Well, that rule wasn't in effect earlier in the day here and uh, (clip shown of Ernie holding koala), and this is what happened moments ago...

MK: Ahh! Oh I'm jealous (laughs, and he says something I couldn't catch) Really jealous!

EJ: Oh well, you saw the nails on that thing...

MK: Oh yeah...

EJ: They were digging in and uh, the smell isn't the best in the world, and you saw I had like a red shirt on there, and I've changed to the gold at this point.

MK: And I can tell you have to change your pants (in reference to the kangaroo sitting on his lap, and she says something I couldn't catch as they both dissolve into laughter)

EJ: Because, I don't even want to know why I have to change my pants and I'm not gonna look for it now, but Skippy, thank you very much and look what else, we had uh, Peter (someone, couldn't catch the last name) the uh, Premiere of Queensland (points to plate of seafood)--

MK: Oooh.

EJ: --swing by and uh, and you really can help yourself when we, when we go to break but uh, this is excellent training food, we've got the big old prongs there, and have you tried the bay bugs? (Michelle is eyeing the food as a joke.)

MK: No, I haven't.

EJ: Just like lobster over there on the uh, on the far end of it (Michelle pokes lobster) and uh somehow, somehow also the wine, the Queensland wine, made it past our crew which is a little bit mystifying but lets...

MK: (laughing) I won't be having any wine before I skate!

EJ: I, I know that full well, and I sure appreciate you...I'm not going to shake your hand.

MK: Yeah, I'd rather not.

EJ: I've been having Skippy eating off it, but thanks a lot for stopping by, and it's great to see you, wish you the best here.

MK: Thank you.

EJ: Michelle Kwan joining us here at Breaka Beach with me and Skippy, we're gonna bid Skippy adieu, I think he's reached his absolute maximum.

MK: Eat some more cookies.

EJ: Yeah, these uh, teddy grahams.

MK: He's gotta go.

EJ: The last teddy grahams of the bowl, sorry pal, All right Michelle, good luck.

MK: Thank you.

EJ: Figure skating which begins Wednesday here at the Goodwill Games, we'll be back with more from Brisbane in just a minute.

When he came back he made a comment about Michelle being right that he had to change his pants.

Huge thanks to Kimberly for this transcript!

Screen shots courtesy of Karen.


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Photo Jay Adeff