JL: "Sports Illustrated" has called my next guest the top female skater in the world. She recently won a silver medal at the World Skating Championships. And on April 16th in Baltimore she begins a national tour. We saw her doing a triple spin earlier (Jay was refering to the jumps but calling them spins) Let's take a look. Let's see it again. (A clip from the Ultimate 4 Championship from Pocohontas doing a triple toe is shown.) Oh look at that. Please welcome Michelle Kwan.

Michelle walks out with a huge smile and waving enthusiastically. She's wearing all black with a black jacket with a belt around her jacket and black slacks. Her hair is half way pulled back in a pony tail.

Halle Berry and Michelle Kwan:
Hi, nice to meet you. (They shake hands)

JL: Have a seat.

MK: Kevin just harassed me. (Kevin Eubanks laughs and throws up his hands.)

JL: Kevin harassed you too? (Jay and audience laughs, I think Halle Berry said the same thing when she came out.)

MK: Yeah, April Fools.

JL: Oh man. It's good to see you. You know figure skaters when I see you guys it looks so intense And you seem relax. Are you relaxed now?

MK: No, not really.

JL: Is this more nerve wracking?

MK: Yes, it is.

JL: No is this more nervous? Is this more nerve wracking than skating?

MK: I think so. You can't control anything. You might trip over something. Trip over a cord. "Oh there's Michelle. Kltuz."

JL: Really? Is that how you really feel? It seems like this would be the easiest thing after being on the Olympics spinning around doing all these things. No?

MK: (shakes head no)

JL: wow, that...

MK: No, never get over nerves.

JL: Well I must say that you certainly brought class back to this sport. It's always been a classy sport. Then you had Tonya bopping people on the knee thing. Well you know. (audience laughs) no no no. Well like you and Tara - how do you say her name?

MK: Lipinski

JL: Lipinksi. Now you guys have a very intense rivalry but I mean you're...I was almost going to say gentlemen. But that's the wrong word isn't it? Sportsman. I mean what's the word I want? You're competitors but your classy.

MK: Well we respect each other. I mean we know what we're aiming for and we kind of just look foward to the Olympic Games.

JL: Right, that's what I'm trying to say.

MK: Well sometimes we fight though. (punch the air) ughh. There you go.

JL: Do you fight yeah?

MK: In the locker room, "I hope you fall". (laughing)

JL: Do you do that? Do you do that? (Michelle laughs and shakes head no.) Have you ever done that? Do you have the little ice dolls you stick the little pins in? Well let me ask you now. I know you've taken a couple spills recently. How does that work in terms of. How do you come out of that?

MK: I just sometimes have to hit myself in the head (hits her head) and go "what am I doing? What am I doing?". And just kind of say "Get back to it. ok. let's go. come on." (snaps her finger as she's talking.)

JL: Is it all just focus? Is that what it is?

MK: yeah. It's just going for that jump and just attacking.

JL: I mean when you do fall. Is it because you're not concentrating? I mean is that the reason? Is it a mental thing that you fall? I mean?

MK: I mean at Nationals and the Championship Series, I was very um nervous. And I held back something. It felt like I was holding on to somebody and trying to jump. Like it won't work like that. I had to loosen myself up and just foret about me being World Champion and defending my title. And at Worlds, I felt really good. Maybe that's why I skated better.

JL: Yeah. It seems like the women's competition has gotten much more intense, much more physical. Lot more spinning. What do they call? You got loops, lutzes. What is that salchow? What is it? Is that correct name?

MK: a Salchow. That's a weird word.

JL: What does that word mean?

MK: Um it's a three turn into a jump on an edge. Did I lose you? (audience laughs)

JL: No no I got you. Just I don't think of cows being very graceful. So I'm trying to figure. I mean how does Salchow? Where does the word come from?

MK: um a name, from somone who made it up.

JL: Oh I see it's the person who invented it. Someone with the unfortunate name of Salchow. (Jay and Michelle say Salchow together.) Let's just hope it wasn't a women. "Hey Salchow" (fake punch to the eyes.) Not a really good name. Can you do those spins on dry land or do you have to be on skates?

MK: I can try it if you do it after I do it. (She encourages the audience to clap for Jay to do it. She gets up from her seat and does a couple of side stretches.)

JL: Now what is that that you're doing now? That looks like something you do in "Bullets Over Broadway". (Jay imitates the stretches)

Michelle does a double axel and audience cheers. She bows a couple of times. She goes to Jay's desk and get's him up to try the jump. She sits down in her chair.

Halle would you like to try it?

HB: (Shakes head and waves hands no.) No no

JL: Halle, I'll settle for you jumping up and down. That's fine. Now what do you do? I don't even know what I'm doing. I'm supposed to - ok, what do I have to do?

MK: Jump. Rotate. Land.

JL: So I kinda jump, then rotate. I don't know what I'm doing ah get out of here. (Kevin laughs and Michelle claps at Jay's attempt to do a jump.) Anyways congratulations on all your success. Will you come back and visit us again?

MK: Certainly

JL: Ok thank you. Thank you Michelle. Michelle Kwan. Be back with the Bee-Gees right after this.

--Tonight Show Wrap Up at the end of the show--

JL: Michelle Kwan. Thank you Michelle. She begins the Campbell Soup Tour in Baltimore. That's Chicken Noddle division right?

MK: (laughs) chicken noddle

JL: On April 16th, Chicken Noddle division.


Huge thanks to Chance for this transcript!


Back to News / Transcripts
Photo Jay Adeff