Katie Couric: For figure skater Michelle Kwan, the Winter Olympics were to be a shot at redemption. A chance to win the gold medal that eluded her four years earlier in Nagano. One fall dashed those dreams. She took home bronze rather than gold. Kwan told Dateline NBC's Jane Pauley though, part of being a champion means learning to accept defeat, while never dwelling on it.

--Cut to interview--

Michelle Kwan: (The beginning of Scheherazade at the Olympics is shown.) For me right now, I have no regrets. I mean, I might not have the Olympic experience that I wanted, like the gold and everything, but I know I worked hard. (More clips from Scheherazade, such as her triple lutz/double loop, spiral, and camel spin, are shown.) I know I tried my very best. I mean, there's nothing I could have done. I mean, that one little UH on that jump. (Her fall on the triple flip in Scheherazade at the Olympics is shown) You know, if I had landed it, maybe I would have won...maybe, maybe this, maybe that. But that's not really a regret. That's just "What if?"

Jane Pauley: You say you want to be a legend. What did you mean by that?

MK: (A clip of the final spin and end pose from Scheherazade is shown) For me, being a legend is someone a hundred years from now I'll be remembered in skating. I donít think itís so much the titles, the medals that matter the most. (A closeup of the podium at the Olympics is shown) Itís the heart, itís being remembered as something beyond a title.

JP: One judge said, when Michelle skates, (lowers her voice) you donít hear anything. (Back to normal voice) How do you do that?

MK: (Clips from Fields of Gold are shown) Iím a very emotional person. And, I bring out, onto the ice, what I feel inside. I mean, sometimes that can help you skate better. And, sometimes itís just not so good. But, for me, I feel like, whenever someone talks about my skating, hopefully itíll be the emotions, the feelings, how they felt. And, not so much about how many jumps she landed. Oh, what did, what was she wearing? That doesnít matter. To me, itís bringing emotions to it, expressing how I feel. And to me it feels great when someone comes up and says, ďYou made me cry, you made me so happy. So much joy and so much happiness.Ē You know, itís like, it's the best feeling because I feel like I have given them something, four minutes of pleasure.

--Back live at the studio--

KC: And you can see Janeís full interview with Michelle this Sunday, plus Americaís other Olympic stars, on a very special edition of Dateline. Thatís this 10, 9 central.

Back to News / Transcripts
Photo © Jay Adeff