Michelle Kwan: The Most Decorated Figure Skater
Michelle Kwan started figure skating when she followed her brothers to hockey practice. She was only five years old. She began training as a serious figure skater at age eight. 1991 proved to be a magical year for the promising skater when she became the star pupil of elite coach, Frank Carroll. The next season Kwan tested to move to the senior level of competion. In her first championship with people of the highest level. She placed in the top ten, sixth place to be exact. In 1994, Olympic anticipation was already in bloom, when Michelle placed second to Tonya Harding to join the U.S. Olympic team, but her spot was given to Nancy Kerrigan, who not able to compete at the time, because she was dealing with the now infamous injury. Michelle Kwan attended the 1994 Olympic games as an alternate.
Michelle Kwan, at this point, was a increasingly talented skater, who would eventually become a force to be dealt with. Her technical skills were becoming brilliant, but in figure skating, an athlete needs artistry, grace, and presentation to place at the top of the skating heap. In short, a skater needs the whole package, and Michelle as talented as she was, was not there quite yet. So, coach Carroll begin to take her on a journey that would take the young skater from promising to pure elegance and grace. Her choreography became more artistic and mature, while still being competitive with the demands of triple jumps. In 1996, her transformation paid off, at the world championships, Michelle Kwan became the best of the best, she was world champion. This was her first of five world championships, she would would win a total of five world championships.
At age 17, in 1998, Michelle Kwan was one of the most famous figure skaters, not to mention athletes in the world. She had won every title there was to win. She was ready to become champion on the Olympic stage as well. In Nagano, at the 1998 Olympics, the pressure of the world was on the shoulders of this very famous teenager. Although, she skated two beautiful programs it was not enough for gold. She would win a silver medal. In 2002, she would once again compete in the Olympics, where she would win a bronze medal. In 2006, she would retire from the sport because of a lingering hip injury.
Today, she remains busy as she is the ambassador for the White House, and she has received a masters degree in international relations.