Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan
Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan performs her signature spiral at a practice session at the 2002 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Personal information
Full name Michelle Wingshan Kwan
Country represented  United States
Born July 7, 1980 (1980-07-07) (age 31)
Residence Torrance, California
Height 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Former coach Rafael Arutunian, Frank Carroll, Scott Williams
Former choreographer Tatiana Tarasova, Lori Nichol, Nikolai Morozov, Sarah Kawahara, Peter Oppegard, Karen Kwan, Christopher Dean
Skating club Los Angeles FSC
ISU personal best scores
Combined total 175.20
2005 Worlds
Short program 61.22
2005 Worlds
Free skate 113.98
2005 Worlds

Michelle Wingshan Kwan[1] (simplified Chinese: 关颖珊; traditional Chinese: 關穎珊; pinyin: Guān Yǐngshān; Jyutping: gwaan1 wing6 saan1; born July 7, 1980) is an American figure skater. She is a two-time (1998 & 2002) Olympic medalist, a five-time (1996, 1998, 2000, 2001 & 2003) World champion (a record bettered only by Sonja Henie among ladies skaters) and a nine-time (1996, 1998–2005) U.S. champion (the all-time record, as tied with Maribel Vinson-Owen).

She competed at a high level for over a decade and is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history.[2] Known for her consistency and expressive artistry on ice, she is widely considered one of the greatest figure skaters of all time.[3][4][5]

For well over a decade, Kwan maintained her status not only as America's most popular figure skater but as one of America's most popular female athletes, consistently making the top ten on many such polls and lists (often as the only figure skater) even years after she had stopped competing.[6] During the decade of her reign Kwan enjoyed unprecedented popularity and amassed numerous multi-million dollar endorsement deals, starred in multiple TV specials and was the subject of extensive media coverage.[7]


Personal life

Born in Torrance, California, Kwan is the third child of Danny Kwan and Estella Kwan, Chinese immigrants from Hong Kong. As a child, Kwan grew up speaking a mixture of Cantonese and English at home. Kwan’s interest in figure skating began at the age of five when she followed her two older siblings (hockey player Ron and figure skater Karen) onto the ice. Karen and Michelle began serious training when Michelle was about eight years old. They practiced three to four hours a day, waking up at 3 am to skate before school and going back to the rink right after school to skate again. Paying for their increased skating-rink time led to financial hardship for Kwan’s working class family. When Kwan was ten years old, her family could no longer afford a coach, but they were offered financial assistance by a fellow member of the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club[8][9] that allowed them to train at the Ice Castle International Training Center in Lake Arrowhead, California.

Kwan attended Soleado Elementary School in Palos Verdes, California, but left public school to be homeschooled in 1994, when she was in the 8th grade.[10] After graduation from Rim of the World High School in 1998, she attended UCLA for one year. In the fall of 2006, she transferred to the University of Denver.[11] In June 2009, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in international studies and a minor in political science.[12] In 2009, she began graduate studies in international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University[13] and graduated in 2011.[14] On May 8, 2010, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Southern Vermont College.

Public life

Ambassadorship endeavors

On November 9, 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice named Michelle Kwan as a public diplomacy ambassador. In this non-salaried position, Kwan will represent American values especially to young people and sports enthusiasts and is expected to travel widely.[15] Kwan made her first overseas trip in the capacity of public diplomacy ambassador with a visit to China from January 17–25, 2007.

Her diplomatic position as an envoy has continued in the Barack Obama administration where she has worked with Vice President Joe Biden[16] and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.[17]

Between 9–15 January 2011, she travelled to Singapore on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.[18][19]

On April 15, 2011, it was announced that Kwan would serve as an advisor to U.S.-China Women's Leadership Exchange and Dialogue (Women-LEAD).[20]


Kwan has guest starred as herself in "Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass", an episode of The Simpsons, and in the Family Guy episode "A Hero Sits Next Door". She has also made guest star appearances in the children's cartoon television series Arthur the PBS Series, and has also appeared in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. She provided the voice of a shopkeeper in Disney's direct-to-DVD sequel Mulan II, and she and fellow figure skater Brian Boitano appeared as announcers in the film Ice Princess. She has performed in numerous figure skating programs, and has cameo appearances in various other television series. In 1999, she appeared in the Michelle Kwan Figure Skating computer game.[21]

Other activities

Kwan wrote an inspirational book for children titled, The Winning Attitude: What it Takes to be a Champion. She also wrote an autobiography, Heart of a Champion, at 17.

In 2005, Michelle Kwan's family opened the EastWest Ice Palace in Artesia, California. The ice rink houses many of her skating medals and memorabilia.[22]

Kwan has had numerous endorsement contracts and has appeared in television commercials for sponsors including Campbell's Soup, VISA, Coca-Cola, and Kraft.[23] The Chevrolet/Michelle Kwan R.E.W.A.R.D.S. Scholarship program was established by the Chevrolet Motor Division of General Motors in cooperation with Kwan.[24] In February 2006, Kwan was named a "celebrity representative" for The Walt Disney Company.[25]

Competitive biography


Kwan has won five World Championships (1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2003), the most by anyone in the ladies' division since Carol Heiss (1956–1960), with whom she is tied for the most wins by an American.[citation needed] She has won nine United States Figure Skating Championships (1996, 1998–2005), tying the record for most set by Maribel Vinson-Owen (1928–1933, 1935–1937). Kwan's eight consecutive U.S. Championship titles (1998–2005) and 12 consecutive U.S. Championship medals (1994–2005) are both U.S. records. She is the only woman in figure skating history to reclaim the World title three times (1998, 2000, 2003).[2] She also won a silver medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and a bronze medal in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. Among her many accolades, Kwan is a recipient of the prestigious James E. Sullivan Award, which is given to America's best amateur athlete; she was the first figure skater to win the award since Dick Button won it in 1949. Kwan has received a combined total of 57 6.0s (perfect scores) from her National and World competitions throughout the years. At the U.S. Championships alone, she holds the record for most 6.0s. Because figure skating is no longer scored on a 6.0 scale, Kwan's records will stand indefinitely.[26]

Early competition

In 1991, Michelle and her sister Karen began training with Frank Carroll. After one year of coaching by Carroll, 11-year old Michelle placed 9th at the junior level at the United States Figure Skating Championships. At the age of 12 in 1992, Kwan passed the gold test to become a senior-level figure skater despite the disapproval of her coach. In 1993, Kwan finished sixth at her first senior U.S. championships. The next season, she won the 1994 World Junior Championships.

In 1994, Kwan finished second to Tonya Harding at the U.S. Championships, which ordinarily would have earned her a spot on the U.S. team to the 1994 Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. That place, however, was instead given to 1993 national champion Nancy Kerrigan, who had been sidelined by an assault and battery (eventually connected to Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly) after a practice session at those championships. The 13-year-old Kwan went to Norway as an alternate but did not compete. Kerrigan and Harding both dropped out of eligible competition before the 1994 World Championships. Because of this (and teammate Nicole Bobek not making out of the qualifying round), Kwan had the sole responsibility to ensure two spots for the U.S. at the 1994 World Championships by placing in the top ten. Kwan had an unusual mistake in the short program and placed eleventh in that portion, but came back strong to finish eighth overall.

At the 1995 U.S. Championships, Nicole Bobek won the gold medal, while Kwan again placed second after struggling with her lutz jump in both the short program and free skate. At the 1995 World Championships, she placed fifth in the short program portion of the competition with a clean performance. She landed 7 triple jumps in her free skating performance and placed third in that portion of the competition. She finished fourth overall.

Artistic development and 1998 Olympics

Following 1995, Kwan developed a more mature style. Her new, more artistically expressive programs were "Romanza" (short program) and "Salome" (free skate). She also improved her speed and her jump technique, and performed more difficult choreography. In 1996, Kwan won both the U.S. Championships and the World Championships. In the latter event, she edged out defending champion Chen Lu in a very close competition in which both competitors garnered two perfect 6.0s for Presentation in the free skate.

In the 1996–97 season, Kwan skated to "Dream of Desdemona" (short program) and "Taj Mahal" (free skate). It was during this year that Kwan debuted a change-of-edge spiral, which is still considered her signature move. However, in this season, Kwan struggled with her jumps because of a growth spurt and problems with new skating boots which she wore for an endorsement contract with the manufacturer.[27] She fell twice and stumbled once in her free skate at 1997 U.S. Nationals, losing the title to Tara Lipinski. She also lost the Champion Series Final to Lipinski a month later. At the World Championships, Kwan made a mistake on her Triple Lutz combination and placed 4th in the Short Program portion of the competition behind Lipinski, France's Vanessa Gusmeroli, and Russia's Maria Butyrskaya. During the Free Skate, Kwan skated a six triple, mistake-free performance to win that part of the competition, but placed second to Lipinski overall.

Kwan started out the 1997–1998 Olympic season by winning Skate America (where she defeated Tara Lipinski) and then Skate Canada. However, she suffered a stress fracture on her foot and was forced to withdraw from her third Champions Series Final. Kwan regained her U.S. title from Lipinski at the 1998 National Championships, in spite of competing with a toe injury. Many people consider her performances of her Rachmaninoff short program and free skate set to William Alwyn's "Lyra Angelica" at the 1998 U.S. Championships to be the high point of her career from both a technical and artistic standpoint.[28] The performance earned her eight perfect 6.0s and left one judge in tears.[29]

Kwan and Lipinski were the co-favorites to win the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. Kwan placed first in the Short Program portion of the competition, winning eight first place votes out of nine judges. In the Free Skate, Kwan skated a 7-triple performance but placed behind Lipinski, who also did 7 triples including a triple loop/triple loop combination and a triple toe-loop/half-loop/Triple Salchow. Kwan ended up winning the silver medal, with the gold medal being won by Lipinski and the bronze medal by Chen Lu.[30]

Lipinski and Chen both retired from competitive skating shortly after the Olympics, while Kwan went on to win the 1998 World Championships in Minneapolis.

From 1998 to 2002 Olympics

Kwan competes her Scheherazade long program at the 2001-2002 Grand Prix Final.

Kwan continued to compete as an eligible skater in the 1998–99 season, although she bypassed the fall Grand Prix season and instead chose to skate in a series of made-for-television pro-am events. Her "regular" competitive programs that season were "Fate of Carmen" (short program) and "Lamento D'Ariane" (free skate). Kwan won her third national title at the 1999 U.S. Championships, competing against a weak field. At the 1999 World Championships, Kwan did not skate her best,[31] and placed second behind Russian competitor Maria Butyrskaya.[32]

Kwan's win at the 2000 U.S. Nationals was controversial to some.[33] She was criticized[who?] for planning an easier jump in her short program than her competitors (a triple toe loop rather than a triple flip), and then she fell on this element in the competition. The judges nevertheless placed her third in that segment behind younger challengers Sasha Cohen and Sarah Hughes;[34] however, the placement still kept her in contention for the title. Ultimately, she won the free skate with the best performance of the night, capturing 8 of the 9 first-place ordinals.[35][36] At the 2000 World Championships, Kwan was again in third place after the short program, behind Maria Butyrskaya and Irina Slutskaya. In her free skate, Kwan landed seven triple jumps, including a triple toe loop/triple toe loop combination, and won that segment of the competition. Butyrskaya lost her commanding lead by finishing third behind Slutskaya in the free skate, allowing Kwan to win the overall title as well.[37]

In 2001, Kwan again won the U.S. Championships, receiving first-place ordinals from all 9 judges in both the short program and free skate. At the 2001 World Championships, Kwan was second behind Slutskaya in the short program. Kwan won the title with her "Song of the Black Swan" free skate, executing 7 triples, including a triple toe loop/triple toe loop combination.[38]

In the fall of 2001, Kwan and Carroll decided to end their coaching relationship. In interviews, Kwan said she needed to "take responsibility" for her skating.[39] Coachless, Kwan arrived at the 2002 U.S. Championships in Los Angeles amid the media's scrutiny over her separation with Carroll and her season's inconsistencies. Kwan won the competition with a revived "Rachmaninoff" short program and a new "Scheherazade" program for her free skate, securing a place on the 2002 Olympic team. Joining her on the team were Sasha Cohen (second) and Sarah Hughes (third).[40] The 21-year-old Kwan and Russia's Irina Slutskaya were favorites to win the gold. Kwan led after the short program, followed by Slutskaya, Cohen, and Hughes. In the free skate, Kwan two-footed her combination and fell on her triple flip, while Sarah Hughes skated a clean program. This left Kwan with the bronze medal behind Hughes and Slutskaya.[41] Kwan's final event of the season was the 2002 Worlds, where she won the silver medal behind Slutskaya.


Michelle Kwan skating to Fallin' in the 2004 World Figure Skating Championships Exhibition in Dortmund, Germany

Following the 2002 season, Kwan continued to compete on the Olympic-eligible circuit, although in a more limited way. During the fall seasons of 2002 to 2004, Kwan competed in only one Grand Prix event, Skate America in the fall of 2002, which she entered as a last-minute replacement. She won the event and qualified for the Grand Prix Final but chose not to compete in it. Kwan chose to not compete in Grand Prix events in the 2003 and 2004 seasons where the new judging system was being used.

Coached by Scott Williams, Kwan won all phases of every competition she entered in the 2002–2003 competitive season with her programs: Peter Gabriel's "The Feeling Begins" from The Last Temptation of Christ (short program) and "Concierto de Aranjuez" (free skate). She won the U.S. Championships again and regained her World title.

In 2003, she hired noted technician Rafael Arutunian as her coach, with whom she attempted to increase the technical difficulty of her programs. In the 2003–2004 competitive season, she skated again to "The Feeling Begins" for her short program, and Puccini's "Tosca" for her long program.

Again, Kwan won the U.S. Championships (where the old 6.0 system was still being used), earning 7 more 6.0s for presentation in the Free Skate. At the 2004 World Championships, after a difficult qualifying round, Kwan was penalized in her short program for going two seconds over time which caused her to placed 4th going into the Long Program behind American Sasha Cohen, Japan's Shizuka Arakawa, and Miki Ando.[42] Just as she was about to start her free skate, there was a disruption caused by a spectator entering the ice surface and being removed by security staff. In the end, Kwan skated an inspired, if conservative, 5 triple performance and received the last 6.0 marks given at the World Championships. She placed second in the Free Skating portion (she was one judge away from winning the long program) and placed third overall at the championships behind Arakawa (who performed 7 triples including two triple-triple combinations) and Cohen.

For the 2004–2005 competitive season, Kwan skated her long program to "Boléro", choreographed by British ice dancer Christopher Dean who had famously skated to the music with Jayne Torvill two decades before, and debuted a new short program, "Adagio" from Aram Khachaturian's ballet Spartacus. At the U.S. Championships, she won her 9th title, tying the all-time record previously set by Maribel Vinson-Owen. Interestingly, Vinson-Owen had coached Frank Carroll, who in turn coached Kwan. At the 2005 World Championship, Kwan competed for the first time under the new judging system. She had a rough qualifying round and placed third in the short program. In the Free Skate, Kwan fell on her triple salchow and two-footed a triple lutz. Although she finished third in both the short and long program portion of the competition, Kwan was edged by Carolina Kostner for the bronze medal and finished fourth overall, missing third place by 0.37 points. It was the first time since 1995 that Kwan had failed to medal at any international competition, and would be her final competitive event.

2006 Olympics

Kwan looked at the 2005 Worlds as a learning experience in the ISU Judging System.[citation needed] She continued to train and stated that she would attempt to qualify for the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.[43] However, following a hip injury, she was forced to withdraw from her three planned competitions in the fall of 2005. Kwan skated her new short program ("Totentanz") at a made-for-TV event in December, 2005, but her performance was well below her usual standard. On January 4, 2006, Kwan withdrew from the U.S. Figure Skating Championships with an abdominal injury incurred in December 2005. One week later, she filed a petition with the USFSA for a medical waiver to be placed on the 2006 Olympic figure skating team.[43] On January 14, 2006, after the United States ladies' figure skating event, the USFSA's International Committee met and in a 20 to 3 vote approved Kwan's petition under the stipulation that she show her physical and competitive readiness to a five-member monitoring panel by January 27.

Kwan performed her long and short programs for the panel on the stipulated day, and her spot on the Olympic team was established, as the panel felt she was fit to compete. However, on February 12, 2006, the United States Olympic Committee announced that Kwan had withdrawn from the Games after suffering a new groin injury in her first practice in Turin. Kwan remarked that she "respected the Olympics too much to compete.[44]" The Turin organizing committee accepted the USOC's application for Emily Hughes (who had finished third at the U.S. Championships) to compete as Kwan's replacement.

After her withdrawal from the Olympic team, Kwan turned down an offer to stay in Turin as a figure skating commentator for NBC Sports.[45] During an interview with Bob Costas and Scott Hamilton, Michelle Kwan said she was not retiring yet.

Kwan underwent elective arthroscopic surgery in August 2006 to repair a torn labrum in her right hip, an old injury which she traces back to 2002.[11] According to Kwan, the surgery allowed her to skate pain-free for the first time in four years.[46]


Kwan did not compete during the 2006–2007 figure skating season.[47]

Kwan told the Associated Press in October 2007 that she would decide in 2009 if she planned to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics,[46] but she ultimately decided not to do so, focusing instead on graduate school.[48][48] She has said "Representing the United States as an American Public Diplomacy Envoy the past three years has been very rewarding, and I want to do more." After graduating from the University of Denver in 2009, Kwan said "Furthering my education will bring me closer to that goal, and I don't want to wait any longer to continue the journey."[48]

On February 17, 2010, Kwan told ABC News in an interview that she is continuing her studies as a graduate student at the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She is working toward her Master's Degree focused on U.S. Foreign Policy and Pacific-Asia as well as continuing her work as a Public Diplomacy Envoy. Kwan also said she will be commentating for Good Morning America at the 2010 Winter Olympics.[49]

In August 2009, Kwan made her first on-ice appearance in several years, performing at the Ice All Stars, a show headlined by South Korean world champion Kim Yu-Na in Seoul, South Korea.[50] Kwan appeared in Kim's All That Skate shows in South Korea and Los Angeles.[51] She was the guest star to open the skate rink in the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore in December 2010, where she performed twice to "Winter Song", a programme she self-choreographed with her sister.[52] She returned to Singapore a month later as a Public Diplomacy Envoy[53] to meet local students and to promote ice skating in the tropical country.[54]

Awards and accolades

Kwan is a recipient of the prestigious James E. Sullivan Award (2001), which is given to America's best amateur athlete; she was the first figure skater to win the award since Dick Button won it in 1949. In 2003 she was named the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) "Sportswoman of the Year", and is the 5th figure skater in history to receive this honor. She has also been named USOC "Athlete of the Month" 14 times, which is more than any other athlete, male or female, as well as being named "Female Figure Skating Athlete of the Year" by the USOC multiple times. She is also the recipient of the USOC's "Citizenship Through Sports Alliance Award" (2004).

Kwan is one of the only two multiple winners of the "Readers' Choice Figure Skater of the Year" award given by Skating magazine (1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001–2003). In 2003, the United States Figure Skating Association, which publishes Skating, announced that the award would be renamed the "Michelle Kwan Trophy." The USFSA stated that although Kwan may continue to skate competitively, she will no longer be eligible for this award. She also appeared on International Figure Skating Magazine's "25 Most Influential Names in Figure Skating List" seven times, and was named the most influential skater for the 2002–03 season.

In 1999, she was given the Historymakers Award by the Los Angeles Chinese American Museum.[55]

In January 2009, she was appointed a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports by George W. Bush.[56][57][58] On May 3, 2009, Kwan was honored by the Los Angeles Chinese Historical Society of Southern California in "Celebrating Chinese Americans in Sports".[59] In 2011, she was added to the board of the Special Olympics.[60]


Season Short Program Long Program Exhibition
2005–2006 Totentanz
by Franz Liszt
arranged by Maksim Mrvica
choreographed by Tatiana Tarasova
Prelude in C Sharp Minor Op. 18
by Sergey Rachmaninoff
choreographed by Tatiana Tarasova
A Song for You
by Natalie Cole
2004–2005 Adagio
from Spartacus
by Aram Katchaturian
choreographed by Nikolai Morozov
by Maurice Ravel
choreographed by Christopher Dean
You Raise Me Up
by Josh Groban
This Used To Be My Playground
by Madonna
2003–2004 The Feeling Begins
from The Last Temptation of Christ
by Peter Gabriel
choreographed by Scott Williams, Michelle Kwan, Karen Kwan and Nikolai Morozov
by Giacomo Puccini
choreographed by Nikolai Morozov
by Alicia Keys
2002–2003 The Feeling Begins
from The Last Temptation of Christ
by Peter Gabriel
choreographed by Scott Williams, Michelle Kwan, Karen Kwan and Nikolai Morozov
Concierto de Aranjuez
by Joaquín Rodrigo
performed by Ikuko Kawai
choreographed by Scott Williams, Michelle Kwan, Karen Kwan and Nikolai Morozov
Fields of Gold
by Eva Cassidy
2001–2002 East of Eden
by Lee Holdridge
choreographed by Lori Nichol

Piano Concerto No. 3
Piano Trio No. 2
by Sergey Rachmaninov
choreographed by Lori Nichol
by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
performed by New York Philharmonic
choreographed by Sarah Kawahara
Fields of Gold
by Eva Cassidy
2000–2001 East of Eden
by Lee Holdridge
choreographed by Lori Nichol

by Eric Clapton
choreographed by Christopher Dean
Song of the Black Swan
by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Dumky Trio
by Antonín Dvořák
choreographed by Lori Nichol

The Miraculous Mandarin
by Béla Bartók
choreographed by Peter Oppegard
Beautiful World
by Sumi Jo
This Time Around
by Linda Eder
1999–2000 A Day In The Life
by John Lennon
and Paul McCartney
performed by Jeff Beck
choreographed by Lori Nichol
The Red Violin
by John Corigliano
performed by Joshua Bell
choreographed by Lori Nichol
The World Is Not Enough
by Garbage
from Joy: A Holiday Collection
by Jewel
1998–1999 Carmen Suite
by Rodion Shchedrin
Carmen Fantasie
by Franz Waxman
Carmen (film) soundtrack
by Paco de Lucia
choreographed by Lori Nichol
Orchestral Suite No. 3
Orchestral Suite No. 6
by Jules Massenet
Absalom's Death And Tango
by Leonid Desyatnikov, performed by Gidon Kremer
choreographed by Lori Nichol
Kissing You
by Des'ree
1997–1998 Piano Concerto No. 3
Piano Trio No. 2
by Sergey Rachmaninov
choreographed by Lori Nichol
Lyra Angelica
by William Alwyn
Gymnopedie #3
by Erik Satie
choreographed by Lori Nichol
On My Own
from Les Misérables
performed by Kaho Shimada

Dante's Prayer
by Loreena McKennitt
1996–1997 Orchestral Suite No. 3
by Jules Massenet
Final from Herodiade
by Jules Massenet
The Red Poppy
by Reinhold Gliere
choreographed by Lori Nichol
Gyulistan Bayati Shiraz
by Fikret Amirov
Lion of the Desert
from Lawrence of Arabia
by Maurice Jarre
choreographed by Lori Nichol
by Tori Amos
1995–1996 Romanza
by Salvador Bacarisse
Fiesta Flamenca
by Monty Kelly
choreographed by Lori Nichol
by Miklós Rózsa
Dance of the Seven Veils
by Richard Strauss
choreographed by Lori Nichol
East of Eden
by Lee Holdridge
Just Around the Riverbend
from Pocahontas
by Judy Kuhn
1994–1995 Yellow River Piano Concerto
by Xian Xinghai
performed by Yin Chengzong
and Chu Wanghua
Rondo Capriccioso
by Camille Saint-Saëns
Fantasia on Greensleeves
by Ralph Vaughan Williams
East of Eden
by Lee Holdridge
1993–1994 Song of India
from Sadko
by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
East of Eden
by Lee Holdridge
1992-1993 Miss Saigon
by Claude-Michel Schönberg
1991-1992 Concerto in F
by George Gershwin

Competitive highlights

Kwan sits in the kiss and cry area at the 2002 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Other people in the photo include Kwan's father, who was acting as her coach at this event.

Major events for Olympic-eligible skaters include the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, World Figure Skating Championships, the Olympic Winter Games, and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating. Kwan's record in these events is listed by season in the tables below.

Event 1991–92 1992–93 1993–94 1994–95 1995–96 1996–97 1997–98 1998–99 1999–00 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06
Winter Olympic Games Alt 2nd 3rd WD
World Championships 8th 4th 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 1st 2nd 1st 3rd 4th
World Junior Championships 1st
U.S. Championships 9th J. 6th 2nd 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
Grand Prix Final 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd
Skate America 7th 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
Skate Canada 1st 1st 1st 2nd 3rd
Nations Cup 1st
Trophée Lalique 3rd 1st
Goodwill Games 2nd 1st 2nd
Gardena Spring Trophy 1st J.
  • J = Junior level, WD = withdrew, Alt = Alternate, did not compete


  1. ^ California Births, (1905–1995)
  2. ^ a b Athlete bio at usfigureskating.org, accessed September 8, 2006.
  3. ^ For Americans, lots of medals but a 'faceless' Olympics, by Mark Sappenfield, staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor, accessed September 6, 2006.
  4. ^ Video Spotlight – Michelle Kwan, Asian Media Watch, accessed September 6, 2006.
  5. ^ People in the News Spotlight – Michelle Kwan, CNN People in the News, accessed October 8, 2006.
  6. ^ Harris Interactive – America's favorite Athlete, Harris Interactive
  7. ^ [Jose Antonio Vargas The Michelle Kwan Myth, Worth its Weight in Gold, Washington Post
  8. ^ The Winning Attitude: What It Takes to Be A Champion by Michelle Kwan, 1999; Publisher: Hyperion Press
  9. ^ Michelle Kwan, Heart of a Champion, ISBN 0-590-76340-7
  10. ^ Christine Brennan, Inside Edge, ISBN 0-684-80167-1
  11. ^ a b LA Kwan expands outlook as part of her healing process Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2006
  12. ^ Michelle Kwan graduating from University of Denver San Francisco Gate, June 6, 2009
  13. ^ http://www.du.edu/today/stories/2009/06/2009-06-04kwan.html
  14. ^ http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/sports_globetrotting/2011/06/michelle-kwan-figure-skating-white-house-olympics-tufts-masters-degree-.html
  15. ^ Michelle Kwan named U.S. public policy ambassador USA Today, November 1998
  16. ^ "It figures for Kim, Lysacek to take golden parachute". Chicago Tribune. September 8, 2010. http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/sports_globetrotting/michelle_kwan/. 
  17. ^ http://www.du.edu/today/stories/2009/06/2009-06-06-Kwan.html
  18. ^ Public Diplomacy Envoy Michelle Kwan Travels to Singapore January 9–15, Will Meet with Youth and Government Officials
  19. ^ Michelle Kwan Tries Out 'Wobble Board'
  20. ^ "Initial Public-Private Partnerships Forged Under U.S.-China Women-LEAD Initiative". U.S. Department of State. April 15, 2011. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/04/161029.htm. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  21. ^ Michelle Kwan at the Internet Movie Database, accessed September 9, 2006.
  22. ^ City of California, EastWest Ice Palace, City of Artesia, California, accessed October 8, 2006.
  23. ^ List of Kwan's endorsements
  24. ^ Michelle Kwan's REWARDS scholarship program, accessed July 14, 2006.
  25. ^ Figure Skating Champion Michelle Kwan To Serve As Celebrity Representative and Spokesperson for Disney, February 16, 2006, accessed September 6, 2006
  26. ^ See ISU Judging System, which replaced the 6.0 system in 2004.
  27. ^ See The tragedy of turning 20 by Christine Brennan, July 12, 1999, USA Today accessed October 9, 2006.
  28. ^ 1998 Nationals: Lipinski Fall, Kwan wins with 6.0s CBS Sportsline
  29. ^ Judges in Tears USA Today, 1998 accessed October 13, 2006
  30. ^ Kwan vows to fight until 2002 CBS Sportline, Feb 1998 accessed October 13, 2006
  31. ^ Favored Kwan stuck in fourth place Slam Figure Skating, March 1999 accessed October 13, 2006.
  32. ^ Butyrskaya wins; Russians Sweep Slam Figure Skating, March 1999 accessed October 13, 2006.
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  37. ^ See 2000 Worlds Skate Recap Scandal dampens 2000 Worlds, USA Today accessed October 9, 2006.
  38. ^ Drumbeats start for Kwan in 2002 Christine Brennan, USA Today, March 2001 accessed October 13, 2006.
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  43. ^ a b [1] Retrieved 23 July 2007
  44. ^ Injured Kwan withdraws from Olympics, Associated Press, February 13, 2006, accessed October 8, 2006.
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  52. ^ Soh, MaryAnn (17 December 2010). "Meeting Michelle Kwan for the first time". AsiaOne (Singapore). http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest+News/Sports/Story/A1Story20101218-253391.html. Retrieved June 08, 2011. 
  53. ^ "Public Diplomacy Envoy Michelle Kwan Travels to Singapore January 9-15, Will Meet with Youth and Government Officials". Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. State Department.. 6 January 2011. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/01/154059.htm. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  54. ^ Nayak, Shivali (12 January 2011). "Michelle Kwan inspires poly students". The Straits Times. http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_623268.html. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  55. ^ CAM Annual Historymakers Awards Banquet
  56. ^ Associated Press (7 January 2009). "Michelle Kwan to be appointed to President's Council on Physical Fitness". The Honolulu Advertiser. http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090107/BREAKING02/90107008/-1/RSS01?source=rss_breaking. Retrieved 13 January 2009. 
  57. ^ "Bush Makes More Last-Minute Appointments". The Washington Post. 7 January 2009. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2009/01/bush_makes_more_last-minute_ap.html. Retrieved 13 January 2009. 
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  59. ^ CHSSC News and Notes April 2009
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