Olympic Glory without the Gold
The 2012 Olympics is less than a month away. As athletes from around the world prepare for the apex of their careers, Michele Kwan talks about the life lessons she learned as an Olympic athlete who, despite being the most decorated figure skater in US history, came up short of the gold medal in both the 1988 and 2002 Games.
“[Not winning the gold] taught me why I was in it,” said Kwan. “I was in skating because I loved it. When I was 17, it was a hard lesson to learn.”
Kwan is the most decorated figure skater in US history, her skating brilliance and accomplishments have earned her a place among the all-time greats of the sport. For over a decade (1995-2005) Kwan dominated the sport like no other skater in history, winning an unprecedented 43 championships, including five World Championships, eight consecutive and nine overall U.S. National Championships and two Olympic medals. In the nearly 100-year history of U.S. figure skating, no American man or woman has won more world titles, national titles or Olympic medals.
In June 2010, President Obama appointed Michelle to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, a group that advises the President on ways to engage, empower and educate all Americans to lead active, healthy lifestyles. In December 2010, Michelle was elected to the Board of Directors of Special Olympics International, the organization's ultimate governing authority responsible for global affairs and strategies.