4/24/2021 CAPA NoVA Distinguished Chinese American Project

(Written by: Lan Yue)


关颖珊 (Michelle Kwan) is a retired American figure skater. Born in 1980 in Torrance, California, Kwan was the third child of immigrant parents from Hong Kong.

Michelle began to show interest in figure skating at age five and started serious training at age eight.  Michelle practiced tirelessly three to four hours every day.  However cost for her increased skating-rink time resulted in financial hardship for Kwan’s working-class family. Luckily Michelle received scholarship subsequently so she could continue her ice skating dream.

Kwan is the most-decorated athlete in U.S. Figure Skating history.  She claimed five World Championships (1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003) and also won nine world medals.

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Kwan was known for her unmatched consistency in delivering clean programs, as well as her deep, quiet edges that have been described as “silent blades” that “barely whispered”.   Her musicality and grace on the ice is also exemplary.

After retiring from ice skating, Kwan went on to pursue her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and has been actively engaged in the political arena.  Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice named Michelle Kwan as a public diplomacy ambassador in 2006. Kwan later worked diligently on both Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden’s campaigns for Presidency.

More information about Kwan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Kwan


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