Monday, February 13, 2006

Goodbye Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwon backed out of the Olympics yesterday, as her groin injury prevented Kwon from skating at a competitive level. On Saturday morning, she tried to skate, but was unable to perform her first two moves. A veteran of competitive skating, she immediately knew her final run at Olympic gold was over.

"I would love to compete in my third Olympics, but I love and respect the sport, and I think it's all about the United States bringing the best team to the Olympic Games," Kwan said. "I wouldn't want to be in the way of that."

Immediately after removing herself from the Olympic team, NBC contacted her, asking her to be an announcer for these Olympics. But Kwan refused, saying that she didn’t want to be a distraction for the rest of the Olympic figure skating team. Just like Kwan, always thinking about the team first.

"Michelle Kwan means more to the United States Olympic Committee than maybe any athlete that's ever performed," USOC chairman Peter Ueberroth said. "She's been a leader, she's been gracious, she's somebody that cares for so many youngsters that are training in our country. She's a real loss to all of the United States Olympic Committee and to the United States of America, and I think to the world. She's made a courageous decision."

Kwan is an example of a true sports hero, a balance of grace and beauty, humility and excellence. She built her reputation on self- discipline and work ethic, a model citizen with, believe it or not, no public scandals on her record. Kwan was an amazing representative of the United States sports tradition for over a decade and a half, and she will be sorely missed. Thanks for the memories, Michelle!

Posted by Scottage at 12:48 AM / | |