Although she may be retired and no longer actively competing for any shining gold medal, Michelle Kwan still has that figure skater glory. The figure skater may not be gracing our ice rinks anymore but she's still full of life, zest, and of course, some stunning physical strength.
Kwan shared a tweet on Feb. 6 in which she can be seen gliding like a warrior over ice as Keala Settle's "This Is Me" plays in the background. Kwan captioned her tweet and said,
This empowering song @kealasettle reminds me of an Olympian's journey to the Games. 'I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I'm meant to be.'
In the video, Kwan twirls over the ice and moves with grace while doing several intense twists and turns. At the end, Kwan finishes by with an elegant camel spin, outward and upward. In case you didn't know, a camel spin is one of the main moves made by Olympic figure skaters. It's an act of sheer balance in which the figure skater raises one free leg over their hip into the air while their free arm remains parallel to the rink. The other leg, upright, carries them across the ice.
Kwan has been actively talking about the ongoing 2018 Winter Olympics. In a conversation with NBC News, Kwan shared her favorite memories from her time as an athlete in the 1990s. One of her favorite memories is a nostalgic one in which she stepped on the ice for the first time.
The moment I stepped foot on the Olympic ice, and skating over the Olympic rings, I started to cry. I like, you know you dream of going to the Olympics, and then you finally make it happen, and then you skate over the rings, you’re like, 'It’s happening.' But I actually skated to the boards, and my coach was like, he was basically like slapping, like 'Wake up!' I still have a job to do.
Kwan also shared some personal wisdom on overcoming one's fear when they enter the spellbinding arena where thousands gather to watch athletes compete on the skating rink. "You train your whole life for it and you have to realize you still have a job to do. I think it’s a quick reality. I’m glad I got it over with before I stepped on the ice when I was competing," she told NBC News.
Born in 1980, Kwan began competing in the Olympic games during the mid 1990s and early 2000s. She won two Olympic medals and five World Champion titles. Like the impressive 17-year-old American snowboarder Chloe Kim, Kwan too is from Torrance, California. She started humble. Her parents hailed from Hong Kong and she spoke two languages in her home: Cantonese and English.
According to Laura James, who wrote a book on Kwan titled The Winning Attitude: What It Takes To Be A Champion, Kwan didn't have the financial means to hire a coach for training. She loved to skate but her working class background proved to be a hurdle in acquiring a good teacher. Eventually, with the kind help of a Los Angeles Figure Skating Club member, Kwan was given money to train. The rest is history.
By the time it was 2003, Kwan was known for her expertise on the ice. She became a formidable figure in the world of figure skating, intimidating to her rivals, and a constant source of breathtaking inspiration for her fans. Because of her talent on the ice, Kwan become of the highest paid athletes in Winter Olympic history. It's no surprise, then, that the retired Olympic skater is still making ripples on air.