Monday, February 13, 2006

A True Champion

I don't care if she never won an Olympic gold medal, Michelle Kwan is still the best American figure skater in the history of the sport. Five-time world champion, 9 time national champion, and Olympic silver (she was robbed!!!) and bronze medalist. As Dorothy Hamil said, no one will EVER be able to do this again. Michelle actually has a legacy. I'm not sure the same can be said for such "greats" as Tara Lipinski (undeserving of gold) or even Sarah Hughes (okay, she did deserve it).

In any case, I don't know how everyone else defines failure, but when I look at Michelle Kwan all I see is "Champion."


Blogger jeopardygirl said...

I completely agree. I think it's a shame she's unable to compete at these Olympics.

8:27 AM  
Blogger "Lisa" said...

She was the greatest of all time.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

I also completely agree.

12:10 AM  
Blogger Caro said...

blogger has been having "errors" all day, blah.

what i've wanted to say is that damn lipinski and her damn triple loop/triple loop i was totally banking on her falling on her fair-tale-out-fitted-boney-butt and give gold to my girl michelle....but NO...had to land it. bitch.....yeah, you heard right. biiioooooootch.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Desiree said...

I agree to, I love that girl! She's the reason I enjoyed watching Figure Skating!

3:52 PM  
Blogger KOM said...

I'll have to be, once again, the dissenting view.

Nothing against Kwan, per se, but after her "medical by" in order to join the Olympic team (without competing), it's doubly upsetting that she is unable to compete. She robbed an up-and-coming (although not neccessarily medal-winning) skater in order to make the Olympics. Only because she is who she is.

Kwan's time is over. It's time for her replacements to find themselves. The better that she won't be able to compete - perhaps another deserving athlete will win, fail, or drift into obscurity as a "once-competed". Regardless, her replacements will skate on their own merit, not on their legacy as a great.

4:42 AM  
Blogger Reese The Law Girl said...

Well, Kom, I'll have to disagree with you here.

Not competing at an Olympic trial to make a team is nothing new. It happens all the time. Athletes who have proven themselves in the non-Olympic years, and are not seriously injured at the time of the trial/national championship, are given by's all the time. For an example of this, see the Magnificent 7 Women's Gymnastics team. Two members, Shannon Miller and Dominique Moceanu, petitioned in because they were injured at the time of the trials. They were given spots on the team, nonetheless, and the US Women went on to win the gold medal in the team competition. The first time in history this was ever done. Shannon Miller went on to win gold in the beam. Again, injured at the trials, but won at the Olympics. I doubt the US women would have had the same results if Shannon and Dominique had been replaced by lesser gymnasts Jenny Thompson or Mary Beth Arnold.

Michelle Kwan had won the 2003 World Championship. Under the new scoring system, she placed 4th at worlds in 2005. I see no reason why Hughes should have been sent in her place. The logical choice was to send the better athlete if she could compete. An examiniation of Michelle was completed before the Olympics. Judges, the US Figure Skating officials, and two reporters watched Michelle complete 5-7 triple jumps, footworking, and spins. She was deemed as able to compete. If you have been following what happened in Italy, then you know that Michelle actually re-injured herself on the practice ice. Consequently, Michelle did not go to Italy unfit. It was just an unfortunate thing that happened to her.

Also, I don't believe that Kwan robbed anyone of an opportunity to fall on their butt. Kwan asked to go to the Olympics. It was the powers that be that granted her a spot. I think your criticism is a little misplaced there.

I think often times some people don't like judged sports and so they, in turn, judge these sports more harshly. If Tom Brady or Ben Rothlesberger were injured before the Super Bowl, but the week before the big game were okay, I seriously doubt you would say that their second-string replacements should be "given a chance."

Like it or not, the goal is to win. The US had a better chance to win with Cohen, Messigner, and Kwan, than Cohen, Messigner, and Hughes (who, BTW, is going to compete in Italy!!).

Kwan deserved that spot. It's a shame she won't be able to compete. But, as always, she went out with grace and class. The hallmarks of a true champion that should be respected.

9:39 AM  

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