Sunday, February 12, 2006

Thank You Michelle Kwan For Being So Graceful

Michelle Kwan has bowed out of the Olympics. I believe it was a graceful bow she took. Bravo and a standing ovation to you Michelle! You are loved! You are a class act!

By BARRY WILNER, AP Sports Writer/via ESPN website - TURIN, Italy -- A career so long and sweet ended far too quickly, with tears and heartbreak.

Michelle Kwan heads home from the Turin Olympics empty-handed, betrayed by a body that carried her to nine U.S. championships and five world titles, but no Olympic gold.

"It's always been a dream to win the Olympics," Kwan said Sunday, her eyes red and puffy from the tears that flowed for who knows how long. "But I've learned it's not about the gold, it's about the spirit of it and about the sport itself."

A new groin injury suffered in her only practice on Olympic ice forced Kwan to withdraw from the U.S. team she made in the first place on a medical bye.

"I evaluated my body and had to make a decision," she said. "It's one of the toughest decisions I've had to make, but I know it's the right one."

And the most painful one, because it almost certainly is the end for Kwan.

At 25, it was too much to expect Kwan to soar like a teenage prodigy -- even she understood that. But skating's ultimate trouper had turned low expectations into championships so often that it wasn't a reach to rule out anything, including gold.

Until, that is, she reached the ice in Turin.

"I have no regrets. I tried my hardest," she said. "And if I don't win the gold, it's OK. I've had a great career. I've been very lucky. This is a sport, and it's beautiful."

I don't know about you but I've always loved Michelle Kwan. Still do and always will. I felt a bit closer to her than other figure skaters because I lived in her hometown of Torrance CA for many years.

I often drove by the rink she used to practice in and I would think of her. I've skated on the same ice as she did. She probably fell on it more than I did. I didn't fall as much because I never pushed myself to excellence as she did.

How I admire those who push themselves.

Thank you Michelle! The world is a better place because of people like you.