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Michelle Kwan        

Olympic Silver Medalist & Most Decorated Figure Skater in World Championship History

The most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, Michelle Kwan’s skating brilliance and accomplishments have earned her a place among the all-time greats of the sport. For over a decade (1995-2005) Michelle dominated the sport like no other skater in history, winning an unprecedented 43 championships, including five World Championships, eight consecutive and nine overall U.S. National Championships and two Olympic medals. In the nearly 100-year history of U.S. figure skating, no American man or woman has won more world titles, national titles or Olympic medals.

Michelle’s activities off the ice have been equally noteworthy. In November 2006, the U.S. Secretary of State appointed Michelle as the first U.S. Public Diplomacy Envoy. In this capacity Michelle travels the world and meets with young people to speak about leadership and to engage them in dialogue on social and educational issues. In June 2010, President Obama appointed Michelle to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, a group that advises the President on ways to engage, empower and educate all Americans to lead active, healthy lifestyles. In December 2010, Michelle was elected to the Board of Directors of Special Olympics International, the organization’s ultimate governing authority responsible for global affairs and strategies. In June 2012, Secretary of State Clinton appointed Michelle to serve on the newly-formed Council to Empower Women and Girls Through Sports, created to elevate the global awareness of sports as a means of empowerment. Michelle is currently employed by the State Department as a senior adviser for public diplomacy and public affairs, a position she has held since October 2012. Michelle graduated from the University of Denver in November 2008 with a degree in International Studies. In May 2011, she received a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, majoring in International Relations.

Michelle has earned numerous awards and honors, including: 2003 U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) SportsWoman of the Year; 2001 Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in America; 1998 Sportswoman of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation; 2002 and 2003 Kids’ Choice Award and the 2002 Teen Choice Award as America’s favorite female athlete. In 2000 Michelle was selected one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World”. In 2003 Michelle earned her seventh U.S. Figure Skating Skater of the Year award. In an unprecedented move, U.S. Figure Skating renamed the award in her honor. It is now called the Michelle Kwan Trophy. In May 2010, Michelle received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Southern Vermont College. In January 2012, Michelle was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame, the highest honor in U.S. figure skating. In March 2012, Michelle was elected to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame, the only member of the Class of 2012.

Michelle’s philosophy, in skating and in life: “Work hard, be yourself and have fun!”

Speech Topics


Michelle Kwan – Figure Skating Legend

The most decorated figure skater in U.S. history and one of the world’s most admired athletes, Michelle Kwan shows how passion, focus and commitment have made her a success—both on and off the ice.

From a very young age, figure skater Michelle Kwan displayed remarkable drive, determination and passion in the pursuit of her competitive goals, all of which propelled her to the very pinnacle of her sport. For over a decade Kwan dominated figure skating like no other skater in history, winning an unprecedented 43 championships, including five World Championships, nine U.S. National Championships and two Olympic medals. Her off-ice accomplishments have been equally impressive, being named America’s first Public Diplomacy Envoy by the Secretary of State and appointed by President Obama to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition. Through her unique perspective as a world class athlete and global spokesperson, Kwan shares with her audience the passion, perseverance and plain old hard work needed to succeed in even the most complicated and difficult situations. She is a true winner and leader who lives by the skating maxim that one must first learn how to fall and pull themselves back up before they can learn to succeed. Kwan has been named Sportswoman of the Year by both the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Women’s Sports Foundation, has won the Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in America, and was selected one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World”.

SPEECH TOPIC & DESCRIPTION

Aspiring to Greatness: What It Takes to Win

“Don’t be afraid to fail, because that only makes you afraid to try.” --Michelle Kwan

There are bound to be disappointments in life. Aspiration, the power to bounce back, the ability to persevere in the face of adversity is what carries you through. A world-class champion whose performances have been called “the gold standard for future generations of figure skaters,” Michelle Kwan shares with her audience the planning, practice and preparation it takes to reach the heights of success. Kwan uses her athletic and diplomatic experience as a parallel to individual and organizational performance, showing that the top finishers are not always the ones who come in first but are instead the ones with the will, courage and determination to get up when they fall and keep going. Whatever the challenge, staying focused on a mission and always having high standards can put anyone on the path to success—whether on or off the ice.

News


Michelle Kwan To Cover Winter Olympics Sochi For Fox Sports

Michelle Kwan is going back to the Olympics – as a television analyst. Kwan has been hired by Fox Sports to cover the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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