A quick tribute to my all-time favorite Olympian, Michelle Kwan.
She dropped out of the Olympics yesterday [edit: Sunday], and I had two STRONG emotions: sadness and respect.
I have been a fan of Kwan's for a long time.
I'm not 100% sure why I always liked her. She's pretty close to my age, she has always carried herself with grace and humility, and I just enjoy watching her skate.
I remember being in 8th grade and watching her at the U.S. Nationals. It was the year of the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding mess - and Michelle skated really well. She ended up being the alternate for the Olympics that year. Her innocence in the middle of all the drama was striking.
Then I remember when she got the silver in Nagano my senior year of high school. I heard about it during a music rehearsal and I was SO bummed (and I repent of the nasty things I said about Tara Lipwhatshername).
My senior year of college I watched her fall in the long program in the '02 games. I do not repent of beating Fuzz with a slipper for making fun of her. That I stand by.
Am I sad Michelle never won Olympic gold? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't. However, I have to applaud her decision not to compete. She is still one of the best American figure skaters of all time (http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/winter06/figure/columns/story?id=2328132).
And I wrote this blog entry last night - but couldn't post it (Blogger was being dumb). Then today I saw that Kari blogged about it too (though more articulately). And there you have it.