A Woman Visible

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Kwan Chose the Best Thing in the End

I am a huge Olympic fan, and especially love the winter games. This is funny because I'm not a winter person at all. Yesterday turned into a bit of a bittersweet day for this fan. On one hand, the US team won it's first gold medal when Chad Hedrick skated to victory in the 5000m event. What a start! Then I watched as Scott Hamilton commented on how early Saturday practice went for the figure skaters and he revealed a nasty fall that Michelle Kwan took during that practice. I'm sure fans all over the world took a breath as she crashed on her side. I knew what was coming, but somehow there was a part of me that hoped it wasn't a bad fall.

I was wrong. This morning, Michelle Kwan withdrew from the Olympic games. The part of me that's a mom was relieved. I had worried about her since I saw her fall. The part of me that is the competitive woman felt deep sorrow as I knew that her dream was being bent in a direction she didn't necessarily want to go. I wanted to reach out to her and tell her that there was more to come. She's only 25, she has the world at her feet. Somehow, however, I knew that would be small comfort compared to what she must be feeling.
What is a great thing in all of this is that she managed to keep herself together and make a very difficult choice with the best attitude. She could have been arrogant and refused to admit that she was in pain, and make a fool of herself in front of millions. Instead, she did the best thing for herself and withdrew. Now others will take their shot, and perhaps, go home with a medal. What she will go home with will be so much more full of impact. She will have her health and her determination to apply to what ever she has coming to her next.

Michelle, you are a beautiful, graceful, and gracious woman. It's good to know that there are women in your sport that are visible in all the right ways. Godspeed.!


  • At 11:40 AM, Blogger SDF said…

    It will be sad to see the athletes take to the ice without Michelle. She has represented the U.S. both on and off the ice with such grace and professionalism. Even in this case, she showed what she's made of. She withdraw quickly enough to give her replacement ample time to prepare. It's just a shame that she never brought home the gold, but her career speaks for itself. I doubt we'll ever see someone win 9 national titles again!

  • At 2:09 PM, Blogger NotCarrie said…

    Bittersweet is right...

    I'm sad to see her go but I would have been soooo stressed watching her skate. She's the best ever in my opinion. So consistent.

  • At 10:34 AM, Blogger Katherine said…

    Oh my gosh, I was so devasted that she dropped out and I felt so bad for her. I had watched her just a few days ago on the Today show with Katie Couric talking about how much she loved skating. However, I think one of the best things that she said when Katie Couric asked her if she was nervous, even before she dropped out, was that it wasn't life or death - it was skating and its something that she simply just loves to do.


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