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. 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: selected by ESPN as one of the 40 greatest female athletes of the past 40 years (May 2012); 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!”