Very rarely does a legend live up to the hype but Michelle Kwan did. I admit to being a huge Kwan fan and I always figured when I encountered her there was no way she would ever be as nice as she comes across but she was. There is also no doubt that Michelle Kwan is still the face of US Figure skating.
I’ll start with the encounter. I can’t say I met Michelle Kwan but I did run into her. I was taking one of my nieces to the bathroom when I ran across a bunch of people taking pictures of the press section and low and behold there she was. An impromptu autograph signing was in process with about 10 people patiently waiting for a signature by the one and only Kween.
Michelle being as gracious as we have always heard she is was sitting there signing for every person in line. Of course I couldn’t join in because a whining toddler was insisting on peeing so being the best Auntie ever I obliged her request to go potty.
When we came back to our seats about ten minutes later Michelle was still there signing autographs and posing for pictures with a group that had tripled in size since we last left. I think Michelle would have signed through the rest of the competition if she was allowed to but a few minutes after the USFSA.org police came and dragged her away. I think they moved her further back in press row to make sure this didn’t happen again.
I need to build a picture of exactly why this whole situation above amazed me. The press box is at least 2 feet above the last level of seating where the line formed. Michelle had to throw things down to people and stand up to smile for every single picture. This was not a planned autograph section. This was people noticing Michelle in the press box and asking for autographs. It was way above the call of duty. I should have taken a picture.
Its sad for the sport when the best attraction you have is sitting in press row and you pretty much forget that she exists (Michelle is working for Fox and that is why she was there)
I was hoping she would hand out the medals but that honor went to Nancy Kerrigan. Tenley Albright also handed out something to the medalists.
Michelle is still the star of Skating. It was evident by the standing ovation she got when she received an award during the ladies Short program (where I was all the way across the damn “Fleetcenter” )and every time her face was shown on the screen she got the loudest cheers in the building. They played a Montage of US champs and the times Michelle’s face was shown on the screen the place would erupt out of complete silence. Not to mention that the Montage was played to the song, Hall of Fame and Michelle’s picture was shown first to the words, “You could be the greatest” A tiny bit of respect and mad props to the guy that made the montage:)
Aly Raisman was in the crowd and they interviewed her. She was too far away to get any decent pictures but she also signed a few autographs. She left shortly after they interviewed her. Must have been too much of a bother to sit there and be like THE KWEEN.
You all know the Results by now so lets get to the NON controversy. Ashley Wagner earned her spot on this Olympic team FAIR and square. She was the ONLY US women to make the Grand Prix Final where she finished third. She also won the silver medal at Skate America as well as winning the Trophee Eric Bompard.
Mirai had an amazing performance at Nationals and if we still skated under the 6.0 system I would argue she should be the National Champion but for the last 3 years she has been nothing but a head case and she did nothing to merit a spot on this years Olympic team.
USFSA.org has a criteria and every single girl competing at Nationals knows the rules. Nationals is not the only result in deciding the Olympic team. The only controversy here is why anyone thinks they have a right to change the rules because they don’t like the results.
I am not a fan of Ashley Wagner by any means but I don’t understand how anyone can argue she didn’t deserve a spot on this team. She has carried USFSA.org for the last two years and is part of the reason we even have a third spot to argue about.
Ashley was scored pretty fairly here by the judges and I have wondered out loud why they didn’t hold her up even when she made mistakes. Maybe it is the pessimist in me but I wonder if the United States Figure Skating association isn’t trying to create a controversy. Its what sells. Sadly. I hope not at the expense of Ashley because the every 4 year fans are already up in arms about this situation and the “racism” angle is being played up by certain fans. I remember what Michelle went through in 2006 and I wouldn’t put it past the powers that be to do the same to Ashley.
Here is a few articles on the Controversy. Article one is the A-Typical “facts” and Article 2 pretty much had my point of thinking (but for different reasons) If anyone should be left at home its Polina Edmunds who IMO was grossly overscored this entire competition. Mirai was beautiful to watch in person and she again got the only true standing Ovation of the night by the fans if they left Edmunds at home and took Nagasu there would be no argument from me.
Nagasu had a great Nationals. She was beautiful to watch and my heart broke for her when I heard she wasn’t named to the team but at the same time people blaming Ashley for this decision need to get lives.
Nagasu has already petitioned whoever who is in charge to challenge the decision. She was at Nationals without a coach apparently.
This is why I HATE the USFSA.org. (Thanks for the tweet Gigi) God forbid we celebrate all of our champions who traveled to Nationals for whatever reason. Michelle Kwan with 5 World titles at the competition. Kimmie Meissner a former world champion in the crowd and all they wanted to do was put the Olympic gold medalists on the ice to celebrate.
Looks like the skaters might have been told to stay quiet