Skating takes up 70 percent of my time, school about 25 percent. Having fun and talking to my friends, 5 percent. It's hard. I envy other kids a lot of things, but I get a guilt trip when I'm not training.”
Michelle Kwan is a champion ice skater who has won five World Championships, nine United States Championships and two Olympic medals, in addition to countless other skating competitions. While she glides effortlessly across the ice, long hours of practice and dedication are behind each jump, twirl, and spin.
Michelle began ice skating when she was five years old and quickly showed skill. However, to make the most of her abilities she skated several hours a day every day of the week. Before school, after school and weekends, she was at the ice rink. The cost of ice time and coaches quickly grew and her parents sold their home and purchased a much smaller one to find money to pay for her ice skating.
When Michelle was 13, she performed at her first U.S. National Championships. After a disappointing performance, she vowed to work even harder and improve. She did. The next year, she finished second. From there she went on to win a silver medal at the 1998 Olympics and the first of her World Championships.
Michelle is now the most decorated figure skater in American history, and was recently elected to both the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame, Classes of 2012. She still practices every day, demonstrating the dedication it takes to reach the top and stay there.