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aftershocks
09-22-2012, 05:07 PM
^^ Please read, absorb, and tell all the above to yourself Iceman. You are the one conjuring up and seemingly focused on the "dark side" of things.

You apparently neither know, understand, nor wish to know and understand exactly who Michelle Kwan is and what her life and career are all about. If to you she is just about "ambition," well continue on in your ignorance.


For those who are interested, here's my opinion:

Michelle Kwan, in my estimation is all about light, love, family, hard work, dedication, determination, courage, defining purpose, looking forward, inspiring others, spreading happiness and joy, learning from disappointments, never giving up, striving to keep resentment and regret from clouding her mind, staying present in her life, giving back to others in whatever way she can, serving her country, being positive, sharing laughter.

As a result of all of Michelle's extraordinary qualities, guess what? People from all walks of life are drawn to her, admire her, and opportunities and abundance grace her life. Far from being overly or negatively ambitious and/ or thinking she's entitled, I believe Michelle is very humble and appreciative of all the good things that have come her way. But more than that, she does not "plot ambitiously" nor does she simply bask in all the adulation and abundance. IMO, Michelle seems to wake up thinking, "Besides the many things I must do today to achieve my goals and push forward with my life, how can I be a better person today? What can I do to help make someone else's life better?

Michelle Kwan spreads light, love, laughter and inspiration wherever she goes. Is she perfect? Of course not. She would probably be the first person to admit that fact. Ultimately, this is what makes her so charming and appealing. Michelle is grounded and down to earth, and at the same time she remains utterly unpretentious. She deeply touches everyone who "gets" her very human yet heavenly majestic qualities. She is indeed, the Kween!

skatesindreams
09-22-2012, 05:15 PM
Iceman, how does your post apply to Michelle?

aftershocks
09-22-2012, 06:46 PM
Iceman appears to have wandered into the wrong thread, IMO.

Perhaps a better question for Iceman is, What is it about your own thinking that leads you to dwell on the topic of “ambition,” much less bring your “hopefully not” view of Michelle and Clay into a thread celebrating their engagement?

I have discovered, from what I have learned so far in my life, that everyone who is human is blessed or cursed with their “ego, vanity, and pride.” If you are a human being you can not escape from any of the aforementioned – they exist in each one of us. The blessing is in waking up and becoming aware of and accepting their existence without judgment, and in learning how to rise above them and the drama and conflict they create and feed upon. The curse is in never waking up.

Having money or being born into money does not define either Michelle or Clay, IMO. To me, neither of them seem to be consumed by ambition. In my estimation, they are both focused on excellence, setting high goals and working hard on achieving their goals, while at the same time maintaining a balance and a harmony through enjoying and sharing their many blessings and gifts.

IMHO, Michelle Kwan is not driven by her ego. She is guided and uplifted by her essence.

RickInSanJose
09-22-2012, 08:47 PM
For those who are interested, here's my opinion:

Michelle Kwan, in my estimation is all about light, love, family, hard work, dedication, determination, courage, defining purpose, looking forward, inspiring others, spreading happiness and joy, learning from disappointments, never giving up, striving to keep resentment and regret from clouding her mind, staying present in her life, giving back to others in whatever way she can, serving her country, being positive, sharing laughter.

As a result of all of Michelle's extraordinary qualities, guess what? People from all walks of life are drawn to her, admire her, and opportunities and abundance grace her life. Far from being overly or negatively ambitious and/ or thinking she's entitled, I believe Michelle is very humble and appreciative of all the good things that have come her way. But more than that, she does not "plot ambitiously" nor does she simply bask in all the adulation and abundance. IMO, Michelle seems to wake up thinking, "Besides the many things I must do today to achieve my goals and push forward with my life, how can I be a better person today? What can I do to help make someone else's life better?

Michelle Kwan spreads light, love, laughter and inspiration wherever she goes. Is she perfect? Of course not. She would probably be the first person to admit that fact. Ultimately, this is what makes her so charming and appealing. Michelle is grounded and down to earth, and at the same time she remains utterly unpretentious. She deeply touches everyone who "gets" her very human yet heavenly majestic qualities. She is indeed, the Kween!

Aftershocks, I wish there was a "Thank You" function on this forum, because yours is one of the most eloquent and beautiful tributes to Michelle I've ever read.

love_skate2011
09-22-2012, 08:59 PM
gggrrr
Michelle's wedding thread is turning into politics

aftershocks
09-22-2012, 09:52 PM
"Everything is political, but not everything is politics."

Well, aside from Clay and Michelle both serving their country, and having first met each other at the White House, and both currently living and working in Washington, D.C., and Clay being descended from a family of distinguished politicians, what else is it you find "political" or "politics-related" about this thread?

Most of what I have read here are joyful and celebratory well wishes, as well as tributes to Michelle's character, ideals and accomplishments. Along with some friendly, speculative and expectant chatter regarding the upcoming wedding and well wishes for Clay and Michelle, there have also been a few seemingly "sour grapes" comments.

Albeit, however, the thread is or has "turned into" whatever you perceive it to be.


To Jo Ann, to skatesindreams, to many others, and especially to RickInSanJose: :) Thanks to you too! The other cool thing about Michelle is how those whom she touches and inspires have been and are still being brought together, some in lifelong friendship, others in graceful moments of understanding and appreciation.

If that's politics, then I have to say, "I love politics!" :lol:

skatesindreams
09-22-2012, 10:07 PM
love_skate2011, aftershocks spoke for me.

Garden Kitty
09-23-2012, 05:43 AM
The impression I've had of Michelle isn't "ambitious" but "passionate". I think it's hard for a lot of athletes to find something else that really engages them after they stop competing. Michelle has mentioned how much she enjoyed the intellectual exchanges in college and grad school and how inspired she was being with people who want to make a difference in their community.

From the articles I've seen, it seems that Clay also feels passionate about a number of causes. I'm not surprised that Michelle would find a lot in common with someone who has found the time to be involved with a lot of charitable causes in addition to his "work".

I've enjoyed seeing the recent interviews with Sasha where she seems really excited about living in NY and going to school. It's always nice to see people that we've followed for years find a path that fulfills them - whether it's in the sport as a coach or in a different field entirely.

kwanette
09-23-2012, 02:24 PM
The impression I've had of Michelle isn't "ambitious" but "passionate". I think it's hard for a lot of athletes to find something else that really engages them after they stop competing. Michelle has mentioned how much she enjoyed the intellectual exchanges in college and grad school and how inspired she was being with people who want to make a difference in their community.

From the articles I've seen, it seems that Clay also feels passionate about a number of causes. I'm not surprised that Michelle would find a lot in common with someone who has found the time to be involved with a lot of charitable causes in addition to his "work".

I've enjoyed seeing the recent interviews with Sasha where she seems really excited about living in NY and going to school. It's always nice to see people that we've followed for years find a path that fulfills them - whether it's in the sport as a coach or in a different field entirely.

Well said, particularly the distinction between ambition and passion.

VIETgrlTerifa
09-23-2012, 04:03 PM
You don't think wanting to be to "go the Olympics, win an Olympic gold medal, and be legend in the sport" is ambitious?

Kwan is definitely passionate, but let's not pretend she isn't a little ambitious as well.

skatesindreams
09-23-2012, 04:13 PM
Ambition, properly directed, is necessary for; and creates, the work ethic that leads to achieving great success.
It certainly applies to Michelle.

aftershocks
09-23-2012, 07:17 PM
The impression I've had of Michelle isn't "ambitious" but "passionate". I think it's hard for a lot of athletes to find something else that really engages them after they stop competing...

I've enjoyed seeing the recent interviews with Sasha where she seems really excited about living in NY and going to school. It's always nice to see people that we've followed for years find a path that fulfills them - whether it's in the sport as a coach or in a different field entirely.

Thanks for your thoughts, Garden Kitty. ITA! Michelle and many other elite skaters and other athletes (and even dancers) all go through a similar process when the careers they have pursued for so long from very young ages, come to an end. I enjoyed the interviews with Sasha as well. It was great to see her happy and focused on creating a new life for herself.

You are so right re the bolded sentiment. It's wonderful seeing Michelle, Sasha, Todd Eldredge, Matt Savoie, Kurt Browning, Rohene Ward, Stephane Lambiel, Jennifer Kirk, Yuka Sato and Jason Dunjgen, Karen Kwan and Peter Oppegard, and many other former skaters whose careers I enjoyed following, finding fulfillment within and outside of the skating world.


Ambition, properly directed, is necessary for; and creates, the work ethic that leads to achieving great success.
It certainly applies to Michelle.

:respec:


ITA with Garden Kitty, kwanette, and skatesindreams. Thanks again Garden Kitty! Yes, "passionate" is one of the very evident qualities Michelle possesses that I should have included in my earlier reflections. :)

IMO, VietgrlTerifa, it is not a question of either/ or. Just as every human being has an ego, everyone who wants to achieve anything in this world, has to meld ambition with passion. It is the very negative connotations that Iceman dropped in to "darkly" warn about that I find OTT and also OT. :P

The fact that both Clay and Michelle have set and continue to set and achieve high goals in their lives obviously means they have ambition to try and reach their goals. OTOH, IMHO neither of them are driven by ego or ambition. They are driven by passion and by caring and by love for their families, their neighbors and friends, their country and the global community.

Anita18
09-23-2012, 07:33 PM
You don't think wanting to be to "go the Olympics, win an Olympic gold medal, and be legend in the sport" is ambitious?

Kwan is definitely passionate, but let's not pretend she isn't a little ambitious as well.
Definitely.

Also, one can be passionate in the collecting of say, vintage matchbooks. I'm not sure if they'd catch the eye of an Olympian. :lol:

From what we've heard, both Michelle and Clay are passionate AND ambitious in regards to their passion. They do something about it.

Badams
09-23-2012, 07:38 PM
When did being ambitious become a bad thing?

aftershocks
09-23-2012, 08:04 PM
^^ Go back and read Iceman's "dark" and dire warnings. :lol: That is where this "ambitious" discussion began. ;) And that's also where the "negative" connotations started and were responded to.


You don't think wanting to be to "go the Olympics, win an Olympic gold medal, and be legend in the sport" is ambitious?

Kwan is definitely passionate, but let's not pretend she isn't a little ambitious as well.

Reading the entire thread for context might be helpful. :) I don't see anyone "pretending" anything either. In fact, I never said Michelle did not have ambition. I responded to Iceman's "dark side" warnings. It is not about "politics" :lol:, it is about semantics and interpretation, and understanding of what ambition means for each individual and where it comes from and what it is guided by in each individual. The discussion has worth and value, and aside from Iceman's negative and "dark" connotations, I don't think anyone is completely disagreeing with anyone. I just don't think we are all starting from the same semantic standpoint, or the same understanding and perception of who Michelle Kwan is exactly. :P

For those interested, here are my thoughts and perceptions:

Yes, Michelle had a dream (and therefore “ambition”) to go to at least three Olympics. Yes she talked about the dream of becoming a legend in figure skating, but I doubt even she ever had the “ambition,” nor ever realized or dreamed that she would in fact become a legend in her own time! What she did was get up every day and work hard, moment by moment through all the ups and downs and the disappointments. She had the opportunity to go to four Olympics, but was only able to compete at two, and she did not win the elusive gold medal that she dreamed of winning. She came oh so close, but that dream did not come true for her. To be very honest, IMO it is NOT "ambition" that gave Michelle her legendary status. Neither is it “ambition” that has gifted her with wonderful opportunities and abundance. It is how she responded to disappointments and remained present in her life that distinguishes her. It is because of Michelle's passion and grace, her talent and desire, her courage, her work ethic and her determination to never give up that she ended up winning nine U.S. National Championships, five World Championships, two Olympic medals (silver and bronze), and receiving 57 perfect 6.0 scores.

Most of those achievements were not things she dreamed of, nor "ambitiously" set goals to reach. As she continued winning National championships by virtue of hard work and competitive spirit, other people started pointing out to her that she had the opportunity to reach and maybe break Maribel Vinson Owen's record. Still, I don't think that was uppermost in Michelle's mind at all, until the actual Nationals where she had the opportunity to match Vinson Owen's record. I believe Michelle's mind and heart were always focused more on her Olympic dream. But the getting there was a daily process of working hard and learning how to enjoy and gain from the journey, not the destination. In the process, she ended up setting awe-inspiring records.

Beyond the numbers, it is simply how Michelle carries herself through all the ups and downs of life; it is the way her presence and her passion comes through from inside of her and touches others that makes her so admired. That is why she is a legend. And that is why she is called Kween. She is not called Kween because of her ambition. It is not simply a throwaway title, nor a fancy nickname bestowed by “crazy” ubers. Michelle is Kween because of the love, joy and admiration she inspires, and because of the example she sets.

And yes, while Michelle is of course human and imperfect, she has yet shown those who love her how it feels to fly. With her heart and her “passion” Michelle has taught us that it is still possible to soar over the rainbow even when your long held dream doesn’t come true.