Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by barbk, Sep 8, 2010.
From Helene Elliot --
Great article ... and thank you for posting it!
Long live the (real) Kween!
Kwan also did a Q&A yesterday in case anyone missed it: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showpost.php?p=2868557&postcount=200
Yuna could take some diplomacy lessons from Michelle. She is indeed a class act.
Wow. So she choreographed an SP for Vancouver? Interesting.
IIRC, the "Carmina Burana" (sp?) routine she did in Yu-Na's show last year would have been her competitive SP if she had not gone into grad school.
What a wonderful article. Her attitude and accomplishments are to be admired.
olympic, I believe that "Carmina Burana" was originally intended as a competition SP.
So nice to see her so happy in life and enjoying challenges on and off the ice.
Great article. Thanks so much for posting it
How sweet would it be to be in her class at school? I'd be excited.
Thanks for posting this. I love that shadowy photo of her, she still looks totally gorgeous IMO.
Though it blows my mind that none of her classmates had heard of her before. I know she's been out of the limelight for a bit, but wasn't she a household name in her day?
I love the 'I was okay, I went to the Olympics' line. Oh to be a fly on the wall if any of those who asked the question then went to look her up on youtube.
Great article and class personified as ever.
You'd be surprised how many people don't even know her name. I am shocked every time I have to explain to someone about Michelle Kwan.
I remember talking to a friend at college during the 2006 Olympics and being devastated that Michelle withdrew. He asked me who Michelle was and I was just dumbfounded. I couldn't believe that he didn't know who the Kween was.
You and me, both!
I just watched the first videos that came up on YouTube and you'd think she never made any sort of mistake on ice in her life and her life has been one long standing ovation with tv commentary.
true but I did watch a video clip of her graduating from University of Denver. when they called her name the audience gave her a huge cheer. I'm sure she gets recognized here and there but she's not a pop starlet or anything like that
What a great article. It's amazing how she's been able to transition herself so well, and I too am surprised her classmates don't know who she is. Then again, I pretty much know of all top athletes, and I'm a skating fan, so that would make sense. Most people I've talked to about skating know who she is and think she's won like 2 Olympic gold medals, along with Kristi and Dorothy. Some know of Sasha too.
On a creepy, semi-off topic note, I was trying to search for this article on google news, and as I was typing in "Michelle Kw...." the first suggestion was "Michelle Kwan's death." Doesn't that mean a lot of people have googled that recently? Weird.
Michelle is a class act indeed. Hope Yuna and Michelle carry their friendship/business relationship further.
I wouldn't. I very much doubt that anyone I know IRL knows who Michelle Kwan is. But perhaps that's because I'm a European.
This. Or if they do, more often than not they'll say "that Asian girl".
Now, everybody knows who Katarina Witt is which is pretty amazing for a country with no real history of figure skating in the media whatsoever.
Most of the people I know think she won in SLC.
I think it's somewhat bizarre that Michelle Kwan has had so much experience with public speaking and higher education, and yet *still* mixes pronouns within the same sentence. If I were the writer of the article, I would have gone ahead and corrected those.
Michelle Kwan is really an outsanding personality. One can't do nothing else but admire her for her accomplishments and attitudes.
I'm also a bit disapointed when I read that many people don't know who she is. She is multiple times US national champion, World champion and olympian, this is something that must be recognized. What do people know really ? Do they have a wider culture than just medias buzz ?
I mean at least they could recognize the name even if they can't list all her athletics accomplishments, the name, at least ! But no...
A Jeopardy contestant even thought she won in Nagano.
A Jeopardy contestent once had a clue about a "skater born in 1980", and answered "Katerina Witt". Somehow, I think that Jeopardy contestents are not always all that knowledgeable about figure skaters.
I find that I make those mistakes all the time when I'm just speaking or writing on this forum. When I write my real papers, I do a much better job keeping those things in check. My biggest problem in casual speech is saying "their" or "they" when I refer to an individual or mixing up past and present tense. Those are usually the first things I check when I edit.
I find most people tend to do that in a casual, conversational setting. Your brain works differently when it comes to the written word, especially in an academic environment, I find.
It doesn't surprise me. Figure skating just isn't that big of a deal in the USA. People who don't follow the sport know who Nancy Kerrigan, Tonya Harding, Kristi Yamaguchi, Brian Boitano, Oksana Baiul, and Katarina Witt are, but that's about it. They, excluding Harding, were all over the tv in primetime coverage during skating's post-Kerrigan-assault boom when all of those professional competitions and shows saturated the basic networks that everyone has access to. That coverage started to slowly dwindle after Nagano and was nonexistent after Salt Lake City. Generally, not as many people were following Olympic eligible skating it seems. 1994-1999 was pro skating's primetime heyday . . . it was great while it lasted!
Speaking of people thinking that Kwan won the OGM, this news anchor seems to think she was a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist during this interview.
Kwan gave an awkward look to the camera but she didn't correct him.
Same here. I find that I often get tongue-tied when I'm speaking to strangers, especially if I'm talking fast. My words often trip over themselves, and then later on I think, darn it, only if they knew how I could really talk!
I never had that problem with term papers, though.
Do you know the names of many Olympic medallists in sports you don't follow? I'm sure most people don't, and not knowing them is hardly indicative of being uncultured.
Ice skating isn't a huge sport here in the UK. People here who aren't skating fans usually know only of Curry, Cousins, Torvill and Dean, and as allezfred rightly mentioned, Katarina Witt.
katarina witt is not more known than michelle in the US. unless you were talking about europe which I have no clue about.
the fact that many might not know her is due to the fact that, as already noted, skating is so dead in the US and besides her "time" was over ages ago.
polls have consistently shown that michelle is america's favorite female skater and even in 2009 she still made the list of top 10 favorite female athletes despite not competing since 2005...but then again how many female athletes can the general american public name outside a handful
if a random american who doesn't follow the sport can't even recall who michelle kwan is I doubt they'd even be able to list most of the names on your list except maybe tonya and nancy for the whack. michelle was very much a part of that skating boom in the US you're talking about, if not the ultimate queen of that era. and I'm talking about publicity and media not just medals.
Well, anyone who reads this board knows how often the name "Michelle Kwan" must come up in your conversations.
It's funny because one of my freshmen boys mentioned her name in a class discussion a couple of days ago and most of the other students knew that she was an "Olympic skater who won a medal".
I would also agree that more people in the US would name Katarina , Tonya, and Nancy as figure skaters they have heard of before they named Michelle. I would also add Brian Boitano to that list. Anyone who was relevent in pop culture. (Playboy, the "wack", What Would Brian Boytano Do, etc...)
I would have to think though, that her name would at least sound familiar even if they do not know who she is?
Anyways-That is a great article! I am very proud to be a fan.
Sad to say, among the general public, Tonya Harding is a more recognizable name than Michelle Kwan. And while to someone who follows figure skating, especially someone in the U.S., it may seem surprising that Michelle's classmates might not know who she was, I don't think it is that unexpected when you consider the demographics of the Fletcher School at Tufts. They have students from many countries, including those where figure skating is likely not very well covered -- if at all (Uganda, Palestine, Morocco, Costa Rica). In the 2008-09 student body, more than 40% were non-US citizens, with 57 nationalities represented among the 250 students.
Michelle Kwan and Serena Williams were the only female athletes to ever appear on the yearly overall most popular athletes list (male and female) back in 2002. No other females have cracked the overall list before or since. The year Katarina did Playboy, she didn't even appear on the top 10 list for just female athletes, Michelle did. I'm sorry but anyone who thinks Katarina, a German, is more popular in the US than Michelle, an American who was the main story in the US for 3 Winter Olympic cycles is dreaming
LOL you're referencing South Park? Most South Park fans had to google Brian Boitano to even understand the root of that gag, as you'll find when you see many of the comments on his videos. I'm not sure that being known as part of a gag and having people shocked to find out you're a real person counts for much. Nor is South Park even that influential/popular. What's more is male skaters receive not even a fraction of the attention, endorsements that female skaters do nor are they as embraced by the public.
I don't want to sound like a broken record, but contrary to what people think about Americans only tuning in to watch skating during the Olympics - during the 90's even the National championships had great ratings, in particular the legendary 1998 nationals between Michelle and Tara which drew over 13 million viewers in the US. Every athlete is going to have their time to shine and then they're going to decline in notoriety, especially in such a niche sport that most Americans don't actually partake in, unlike basketball or football.
I don't think most americans would know who Michelle Kwan is, but I think she is more known than Katerina Witt. I think Sasha Cohen is probably more known than Witt. I don't really consider Playboy "pop culture" -as most people don't follow it- and I don't know anything Witt has done outside of skating that would make Americans still remember her.
I think for the general public, Tonya Harding and probably Nancy Kerrigan would be the top names, followed by Brian Boitano, in the younger generations only due to South Park. (I've seen comments on youtube videos that were "dude - that's a real guy? I thought the song made him up!)
Maybe I have a bit of an age bias though as the first Olympics I REALLY remember were 1992, so the skaters before then I only know as pros.
Separate names with a comma.