Michelle Kwan article in The Daily Beast

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sylvia, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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    (Also cross-posted in Politically Incorrect for obvious reasons - feel free to discuss any political stuff in that thread.)

    Figure Skater Michelle Kwan Chases Gold in Rhode Island’s Gubernatorial Race
    by Nicholas McCarvel Apr 17, 2014 5:45 am EDT
    Once tasked with nailing triple Lutzes and Salchows, Michelle Kwan may soon be Rhode Island's first lady. The story behind her political rise (and that infamous Prius).
    Link: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articl...old-in-rhode-island-s-gubernatorial-race.html
    Excerpt:
    I believe Olivia mainly competes in gymnastics and skates for fun.

    ETA:
    More about her current job from this Feb. 2014 article: Michelle Kwan Trades Skates for State Department Job
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  2. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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  3. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

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    Michelle is having a great post skating career. :respec:
     
  4. Simone411

    Simone411 aka IceSkate98

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    Love the article and thanks so much for sharing it, Sylvia. ITA, spikydurian. Michelle is definitely having a great post skating career. :respec:
     
  5. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

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    That's a very profound statement. Have any other skaters ever made any similar comments about the world of skating?
     
  6. Ares

    Ares Guest

    ^ I see where she's coming from but I'm not sure I fully agree with that. She was the star of the show of course, but she also worked hard for the team around her. She inspired many people, myself included, and while it wasn't saving the world, her impact was still greater than she's giving herself credit. Only she knows how she felt through her skating career, but I hope she realizes her hard work and dedication made a lot of people happy. She did get medals, $, and adoration in return, but IMO she gave as much as she got in return. In that sense, it doesn't seem very selfish to me.
     
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  7. taf2002

    taf2002 flower lady

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    I hope Clay really is "just testing the waters" so he & Michelle aren't devastated when/if he loses. Winning doesn't look very likely.
     
  8. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

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    Going for a governor's office as a first shot is a screaming longshot, I really think this is a test to see how it comes out and were he can go from here. Best of luck to them both!
     
  9. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

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    I can see what you're saying, but there is nothing inherently altruistic about being an athlete. Of course, you could say the same thing about being, say, a computer programmer, or many other jobs too. It's basically just a very prominent job. Maybe it felt especially selfish to her because she was in the spotlight so much.

    You could say the same thing about other performers too, such as pop musicians, movie stars, etc. But just because their art may make a lot of people happy, does that mean there is anything inherently noble about what they're doing? I don't think so. I doubt the prime motive for their careers was ever just to make others happy. ;)

    Well, Michelle Kwan would probably know better than any of us, because how many of us have had the same experiences? :) Besides, maybe the ultra-competitive mindset necessary to be a great athlete is what felt the most selfish to her. Perhaps now she doesn't feel like she ever has to "one-up" anybody and that's something of a relief to her.
     
  10. Enero

    Enero Member

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    I see nothing profound about this at all. Kwan is continuing what she did so well when she was a star figure skater, saying the right thing in the right moment. She could seriously teach a class on PR because IMO that's all her statement is.

    Though her talent and success can't be denied, this is why overall I wasn't much of a fan because IMHO she always comes off very rehearsed, not very genuine when making statements such as this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
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  11. Ares

    Ares Guest

    Totally agree. She was gunning for that OGM her entire career, like any athlete would. That was part of her appeal. Also I agree that we weren't her primary motive, otherwise she'd be a show skater now. Not to mention, discounting her former life, one that we are so fond of, doesn't give us much credit. :p

    But was it selfish? Anyone with a personal goal would then be selfish. I guess that's where she loses me. She paid her dues, gave up her childhood to dedicate her life to her sport, and succeeded. Along the way she was able to touch the lives of her fans and inspire many to follow her example. You don't necessarily have to be in a life of servitude to make a positive impact on the world beyond just yourself. Maybe she feels she should have made a more conscious effort to give back as a skater, but I don't agree that figure skating is inherently selfish.

    Maybe self-centered would have been a better word, as it is an individual sport. I don't know. Something just doesn't sit well about that statement as it is now. It definitely doesn't sound profound.
     
  12. taf2002

    taf2002 flower lady

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    And I see nothing "refreshing" about a skater shooting off their mouth & coming off as a whiner or entitled. I have never been inclined to trash talk in any of my endeavors. I've been around it & I find it distasteful. And it's not a matter of being a hypocrite, of thinking it but not saying it. I don't think it either, not because I'm so wonderful & good, but because I wasn't raised that way & it wouldn't come naturally. I have never understood why Michelle doesn't get any credit for being "PR", as you call it. Would you like her better if she whined about the scoring when she didn't skate all that well or bragged about who she beat? I completely understand her statement about skating feeling selfish - she was the focus of all the adults around her for many years. Her parents sacrificed their money, home, & time, & coaches, choreographers, & costume designers used all their talents to make her a star. If she now feels that it's time for her to give back then kudos to her. I think your statement says something about your character.
     
  13. Enero

    Enero Member

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    I have no idea what your talking about with regards to a skater shooting off at the mouth, trash talking, whining etc. Like I said, her comments for the most part have always come off very PC, too perfect if you will and IMO not genuine. That's MY opinion. I'm not sure why this gets your feathers so ruffled to the point that you feel the need to question my character. SMH.

    With regards to her comments about feeling as if her skating was selfish, I call BS on that. You don't spend 20+ years striving to reach the pinnacle (Olympic Gold) of the sport and even training for a comeback as late as 2010 and seriously feel that the time and commitment you made to this career was selfish. If she honestly felt this way, I think she would've been done with this sport well before her hip forced her to quit, and she certainly wouldn't have been working towards a comeback in 2010.
     
  14. Kabooke

    Kabooke Active Member

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    That's exactly what I thought when I read that statement. Yes, she worked very hard, but without the sacrifices of her family she'd never have gotten to where she is. So, I can see how it felt "selfish" to her at times. We all know as children even when our parents gladly make sacrifices it can still be stressful for them.
     
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  15. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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    Thanks you for pointing out what I bolded. These are two of the reasons why I have always had the utmost repect for Michelle.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  16. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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  17. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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  18. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I don't get what that has to do with not being selfish. A lot of people have their eyes on the prize and will do everything to reach their goals. Although they may be motivated to help people or do work that they think will be beneficial to society, it sort of takes a selfish attitude and ambition to be that successful.

    I can totally see what Kwan meant when she felt that skating might have been sort of a selfish enterprise on her part. Not that it's a bad thing and I don't think it was a real judgment from her. She just did it for so long and had a one-track mind about her own success that she wants to do something that is focused outside of herself now.

    I understand that you think she's being too PC or too nice, but I don't think she's overly perky or trying to hard to sell something. She's just understated and doesn't reveal too much but it doesn't mean they're dishonest when they do say something. There are people like that and that's their genuine self. Some people are naturally guarded. That doesn't make them inauthentic.
     
  19. FunnyBut

    FunnyBut Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Michelle always gives a considered, respectful response, while Ashely Wagner will tell you flat out what bugs her. I'm glad they very different, I love both of them and enjoy that there is a variety of personalities. The "PR" response is part of who Michelle is. She was raised in the spotlight of Tonya/Harding and Frank Carroll was very aware of how harsh the media spotlight could be. Her Dad didn't cancel a skate contract even though the skates where hurting Michelle because they did not want to embarass the sponsor. She was raised to be respectful, considerate and cautious, I believe that is who she genuinely is as a person, so when she answers like that, she is being true to herself. I think the same way about Kristi. I remember her family wouldn't entertain questions about Kristi's lack of sponsorship deals, nor did they want to talk about Japanese internment. Some people are not comfortable airing their dirty laundry, and do not aspire to be Weir-Voronovs.
     
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  20. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Nobody is *that* good at PR.

    O-
     
  21. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. It's been 20 years since Kwan burst out onto the international scene as a senior. She's been more or less the same person in terms of giving respectful and thoughtful comments. She thinks before she speaks. Even during really close losses where you think she could have acted better (like when she gave the judges a thumbs down in the KnC during the 2001-2002 Olympic year), that was as far as she went. She never whined about her results nor did she say she would have given herself better marks. I think with all of this consistent behavior, it's safe to say that that's simply her personality. You don't have to like it, but I think it's real.
     
  22. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

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    THIS!!!!
     
  23. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    I think that is just her personality as well. There were many times that she did not say the perfect PR statement-take COP for example. She was very open that she wasn't crazy about the new system. And there were times she skated and afterward said she was disappointed in herself. She was always very gracious when she lost, always complemented her rivals when they won (Tara, Sarah, Irina). She showed emotion when she was disappointed-sobbing with tears on a podium isn't enough? What else do people want from her? To talk trash on other skaters? bitch slap Tara Lipinski? Whine that she deserved to win and tell judges to sit on her middle finger? I honestly don't get it.
     
  24. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't seem Clay has much of a chance of winning (he was in third with about 9 percent of the vote in the last poll I saw). I wonder what his plans are if and when he does not succeed in becoming governor.
     
  25. taf2002

    taf2002 flower lady

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    Yes, that's exactly what posters like Enero want from her. Then they can post about what an entitled bitch she is. The problem with Michelle is that she didn't arouse enough controversy.
     
  26. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

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    People also tend to forget (or don't know) that she came to stardom during and after the Nancy/Tonya debacle, and she learned the "Nancy Kerrigan Lesson" well. Avoid "foot in mouth disease" by thinking before you speak and watching what you say.
     
  27. Simone411

    Simone411 aka IceSkate98

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    This right here. I personally 2nd, 3rd and 4th that. Michelle will always have my deepest respect. She's always been honest, charitable and a true sportsman when it came to figure skating. No rehearsal there especially when it came to interviews or fluff. She usually answered questions spot on that she had no knowledge of before hand. Hats off to Michelle. :respec:
     
  28. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Might I add, hats off to Ms. Kwan* for her Olympics 2014 coverage too, and especially for her pre-Olympics interview with Jeremy Abbott and her post-Olympics interview with Meryl and Charlie. She subtly challenged Jeremy and also showed him how much she believed in him. I thought at the time "How kind of Michelle, and how inspirational and supportive she's being to Jeremy." Little did I know that Jeremy was going to end up coming out gangbusters at U.S Nationals and making the Olympic team (not to mention winning his 4th National Championship. :) By the time of U.S. Nationals earlier this year, I admit, no matter how much I love Jeremy's skating, I'd given up on him. Michelle didn't! She's a role model in so many ways.

    ETA: *Mrs. Kwan-Pell :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
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  29. DreamSkates

    DreamSkates Active Member

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    My hat's off to her as well!
     
  30. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    I don't know much about Rhode Island politics, but over the course of the campaign perhaps Clay can increase his public profile and maybe raise his percentage. No matter what, it would seem that making the run for governor will be a good experience and an opportunity to introduce himself to voters. Certainly, Clay has a great background and like his wife and his forbears, he's devoted to public service. Good luck to Clay and Michelle.