Lady 2: there isn't anything about me on goooogle, I mean, I must take it off if there is.....
Lady 3: The google is a terrible thing, I mean I don't want anything on there! (Overheard by millyskate on a London train.)
Also, I am sure that there are plenty of jobs in the State Department that are neither political appointments nor require the Foreign Service exam. Didn't Michelle and Clay meet when they were going for the same fellowship, for example? So, when Michelle is no longer a "public diplomacy envoy", the exam could still be irrelevant to any potential job.
I believe the hard copy People article mentioned Michelle has a job in the state department. But I think that is a reference to her nonsalaried public diplomacy envoy position to which she was initially appointed by former Secretary Rice in November 2006 (also in Fall 2006, Michelle transferred from UCLA to the University of Denver to pursue an undergraduate major in international studies with a minor in political science -- and of course she graduated from Tufts University in 2011 with a Master's in international studies).
Wiki also mentions that Michelle has worked with Vice President Biden and with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (apparently in her role as public diplomacy envoy). In April 2011, the state department announced that Kwan would serve as an adviser to U.S.-China Women's Leadership Exchange and Dialogue (Women-LEAD). Also in April 2011 (as reported in the recent article on Kwan's engagement), she met Clay Pell while they were both competing for a White House Fellowship appointment. Clay received a WH Fellowship appointment but Michelle did not.
It was in January 2009 that Michelle was appointed a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (I thought President Obama made the appointment, but Wiki perhaps inaccurately states it was President Bush). Michelle K is probably involved in First Lady Michelle O's "Get Fit" initiative as part of her role on the aforementioned Council.
As we all know, Kwan has received numerous awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate from Southern Vermont College in May 2010. During her skating career, Kwan has had numerous corporate endorsement contracts, and she has had a long relationship with the Walt Disney Company. She is also one of the Godmothers of the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas.
It seems that Kwan's political appointments are all non-salaried, unless part of what she is doing at the state department involves receiving a salary. With all of her corporate endorsements and paid skating-related events over the years, MK is obviously independently wealthy. Not to mention the fact her family owns the skating rink, EastWest Ice Palace, in Artesia, CA.
The below from Wiki goes without stating, but it is always awe-inspiring to read once again:
Kwan has won five World Championships (1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2003), the most by anyone in the ladies' division since Carol Heiss (1956–1960), with whom she is tied for the most wins by an American. She has won nine United States Figure Skating Championships (1996, 1998–2005), tying the record for most set by Maribel Vinson-Owen (1928–1933, 1935–1937). Kwan's eight consecutive U.S. Championship titles (1998–2005) and 12 consecutive U.S. Championship medals (1994–2005) are both U.S. records. She is the only woman in figure skating history to reclaim the World title three times (1998, 2000, 2003). She also won a silver medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and a bronze medal in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. Among her many accolades, Kwan is a recipient of the prestigious James E. Sullivan Award, which is given to America's best amateur athlete; she was the first figure skater to win the award since Dick Button won it in 1949. Kwan has received a combined total of 57 6.0s (perfect scores) from her National and World competitions throughout the years. At the U.S. Championships alone, she holds the record for most 6.0s. Because figure skating is no longer scored on a 6.0 scale, Kwan's records will stand indefinitely.
Michelle will never want for money; or, opportunities to serve..
Unsalaried positions can be important stepping-stones to the ideal paid one.
Don't think that because these positions may be "voluntary", that they don't involve responsible, real work!
In the past, diplomatic positions were paid a pittance, and it was expected of this mainly very, very wealthy set that they would be using a lot of their own money to subsidize travel and the social events expected of their position, not to mention the expected shows of wealth (furnishings, vehicles, servants, clothing, etc.)
They were, essentially,volunteer appointments.
"'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney
To me, the important thing is that Michelle has always striven for excellence in everything she does. Michelle is a force of nature. Even after all Michelle's successes and accomplishments as a skater, she has only continued to grow in stature. Above all, she is all about giving back. And it's great to see her find someone special with similar goals and values.
Last edited by aftershocks; 09-22-2012 at 03:59 AM.
We must not forget that Michelle is a Director of the Special Olympics among all the other positions that she holds. She is one impressive young woman.
Best wishes to both of them! May their lives together be filled with love, joy and laughter.
Ambition has it dark side as many great minds have acknowledged and it should not be seen as always a positive character trait. Hopefully, Michelle and her beau will not and have not fallen victim to this darker side:
“Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things.” Albert Einstein
It is the nature of ambition to make men liars and cheats, to hide the truth in their breasts, and show, like jugglers, another thing in their mouths, to cut all friendships and enmities to the measure of their own interest, and to make a good countenance without the help of good will. - Sallust
Ambition often puts Men upon doing the meanest offices; so climbing is performed in the
same position with creeping. - Jonathan Swift
Ambition is a lust that is never quenched, but grows more inflamed and madder by enjoyment. - Thomas Otway
We grow small trying to be great. - Eli Stanley Jones
When ambition ends, happiness begins. - Hungarian Proverb
^^ 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!
Iceman, how does your post apply to Michelle?
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.
Michelle's wedding thread is turning into politics
"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!"
Last edited by aftershocks; 09-22-2012 at 10:14 PM.
love_skate2011, aftershocks spoke for me.
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.
"The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett
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.
"Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce