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  1. #1

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    Michelle Kwan article in The Daily Beast

    (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/article...rial-race.html
    Excerpt:
    “Walking into the rink today I thought, ‘Wow, this is what I used to do every day,’” Kwan tells me on the phone. It’s early April and she’s in Los Angeles visiting her 10-year-old niece Olivia, who she says is turning into quite the skater. “For 20 years I never had a question about what I was going to do, it was just always about focusing on the next competition. Now, no two days are the same. The day-to-day is unpredictable.”
    I believe Olivia mainly competes in gymnastics and skates for fun.

    ETA:
    In 2012, she took a full-time job with the State Department as a senior adviser for public diplomacy and public affairs.
    More about her current job from this Feb. 2014 article: Michelle Kwan Trades Skates for State Department Job
    “I work at the Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau, where we focus on a lot of exchanges, building mutual understanding,” she says. “We bring businesses, we bring athletes, we bring music. There’s a great exchange between countries, and it’s a great way to connect.”
    Last edited by Sylvia; 04-17-2014 at 04:18 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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    Kwan was in Tennessee recently - "Full Court Press to Empower Women and Girls through Sports: U.S. Department of State Multi-Nation Final Four Basketball Program": http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/04/224272.htm

    Article/photos (webcast only available to Univ. of Tennessee community): http://tntoday.utk.edu/2014/04/04/we...owering-women/
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  3. #3

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    Michelle is having a great post skating career.
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

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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.
    Angie
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

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    “Figure skating felt very selfish to me, so public service has just felt like this total calling for me,” Kwan says.
    That's a very profound statement. Have any other skaters ever made any similar comments about the world of skating?

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    ^ 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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    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.

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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!
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ares View Post
    ^ 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.
    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.

    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.
    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.

    In that sense, it doesn't seem very selfish to me.
    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.

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    “Figure skating felt very selfish to me, so public service has just felt like this total calling for me,” Kwan says.
    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    That's a very profound statement. Have any other skaters ever made any similar comments about the world of skating?
    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 by Enero; 04-20-2014 at 04:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    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.
    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.

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enero View Post
    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.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taf2002 View Post
    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.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taf2002 View Post
    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.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Enero View Post
    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 [/B]when making statements such as this.

    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 by kwanette; 04-21-2014 at 02:01 AM.

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    ^^^ I assume you didn't mean to bold "not" above, kwanette?

    Kwan and Ashley Wagner will be participating in the Easter Egg Roll at the White House tomorrow: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-...nd-talent-line
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    ^^^ I assume you didn't mean to bold "not" above, kwanette?

    Kwan and Ashley Wagner will be participating in the Easter Egg Roll at the White House tomorrow: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-...nd-talent-line
    Thank you, I did that too fast!! I will go back and correct it!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enero View Post
    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.
    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.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

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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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    Quote Originally Posted by FunnyBut View Post
    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.
    Exactly. Nobody is *that* good at PR.

    O-

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