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Profile: Michelle Kwan

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Maofan7, Dec 29, 2012.

Would Michelle Kwan have likely won the 2002 Olympics if Frank Carroll remained coach

Poll closed Jan 29, 2013.
  1. Yes

    58 vote(s)
  2. No

    11 vote(s)
  3. Don't Know

    24 vote(s)
  1. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

    This profile thread takes a look back at Michelle Kwan's competitive career (1991-2005)

    Born, 7th July 1980, in Torrance, California, Michelle started skating when she was 5 years old (inspired by her older sister, Karen Kwan, who was also a figure skater). Her family struggled to finance Michelle's skating, but they were offered financial assistance by a member of the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club, which enabled Michelle to train at the Ice Castle International Training Centre.

    In 1991, Frank Carroll became Michelle's coach.


    During the 1991/92 season (LP: Concerto in F - George Gershwin), Kwan competed at U.S. Nationals for the first time as a junior, where she finished 9th.

    U.S. Nationals (Junior) 1992 - SP, U.S. Nationals (Junior) 1992 - FS


    Kwan passed her Gold Test and moved up to seniors for the 1992/93 season (LP: Miss Saigon - Claude-Michel Schönberg). Her coach, Frank Carroll, had wanted her to remain in Juniors.

    Michelle finished 6th in her first senior U.S. Nationals, where she was the youngest (age 12) to compete as a senior since 1973.

    Practice, U.S. Nationals 1993 -SP, U.S. Nationals 1993 - FS, Profile

    Kwan finished the season by winning a junior level competition, the Gardena Spring Trophy (beating Jenna Pittman)


    Michelle began the 1993/94 season (SP: Song of India - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, LP: East of Eden - Lee Holdridge) by competing at the U.S. Olympic Festival, where she won the Gold Medal.

    U.S. Olympic Festival 1993 - SP, U.S. Olympic Festival 1993 - FS

    Kwan's next competition was Skate America, where she finished 7th (winner: Oksana Baiul).

    Skate America 1993 - FS

    Michelle followed this up by winning the 1994 World Junior Championships (which took place in December 1993), beating Krisztina Czakó and Irina Slutskaya

    World Junior Championships 1994 - FS

    Kwan then finished 2nd behind Tonya Harding at the 1994 U.S. Nationals, one of the most controversial championships in figure skating history, which involved the infamous attack on Nancy Kerrigan. Ordinarily, as Kwan had finished 2nd at the Championships, this would have qualified her for a place on the U.S. team for the 1994 Olympics. However, as Kerrigan had been unable to compete, and would have been favourite along with Harding to win had she been able to, Kerrigan was ultimately selected in place of Kwan. Michelle then went to the Olympics as an alternate, but did not ultimately compete.

    1994 U.S. Nationals - SP, 1994 U.S. Nationals - FS

    With the retirement of both Kerrigan and Harding following the Olympics, Michelle was selected to compete at the 1994 senior World Championships, where she finished 8th (winner: Yuka Sato). She was in 11th after falling on the 3Z of her 3Z+2T combination in the SP. However, a better FS moved her up to 8th overall.

    1994 World Championships - SP, 1994 World Championships - FS + Profile


    Michelle began the 1994/95 season (SP: Yellow River Piano Concerto - Xian Xinghai, LP: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso - Camille Saint-Saëns) by performing an exhibition program at the U.S. Olympic Festival at the beginning of July 1994.

    U.S. Olympic Festival - Exhibition

    Later in July 1994, Kwan competed at the Goodwill Games, where she finished 2nd to Surya Bonaly.

    1994 Goodwill Games - SP, 1994 Goodwill Games - FS

    Next, Kwan competed at Skate America where she again finished 2nd to Surya Bonaly.

    1994 Skate America - FS

    Michelle then competed at the Trophée de France (now known as the Trophée Eric Bompard), where she finished 3rd (winner: Surya Bonaly, second: Tonia Kwiatkowski).

    1994 Trophée de France - FS

    At the beginning of 1995, Michelle finished 2nd for the second year running at U.S. Nationals (winner: Nicole Bobek). This loss was caused primarily by a poor landing on the 3Z part of her 3Z+2T combination in her SP, which left her 3rd after the SP.

    1995 U.S. Nationals - SP, 1995 U.S. Nationals - FS

    Nevertheless, her 2nd placed finish at Nationals qualified Kwan to compete at the World Championships, where she finished just outside the medals in 4th place (winner: Chen Lu).

    1995 World Championships - SP, 1995 World Championships - FS


    Kwan began the 1995/96 season (SP: Romanza, LP: Salome) by winning Skate America where she beat World Champion, Chen Lu, into 2nd place. This performance highlighted that Kwan had moved up several levels, displaying greater artistry and maturity in her skating, more complex choreography, and greater speed and jumping ability.

    1995 Skate America - FS, 1995 Skate America - Exhibition

    Next, Michelle competed at Skate Canada, which she also won.

    1995 Skate Canada - SP, 1995 Skate Canada - FS

    Michelle then won the Nations Cup, beating Maria Butyrskaya and Nicole Bobek

    1995 Nations Cup - FS, 1995 Nations Cup - Exhibition

    Next, Michelle won her first U.S. Nationals title (second: Tonia Kwiatkowski, third: Tara Lipinski)

    1996 U.S. Nationals - SP, 1996 U.S. Nationals - FS, Profile

    Michelle's Champions Series victories qualified her for the Final (this was the first ever Champions Series, a series which later became known as the Grand Prix), which took place in February 1996, and which she also won (beating Irina Slutskaya into 2nd, with Chen Lu 4th). Kwan had been in 4th place after the SP after falling on a 3T. However, a strong FS (in conjunction with a disastrous LP by Chen Lu, who had been in 1st place after the SP) moved her up into 1st place overall.

    1996 Champions Series Final - SP, 1996 Champions Series Final - FS

    Following on from this win, Kwan next won her first World title, beating Chen Lu into 2nd in a very close finish. Michelle won both the SP and LP

    1996 World Championships - SP, 1996 World Championships - FS, 1996 World Championships - Exhibition


    Kwan first started performing the Change-of-Edge spiral, which would become her signature move, during the 1996/97 season (SP: Dream of Desdemona, LP: Taj Mahal). However, a growth spurt and boot problems, led to a dip in form and jumping problems.

    Michelle started the season by competing at Skate America, which she won (beating the skater who was about to become her nemesis, Tara Lipinski)

    1996 Skate America - SP, 1996 Skate America - FS

    Next, Kwan competed at Trophée Lalique, which she also won (second: Maria Butyrskaya, third: Tara Lipinski)

    1996 Trophée Lalique - SP, 1996 Trophée Lalique - FS, 1996 Trophée Lalique - Exhibition

    At the 1997 U.S. Nationals, however, Kwan was beaten into 2nd place by Tara Lipinski. Michelle was in first place after the SP, but 2 falls (the first on the 2nd part of an intended 3T+3T combination, and the 2nd on a 3R) and a stumble out of a 3F in her LP, dropped her to 2nd place overall (she finished 3rd in the FS)

    1997 U.S. Nationals - SP, 1997 U.S. Nationals - FS

    Tara Lipinski again beat Michelle into 2nd place in the Champions Series final, with Michelle making mistakes in both programs.

    1997 Champions Series Final - SP, 1997 Champions Series Final

    Lipinski made it a hat-trick of wins over Kwan at the World Championships, with Michelle again finishing 2nd to her. Kwan was in 4th place after the SP after stepping out of the first part of her 3Z+2T combination. However, she won the FS with a strong LP, but that was only enough to move her up to 2nd place overall.

    1997 World Championships - SP, 1997 World Championships - FS, Profile


    Putting her growth spurt problems behind her, Kwan started the 1997/98 season (SP: Piano Concerto No. 3/Piano Trio No. 2 - Sergei Rachmaninoff, LP: Lyra Angelica - William Alwyn) confidently, by winning Skate America (beating Lipinski into second place).

    1997 Skate America - SP, 1997 Skate America - FS

    Michelle followed this up by winning Skate Canada (second: Maria Butyrskaya)

    1997 Skate Canada - SP, 1997 Skate Canada - FS

    However, shortly afterwards, Michelle sustained a stress fracture to her left foot, which forced her to withdraw from the Champions Series Final (which Lipinski went on to win).

    Michelle had recovered sufficiently from the stress fracture by the beginning of 1998 to compete in and win U.S. Nationals (although she was still having problems with her toe, and was not 100%), where she beat Lipinski into 2nd place. Michelle's performance in her Lyra Angelica FS, in my view, was her greatest ever performance, which earned her eight 6.0's for presentation and left 1 judge in tears. Her Rachmaninoff SP was almost as good.

    1998 U.S. Nationals - SP, 1998 U.S. Nationals - FS (with commentary), 1998 U.S. Nationals - FS (without commentary)

    Next was the 1998 Olympics. Kwan led after an excellent SP (with 8 out of 9 Judges placing her first), with Lipinski 2nd. However, Lipinski would go on to win both the FS and the Olympic title, despite Michelle performing a clean 7-triple jump program which left her in 2nd place in the FS and overall. The greater technical difficulty which Lipinski injected into her own clean 7-triple jump LP (which included a 3R+3R combination, and a 3T+half R+ 3S sequence) won her title. Who should have won? This remains the subject of debate. Some prefer the greater artistry of Kwan, whilst others prefer what they consider to be the greater technical ability of Lipinski.

    1998 Olympics - SP, 1998 Olympics - FS, 1998 Olympics - Exhibition, Profile - Part 1, Profile - Part 2

    With Lipinski retiring after the Olympics, Kwan decided to continue for another quad with a view to winning Gold at the 2002 Olympics. She next won the world title for a second time (second: Irina Slutskaya)

    1998 World Championships - SP, 1998 World Championships - FS, 1998 World Championships - Exhibition

    Kwan finished the season by winning the Goodwill Games

    1998 Goodwill Games - SP, 1998 Goodwill Games - FS


    Kwan skipped the Grand Prix Series in order to compete in some made for TV Pro-Am events. Hence, her first event of the 1998/99 season (SP: Fate of Carmen, LP: Lamento D'Ariane) was U.S. Nationals, which she won (second: Naomi Nari Nam)

    1999 U.S. Nationals - SP, 1999 U.S. Nationals - FS

    Nevertheless, a truncated season meant that Kwan was well below her best and she went on to finish 2nd behind Maria Butyrskaya at the World Championships

    1999 World Championships - Qualifying Round, 1999 World Championships - SP, 1999 World Championships - FS


    Kwan began the 1999/00 season (SP: A Day In The Life, LP: The Red Violin) by winning Skate America (second: Julia Soldatova, fourth: Sarah Hughes))

    1999 Skate America - SP, 1999 Skate America - FS, 1999 Skate America - Exhibition

    Next, Michelle won Skate Canada (second: Julia Soldatova)

    1999 Skate Canada - SP, 1999 Skate Canada - FS

    However, Michelle went on to place second to Irina Slutskaya in the Grand Prix final

    2000 GPF - SP, 2000 GPF - 1st LP, 2000 GPF - 2nd LP

    Kwan retained her U.S. Nationals title (second: Sasha Cohen, third: Sarah Hughes). Michelle was 3rd after the short program after falling on a 3T. However, a better LP mean't that she won the FS and the title.

    2000 U.S. Nationals - SP, 2000 U.S. Nationals - FS

    Kwan next won her 3rd World title, beating Irina Slutskaya into 2nd, and avenging her defeat to Slutskaya in the GPF. Kwan was in 3rd place after the SP after a poor landing on her 3F. However, she landed 7 triples (which included a 3T+3T combination) in her LP to win both the FS and the title.

    2000 World Championships - SP, 2000 World Championships - FS


    Kwan began the 2000/01 season (SP: East of Eden, LP: Song of the Black Swan) by winning Skate America (second: Sarah Hughes)

    2000 Skate America - SP, 2000 Skate America - FS

    However, Michelle was next beaten into 2nd by Irina Slutskaya at Skate Canada

    2000 Skate Canada - SP, 2000 Skate Canada - FS

    Kwan next retained her U.S. Nationals title (second: Sarah Hughes)

    2001 U.S. Nationals - SP, 2001 U.S. Nationals - LP

    However, Michelle would again lose the GPF to Irina Slutskaya

    2001 GPF - 2nd LP, 2001 GPF - Exhibition

    Nevertheless, Michelle would again avenge a GPF defeat to Slutskaya by retaining her World title (second: Slutskaya). Kwan was in second behind Slutskaya after the SP. However, she won the FS to take the title after landing 7 triples (which included a 3T+3T combination) in her LP

    2001 World Championships - QR, 2001 World Championships - SP, 2001 World Championships - FS


    Michelle began the 2001/02 season (SP: Piano Concerto No. 3/Piano Trio No. 2 - Sergei Rachmaninoff, LP: Scheherazade) by finishing 2nd to Irina Slutskaya at the Goodwill Games

    2001 Goodwill Games - SP, 2001 Goodwill Games - FS

    Next, Kwan won Skate America (second: Sarah Hughes). However, a couple of days before the start of the competition, Kwan and Frank Carroll ended their coaching relationship. She stated that she needed to "take responsibility" for her skating. She spent the rest of the season without a coach.

    2001 Skate America - SP, 2001 Skate America - FS, Profile

    Kwan next finished 3rd at Skate Canada (first: Sarah Hughes, second: Irina Slutskaya)

    2001 Skate Canada - SP, 2001 Skate Canada - FS

    For the 3rd year in a row, Michelle was beaten into 2nd place by Irina Slutskaya in the GPF

    2002 GPF - SP, 2002 GPF - 1st FS, 2002 GPF - 2nd FS

    Next, Michelle retained her U.S. Nationals title (second: Sasha Cohen, third: Sarah Hughes)

    2002 U.S. Nationals - SP, 2002 U.S. Nationals - FS, Profile

    At the 2002 Olympics, Michelle led after the SP. However, in a disastrous FS, she had a two footed landing on the first part of her intended 3T+3T combination, and doubled out on the second part. She then fell on her 3F. Sarah Hughes, performing the FS of her life, skated a clean 7 triple jump program (which included a 3S+3R combination and a 3T+3R combination) to come through and win the Olympic title. Slutskaya took the silver, with Kwan winning the bronze.

    2002 Olympics - SP, 2002 Olympics - FS, 2002 Olympics - Exhibition, 2002 Olympics - Medal Ceremony

    Kwan was then beaten into 2nd place by Irina Slutskaya at the World Championships

    2002 World Championships - QR, 2002 World Championships - SP, 2002 World Championships - FS


    Kwan began working with coach, Scott Williams, in the summer of 2002.

    Michelle began the 2002/03 season (SP: The Feeling Begins, LP: Concierto de Aranjuez) by winning Skate America

    2002 Skate America - SP, 2002 Skate America - FS

    Kwan decided not to compete in the remainder of the Grand Prix series.

    Next, Kwan retained her U.S. Nationals title, beating Olympic Champion, Sarah Hughes into 2nd place (third: Sasha Cohen)

    2003 U.S. Nationals - SP, 2003 U.S. Nationals - FS

    Kwan would next win her 5th World title (second: Elena Sokolova)

    2003 World Championships - SP, 2003 World Championships - FS, 2003 World Championships - Exhibition


    For the 2003/04 season (SP: The Feeling Begins, LP: Tosca), Kwan appointed Rafael Arutyunyan as her coach, but skipped the Grand Prix series. She began her season by retaining her U.S. Nationals title (second: Sasha Cohen)

    2004 U.S. Nationals - SP, 2004 U.S. Nationals - FS

    Nevertheless, Kwan could only finish 3rd at the World Championships (first: Shizuka Arakawa, second: Sasha Cohen). She was penalized in the SP for going 2 seconds over time, which left her 4th going into the LP. She then landed 5 triples in her FS to finish 2nd in the LP and 3rd overall.

    2004 World Championships - SP, 2004 World Championships - FS, 2004 World Championships - Exhibition


    For the 2004/05 season (SP: Adagio from Spartacus, LP: Boléro), Kwan again skipped the Grand Prix series and began her season by retaining her U.S. Nationals title (second: Sasha Cohen). In winning Nationals again, she won the title for a record equaling ninth time (which tied the record with Maribel Vinson-Owen)

    2005 U.S. Nationals - SP, 2005 U.S. Nationals - FS, Profile

    Nevertheless, Michelle could only finish 4th at the World Championships (winner: Irina Slutskaya), the first time she had finished off the podium at worlds since 1995. In her FS, she fell on a 3S and two-footed the landing on a 3Z. Kwan was competing for the first time under the new judging system, and experienced difficulties in adjusting to it

    2005 World Championships - QR, 2005 World Championships - SP, 2005 World Championships - FS


    Kwan had planned to continue skating into the 2005/06 season in order to take part in the 2006 Olympics. However, various injuries mean't that she was unable to compete.

    Biography Channel Documentary

    Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  2. l'etoile

    l'etoile New Member

    Wow, this is so amazing. How do you keep up with these data and all those other AMAZING threads you've started?! This is a whole weekend-worth of a thread to rejoice in MK's achievements and sheer talent growing up as a complete skater. Thanks!
    Maofan7 and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

    Here are 2 articles on the split between Michelle Kwan and Frank Carroll that took place just 4 months before the 2002 Olympics:-

    New York Times - 14.12.01

    Sports Illustrated - 24.10.01

    Still don't understand why Kwan split with Carroll just 4 months before the Olympics (and Lori Nichol, her choreographer, just a few months before the split with Carroll). The key factor that's required in the run up to an Olympics is stability, and the fact is that Kwan's results and performances became highly inconsistent for the remainder of that season, and as a whole they were far worse than in previous seasons. The quote from Robin Wagner (coach to the ultimate 2002 Olympic champion, Sarah Hughes) in the Sports Illustrated article was prophetic:

    The following passage from the New York Times article (written just a couple of months before the 2002 Olympics) is equally prophetic:

    All in all, the split with Carroll was almost certainly a significant contributory factor in Kwan's defeat at the 2002 Olympics. The timing could not have been worse. If there were problems, with just 4 months to go before the Olympics, then something should have been done to work them out. Coaching changes are best done during the off season, leaving plenty of time to acquire a replacement. Kwan remained coachless throughout the remainder of the 2001/02 season, and the effects told in her highly inconsistent results and performances.

    The New York Times article refers to "speculation about whether [Kwan]...panicked" Did she?
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  4. lulu

    lulu New Member

    I agree, I always look forward to Maofan7's retrospective threads. :)

    As to the actual question itself, I guess I would say "don't know." Perhaps though, while there are no guarantees, she would of had a much better chance at winning the OGM had she stayed with Carroll.
  5. giselle23

    giselle23 Well-Known Member

    Michelle needed a coach at the Olympics. Maybe not even Carroll, but a coach. She had a problem on her flip in the short program. A coach, especially someone like Carroll, might have helped with that. Also, Michelle seemed uncharacteristically nervous before her long program. She needed someone for support and encouragement--someone other than Danny!
  6. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Looking back, if Kwan felt like she needed a coaching change, then the 1999-2000 season or the off-season after would've been the perfect timing. That's when people started criticizing her safe jump content and Lori Nichol choreography. In retrospect, those were good times, but at the time, I'm sure Kwan heard all those criticisms. Her Chris Dean SP to Eric Clapton in 2000-2001 and Miraculous Mandarin LP at the 2001 GPF were steps in the right direction, but due to the perceived negative feedback from fans, judges, and possibly her team, she decided to go back to what worked for her.

    She should've gotten Morosov to choreograph her Olympic routines in 2002 because although he's much maligned now, at that time, he was considered fresh and new and not many noticed all the obvious empty spaces and over-the-top footwork sequences (outside Plushenko fans who were actually right about some of the things they picked on in Yagudin's routines). It would've been perfect. More dynamic and free than her Lori Nichol work, but not as choreographically-intensive as her previous work but due to the flashiness, not many would have noticed until later.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  7. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    I feel like I know or rather understand more about famous splits than Kwan/Carroll. For instance, I was able to read the Russian media and TAT interviews about her split with Cohen and feel I have an idea what happened. But with Kwan, I still don't although VIETgrlTerifa's explanation does make sense. Kwan had always been conservative in her skating in her attempts to maintain what had worked in the past. I don't recall her Clapton SP (will look for it) but thought that MM was a very interesting and gutsy move off the chartered course. In the end, if that was indeed Frank's idea, his instincts were correct as Kwan's style was beginning to stagnate. Perhaps Frank wanted to push her outside her comfort zone but she wasn't willing to go there.

    From the NYT article: I don't agree with Brian Orser's comment that MK peaked at '98 Nats and had nothing left for Nagano. Err, a clean, albeit guarded performance and a silver medal are not nothing, Ms. Orser. She clearly had plenty left although she did have a more liberated performance at Nats.

    Didn't MK skate to Morozov's programs later? Wasn't TFB (my favorite) his?
  8. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Actually, from what I remember reading at the time Kwan was the one who wanted to seek other choreographers and be more gutsy with 3/3s while Frank was true to his 80% success rate in practice before trying anything in competition. Frank disapproved of Kwan switching choreographers from Nichol while Kwan was the one who sought out different ones (Peter Oppegard who choreographed her Miraculous Mandarin routine was dating Karen Kwan at the time and I believe it was Kwan who got Phillip Mills to do her awesome exhibitions to Kissing You and Hands). Sarah Kawahara who choreographed Kwan's Scheherezade program even said that Frank already had all the music cuts chosen before Kawahara started to choreograph it.

    As for why Kwan wasn't more ambitious with her triple/triples after Frank? She tried to be in Skate Canada and fell to third for the first time since 1995 so that probably scared her. Then in 2003-2004 Kwan was just skating back to basics and started suffering more from her hip injury (plus just her inability) probably prevented her from being as ambitious as many would have liked.
  9. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    Rewatching MM--Kwan had miraculous port de bras and carriage.

    But the commentators' comments are infuriating: blah blah blah the music is jarring, unconventional, unfamiliar and hard to understand...that's exactly the kind of BS that discouraged her from exploring a different style. If they said that on TV, you can imagine what was said behind the scenes. :mitchell:

    Here's the Eric Clapton. I am not in love with the music but think MK sold it well. She is one of the very few ladies skaters who can pull off "sexy" on the ice convincingly. Again an interesting and divergent concept, made you sit up and pay attention. Can't believe I am so retrospectively :mad: at the skating establishment.

    If Kwan indeed was the one wanting more innovative choreography and ostensibly left Carroll because of his staid ways, why did she go back to Rachmaninoff SP and in subsequent seasons followed pretty much the same formula, hardly trying more "outside the box" programs after the split?
  10. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    On the more shallow note: Kwan is ever the Kween of fashion on the ice. That MM black asymmetric dress would be on trend today and that was over a decade ago. :eek:
  11. centerstage01

    centerstage01 Well-Known Member

    While at the time I thought Michelle leaving Frank was a colossally bone-headed move, looking back I can see that it wasn't the leaving Frank part that was the worst, it was just not having a coach, period. I know she said she felt fine with her dad at the boards, but she really needed a professional pair of eyes there for her. I have no doubt on earth that she could have picked up the phone and asked any coach that didn't already have a student that was her direct competition to take her through the Olympics and they would have fallen over themselves accepting.

    I have no idea if she'd have won if she'd still been with Frank. Who's to say that their relationship wouldn't have deteriorated to such a point that she wouldn't have even gotten the bronze? I just think if she couldn't work with Frank any longer she should have had someone else in mind to at least get her through such a crucial year.

    ETA: Watching the link to Miraculous Mandarin, that program was the bones of something that could have been freaking brilliant. There were certain moves in the choreography that were genius and Michelle could give it what it deserved. It sucks that all the judges seemingly ever wanted from her were flowing, dramatic, "safe" programs. Were Michelle skating now she could get away with this kind of program, I think.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  12. lulu

    lulu New Member

    After watching Rush and MM, I wish Michelle had kept those programs.
  13. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    I think she tightened up a bit in her thinking after splitting from Frank. She took the big risk, and then the results didn't immediately follow, which should not have been a surprise, but that probably caused some panic. I'm sure she wasn't getting a ton of validation for her choice to go out on her own, too. That could make anyone start to doubt themselves. It's a shame, because I think she was on the right track. Nothing against Frank, even if he'd given her all the space she needed, she may not have been able to conceive of a new dynamic between the two of them and therefore felt restrained and stifled in the relationship.
  14. giselle23

    giselle23 Well-Known Member

    As noted,Sarah Karahawa choreographed her Scheherazade LP and Fields of Gold exhibition. (Ironically, Scheherazade is one of my least favorite Kwan programs). I don't know why Michelle went back to her Rach program. She had nowhere to go but down with that one. Early in the season, she was still skating to East of Eden, which I think would have been a better choice if she didn't want to do something new.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  15. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    One positive thing about her Rach program in 2002 was that I thought she wore her best ever skating dress for that redux in SLC. I guess the fact that she couldn't even come up with a new SP should've sounded alarms for those paying attention.
  16. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    God, I miss her.
  17. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
    Maofan7 and (deleted member) like this.
  18. falling_dance

    falling_dance Coaching Patrick

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  19. sadya

    sadya Active Member

    Many figure skaters just have one or two fabulous programs which you can watch again and again. In Kwan's case it's almost every program she skated. I can't choose one favourite program of hers because it's always more than I enjoy for different reasons but equally as much. There is no female skater who has that imho.
  20. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    Thanks, my memory is :yikes:
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  21. giselle23

    giselle23 Well-Known Member

  22. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

    Answer: Donno
    The requirements at her time were different so the training would be different too. TES is more important now than before, so the more athletic lady may have a better chance of making it to the top now than before. Having said these, noone can take away her achievements of her time. Oh.. yes, I love her Vera Wang costumes.:)
  23. lulu

    lulu New Member

    I wasn't following skating intensely at the time, so what was the argument (or perceived argument) against Rush and MM?
  24. Clay

    Clay Well-Known Member

    She never did explain the split, but she seemed more agressive in trying other triple triple combinations afterward. I found it interesting that she was practicing 3sal-3loop a few weeks later at Skate America. Then, a 3lutz-3loop appeared at Skate Canada. She also practiced 3lutz-3loop at GPF that year. At some point, her hip injury set in (2004?).

    The music cuts to Scheherezade were just plain awful-no wonder Kawahara's work wasn't showcased properly. Much like other Kwan programs, many nuances were removed later in the season.

    I can't understand why Kwan never had a new short program to begin that season. We can't necessarily say Rach was a poor choice since she won the short program at the Olympics. I'm sure Kwan was relieved when the 2002 season ended. She skated in about 8 competitions (including cheesefests) and had unreal pressure at the Olympics. If 2002 didn't happen, then we wouldn't have the 2003 season which was a pure joy to witness.
  25. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    She was trying those different 3-3s because of pressure from the media to increase her difficulty and probably also from her own inner circle to do so. In hindsight if Kwan had been able to block out external pressure and stuck with her game plan, ie doing 3t-3t, then she would have felt more comfortable for the 01-02 season.

    I think the judges would have awarded Kwan 1st place in the SP at SLC regardless of which program she skated to. It was a poor choice, because it was a pale imitation of the original, IMO.
  26. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    Never knew she used her SP as her exhibition at 2001 Nationals. That was a first and probably a sign that something was amiss.

    As for coming up with an SP for the Olympic season, I "made" her an SP from the last ~2:40 of Red Violin. Amazing how well it fits together. Oh well, too bad she didn't ask me, or any other fans.
  27. lexeoe

    lexeoe Active Member

    I think the reason why Michelle used her SP as her exhibition at Boston 2001 was that she scored 7 6.0's during the short program.
    kwanette and (deleted member) like this.
  28. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    And her Beautiful World exhibition caused her to lose to Josee Chouinard at some Pro-Am.
    Maofan7 and (deleted member) like this.
  29. falling_dance

    falling_dance Coaching Patrick

    The 2000 Canadian Open, a month or so before. She did skate to "Beautiful World" at the 2000-1 Grand Prix Final, however.
  30. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    You spoke for me, as well!

    I'll always miss her on-ice!
    However few skaters could ever hope for a better catalogue of glorious performances for us to enjoy, for many years to come.

    Thank you, Michelle!
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013