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Thread: Kwan Sole Inductee to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame

  1. #16
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    Umm..... wow. Sole inductee? Really? Not undeserved, but STILL... kinda' wow.

  2. #17
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    Skateluvr, while I don't think we can fault people in Michelle's and YuNa's positions for staying within the lines, I admire your passion for making things better! I am reminded of something wonderful that folksinger Pete Seeger once said: indignation is a form of love.

    As for the path Michelle has chosen I'm in favor of giving her the benefit of the doubt about what she will eventually choose to do with her fame and record of achievement. Meanwhile, we can honor celebrities who do manage to find a way to help out (and keep in mind that some of these folk started a bit late, as they learned more about life). I've kept a large and disorganized list for years. Of course skaters like Scott and Kristi, both as individuals and as part of Stars on Ice, are on the list. Ditto Michael Weiss, for his work in helping to finance aspiring skaters. Good old Bill Gates, who for years was just an oblivious rich guy, has now become one of the most effective philanthropists on the planet. (Many attribute his growth in this area to his wife, Melinda.) Orlando Bloom, a fave of mine, is active in several charities and is an honorary ambassador for UNICEF. George Clooney has personally traveled to Sudan to keep an eye on the events there. (Talk about an action hero!) Audrey Hepburn spent her last years doing relief work for the UN. Sean Penn has done grueling humanitarian work in Haiti since the earthquake. Less well known but socially prominent was a woman named Judy Peabody, a member of an exalted family who was one of the premiere AIDS activists for over twenty years. So take heart. A lot of people are hard at work, and maybe Michelle will join them one day.

  3. #18
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    Michelle has finished her short program. Not bad, not bad at all.

    Her long program has just begun. I can't wait to see how it unfolds!

  4. #19
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    What a lovely way to say it, Math.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Michelle has finished her short program. Not bad, not bad at all.

    Her long program has just begun. I can't wait to see how it unfolds!
    cute, very cute. I hope, Olympia, she can find her way to what the caring crusaders in DC try to do, and doesn't get caught up in the glam. China certainly has no patent on human rights abuses and treatment of girl children, but wouldn't it be wonderful if her family made her realize that the American dream brought them here, and that she cares about how much we have lost? I hope with all the fame and money she is in touch with serving people in some capacity in her Long Program. I can remember being 12 years old (I read every magazine that came in to our house, about 17 I recall) and dreamt of addressing the UN over issues in China. My mother made me feel guilty if i did not eat all my food, as there were "starving children in China!") I don't recommend her guilt methods, but what did I become? A social worker!

    My hope is always that it takes just one amazing person to hugely change the world for the better. We so desperately need people to use their power for the betterment of all in this country. Things are very dismal for so many, and the trends are so disheartening. Thanks for reminding me of the celebrities who actually use it for the good of others.

  6. #21
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    While I wish that at least some of the other great champions who were nominated had been elected, I can not deny that Kwan deserves her place. It is a shame however, that some champions have had to wait nearly 50 years to get in only to fall short at the finish line. Djikstra leads a quiet life based on the documentary of her life I saw a few years ago an likely does not have the interest in lobbying for her own induction. In addition,she probably does not have a wealth of youtube vids of her skating and legions of eager, internet savvy fans boosting her nomination. Sad.

    As for the comments about DC by Skateluvr, I take great exception to their tone and the overall stereotype they perpetrate. As a native and lifelong resident of DC, I am most familiar with the standard meme that outsiders have pushed about DC being full of nothing but political players living off the taxes of hard working Americans. The only problem is that impression is a complete myth used by politicians in their election campaigns back home to prove their strong ties to their local roots. In truth DC is two cities in one. There is the much smaller but better known federal identity it occupies as the seat of national government. Then there is the quieter yet larger role it plays as a 200 year old city with a rich local, ethnic, religious, cultural, and geographic history. BTW, the vast majority of people who live and work here do not work in jobs that are connected to the federal government generally or politics specifically. But those that do, keep the unseen yet vital government services we all depend on working and flowing. That is the DC I and everyone else who lives here knows and loves.

    As for why Kwan has chosen to live here, it makes sense for many reasons. Beyond the obvious work related reasons, she may have plenty of personal reasons. As I have stated, DC is not some cesspool. We have families and communities with deep deep roots here (my own has lived here uninterrupted since the mid 1800s with not one politician among the bunch); fine weather most of the year; seasonal cultural and ethnic festivals; multiple water ways; a large urban forest which is bigger than Central Park with plenty of hiking and biking trails; a team from every major pro sports league; beautiful parks and gardens; gorgeous cathedrals and other religious landmarks; the world's largest collection of museums and art galleries; excellent universities and hospitals; hundreds of historic sites highlighting the birth of our nation and its steady growth; a thriving community of military families; beaches a short drive to the east and skiing a short drive to the west; VA wine country to the south and MD fishing hotspots to the north and east; one of the nation's most treasured watersheds; easy public transit; a growing restaurant scene; a thriving arts scene from major theaters and small community companies to local art galleries; and a bustling downtown core along with thriving shopping and nightlife districts. All of which has made DC proper grow faster than any state in the last year with one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the country. The DC metro area also contains one of the highest concentrations of Asian Americans and Asian immigrants in the country at about twice the national average. She may well have family connections here. BTW, DC is also home to many figure skaters in case anyone forgot.

    My point is there are plenty of reasons for anyone, famous or otherwise, to choose to live here short or long term. Politics is only a small part of what makes DC either important or special. Washingtonians are tired of having to defend ourselves against popular misconceptions about us created by lazy superficial ideas.

  7. #22
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    Where is all this doom and gloom coming from skateluver. Michelle has been elected into the World Hall of Fame for skating. Why are you speculating on what she should or should not do regarding her career. A career I might add that has just begun. You don't know what path she will take and when you think but it is none of our business. You need to step back and realize that Michelle is going to do what she wants to do, it is her life.

    Sorry for the rant folks but I felt that I needed to defend Michelle here. I started this thread as a happy thread where folks could congratulate Michelle or not congratulate her if they choose. Criticzing Michelle's lifestyle and politics is not what this thread is about. IMHO

  8. #23
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    I think one thing that's being somewhat disregarded is that you don't have to be a squeaky wheel to influence change. By simply talking to people and showing that the stereotypes aren't true, you are causing young minds to question what they believe. How can someone from China understand America if they've never met an American citizen (and vise versa) and opening up a dialogue? She's a goodwill ambassador. I don't believe the envoy position is full time.

    As for the remainder of her career, I think she's deciding what her next steps are now that she's completed graduate school. She definitely has the luxury of being able to take her time about it, but there's no evidence that she's living her life frivolously. She hasn't been reported as partying with Kardashians or Paris Hilton. Her life is very private and it's her right to live that way.

    Why the pressure on MK? Tara got to live her young adult hood trying different things - other than some commentating, I don't know what she's done for the last several years. There are a lot of famous people in DC with a lot more influence than MK and even they can't change the world overnight.

  9. #24
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lcd View Post
    Umm..... wow. Sole inductee? Really? Not undeserved, but STILL... kinda' wow.
    If you review the induction history, there have been many years where only 1 person has been inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. The media is just blowing it out of proportion.

  10. #25
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    Michelle has her own life to live and she doesn't need to answer to anybody for her choices. As for contributions to her country, she has done more than 99.99% of her compatriots, bringing honours, joy, pride, and motivation to millions, serving as a great role model to not just skating fans or just the young. We don't get to know private good deeds by successful people, but their greatest gift to all is often inspiration, which is priceless and worth a lot more than giving of money or other aids to some needy. They do more than giving out some fish, they show the hungry how to fish.
    Last edited by SkateFiguring; 03-14-2012 at 11:00 PM.

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    This may have absolutely no impact with most of the people here if they don't have a frame reference, but there are models for Kwan to emulate in making a transition from celebrity to serious diplomat. Shirley Temple Black is one person whom she can model herself after. She was the biggest star in Hollywood as a young child. Once she reached adulthood, she withdrew from public life to marry and start a family. Later in life she transitioned gradually into politics through her private membership in party politics and he public membership on various boards of directors. Eventually she was appointed twice to ambassadorships under Republican administrations. While many pf those appointments can be little more than placeholder positions, Shirley's appointments were both in hotspots, Ghana in 1974 (which suffered coups during the 70s) and Czechoslovakia 1989 (where she played an active role during the Velvet Revolution). You can never predict what moments of history will force upon you. Sometimes the most unlikely of people end up being the closest witnesses to major events.

  12. #27
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    A great example to cite, jcoates! Shirley Temple Black did wonderful work in Czechoslovakia at the start of the Velvet Revolution. I think she actually had Havel invited to a party (ostensibly for director Milos Forman) at the ambassador's residence back when he was just a human rights activist, thus giving the implicit approval of the U.S. to the liberation movement. I have been impressed with her for years. Here's an article in, of all places, People Magazine, which often has features about both celebrities and ordinary folk who try to make a difference.
    http://www.people.com/people/archive...116493,00.html

  13. #28
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    I doubt Michelle drinks beer, and I doubt you'd get the time unless you are someone important. Her wish to live in DC and hang around the power brokers says a lot. She must not see our government with much clarity, but when you are on first name basis with the other millionaires and Mr. and Mrs. Obama, DC is just one big expensive party. LA and DC are filled with the same kind of people. The skater is one thing, but do you really think we know the person? I don't see a person who is an idealist and wants to change a terribly broken system. I see someone who wants to be where the action and excitement is. There is an old saying and it might make some angry (MK is a beautiful woman imho )_always looks stunning) that" Politics is show business for ugly people." Cruel? It's very much show business in the days of TV and the winners often look like movie stars. Actually, people vote for good looking candidates over average men. Most of us Americans of any age are completely disgusted with what our government, our Congress has allowed, in fact planned, for the demise of America. Really, what does she want to do with these envoy positions? It is someone being used for their celebrity? A little trip here and there, using her Chinese a bit? I have yet to hear what she wants to do with her degrees. maybe some kwanophile can fill me in. The real work is done by the no ones who toil away for pennies in the congressman's office-one of the non-millionaires. I'll bet non one knows my congressman. He isn't rich, and he is disgusteed. I pray he does not quit, as a champion for those with no voice will be lost, and so few are left there.

    It is always a mistake to think you know a celebrity, because what we know is a crafted image in most cases. She seems a good, decent woman, very lucky, blessed beyond 99.5% of humanity, but MK as one of the gang having a beer with the simple folk? I don't think so. What we do know is that she was a gifted skater, who worked hard, had incredible parents who made all her success possible. She was one of the best competitors to have lived and she was driven to get an OGM. She never did, which made her stay in and she says it wasn't about the medals, but clearly, that is not entirely ringing true. She never said a wrong word and she was loved for being gracious in her loss to Tara. But what many people don't know is she was guided by an honorable and very truthful man named Frank Carroll. He sat her down after Nagano, and said 'M, a lot of people are going to tell you for the rest of your life you were robbed, but it won't be the truth. You skated very well. But Tara skated better." And the man who always said 'You are the best skater in the world' told her the truth. And that is why she accepted it so well. How many coaches get into these Halls? I hope Frank is or will be one day. He could have been upset about Fratianne or MK and acted like Mishin or Irina's federation. But he chose to be honest. I think MK the luckiest girl in the world to have Danny Kwan for a dad and Frank for a coach. He obviously loved and protected her greatly, even when she hurt him very much. He is a sweet person (from my town) and a class act just like Brian Orser. I hope Brian is already in WHOF.
    While you are certainly entitled to HOPE that Michelle uses her celebrity to influence China, it shouldn't be demanded that she do so. Michele just recently completed her graduate degree after several years of skating and studying. She is entitled to some time to determine her next steps - she might even just try different things for a while. She is fortunate that she can afford to not have a regular paying job. Even though she's famous, she's entitled to be like any other recent graduate who has to find his/her way.

    While her fans may look on her as doing no wrong, you seem to feel that she can't possibly be down to earth because she's not loudly objecting to the policies of the Chinese government.

    The comments about the power brokers should be on the Politics folder. I agree that the politics in DC have gotten out of hand, but that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of people in government busting their butts trying to improve things, and that will include making deals. Unfortunately, a lot of moderate voices are getting fed up with the overwhelming rhetoric of the parties - scares me to death, but I can only vote with my head and heart.

    As for Frank, he is a member of the WOrld Figure Skating Hall of Fame for many years now, as is Brian B. WHile Frank may not understand why Michelle left him, they are on good terms. So, there's no point in being bitter for him because he's let it go. Michele thanked Brian B, Frank, her parents, Lori and her fans for all their support during her US induction speech.

  14. #29
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    Though I continue to wonder what on earth Michelle was thinking to leave Frank right before the Olympics (and I agree that it's her own business), I'm impressed with the classy way in which both of them handled the situation. Neither ran to the media to tell his/her side of the story. And they eventually grew to be on good terms again. I'm glad Michelle thanked Frank and Lori specifically in her speech.

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    Well whatever her role is, it came for being a superstar skater and without that leverage she would be like every other Joe or Josephine in respect to the post. And as for fding off the podium i am talking the fact like many skaters or athletes they don't listen to their bodies and instead of ending up on top they fall off the podium and in the case of Michelle really couldn't compete hence the nod to olympics without skating at Nationals and then the reinjury. She had a more decorated career although critics will say a lot of her performances though beautiful and power packed were really the same thing - some artistic song with her feminine beauty and grace displayed. And she was wonderful but as some commentators said you saw one Lori nichol or whoever choregorahed Kwan routine and they all looked similar. Girl in bun, flowy dress, delicate grace, consisent jobs though not huge or super powerful, okay spins, well used spiral and ...she definitely was a superstar though and that is clear But to be fair in anaylsis her ending wasn't so graceful. sort of just fell off the podium.

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