Best to Flatt and Lysacek on their assignment in Russia.
I will take this opportunity to reiterate that Flatt is just as deserving of her appointment as Kwan was of hers.
The link below is to the 2006 State Dep't. press release re Kwan's appointment as "the first American Public Diplomacy Envoy" (a slightly different title from Flatt's and Lysacek's).
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced today that she has appointed figure skating champion Michelle Kwan as the first American Public Diplomacy Envoy. Kwan, a five-time World Champion and two-time Olympic medalist joined the Secretary in the Treaty Room of the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC.
... Kwan will work with Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen P. Hughes and Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Dina Habib Powell, in their efforts to help promote cross-cultural dialogue with international youth and to increase understanding of America by sharing her story and life experiences ....
She has taken a year off from figure skating and this fall began attending the University of Denver (DU) in Denver, Colorado, as a full-time student. She plans to major in political science with a minor in international studies. In addition to her studies and duties associated with her official appointment, Kwan continues to perform in skating exhibitions, work on special projects and serve as a corporate spokesperson.
So as I said in an earlier post, Kwan's skating background had EVERYTHING to do with her appointment -- as indicated by the inclusion of her skating resume front and center in the press release. She was only in the early stages of her study of international relations, so the premise that she was chosen strictly because of her academic credentials (very limited at that point) is FALSE.
The Flatt press release addresses Poodlepal's question about what sports envoys do:
Lysacek and Flatt will conduct clinics with local youth athletes of all skill levels and abilities, and will engage university audiences on healthy living, the spirit of the Olympics, and the ability of sports to bring together people regardless of culture or background.
The 2012 press release re Lysacek's appointment and first assignment in Sweden and Belarus shed further light on the work of sports envoys:
Lysacek will hold ice skating clinics with youth from the Stockholm area, organized in cooperation with the non-governmental organization Sports Without Borders. In Minsk, from April 11 - 13, Lysacek will conduct clinics with the Skating Union of Belarus and speak with students of the University of Physical Culture about the importance of sports in society. He will also attend a competition for wheelchair fencers and wheelchair dancers.
Rachael Flatt is going Hollywood, one might say.
She will appear on "Hell's Kitchen" this Thursday, Jun 12.
Looking forward to alittle #FireandIce on @HellsKitchenFOX this Thursday with @GordonRamsay ! ;-)
6:12 AM - 10 Jun 2014
The ice is coming to @HellsKitchenFOX this week as winners receive a free ice skating lesson from @RachaelFlatt! http://bit.ly/1hEZOSQ
9:40 AM - 10 Jun 2014
@iSkateRiedell @HellsKitchenFOX Like I said, a little #FireandIce this week!!! Always fun when there r 2 many cooks in the kitchen ;-)
10:35 AM - 10 Jun 2014
You're going to leave me hanging like that? When does it come on? Is this the show where a mean chef goes into other chef's kitchens and yells at them for an hour?
Hell's Kitchen is a reality competition. Unknown chefs compete over a number of weeks for a big cash prize as well as a plum job at one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants. One chef is eliminated each week, AFAIK.
The competition takes place on a set that has kitchen, restaurant, and dorm areas. But each week, contestants who win a certain challenge get to leave the set for a fun outing, such as skating with an Olympian and former national champion.
I just watched the last half hour for nothing! Would it have hurt them to bring Rachael back for a bow at the end?
Unfortunately, AFAIK, standard operating procedure is that characters whom the chefs meet "off campus" on a reward outing are never seen again. Folks like Flatt do not reappear later on the Hell's Kitchen set. Mind you, I do not claim to be an expert on HK -- have caught only random snatches of past seasons.
And unfortunately, because the video package of the skating was so short (also SOP and obviously not Flatt's fault), you did not miss all that much.
But in the limited amount of time, Flatt came across very nicely as athletic, graceful, friendly, energetic, poised, etc. She was in practice clothes and free of heavy makeup. All in all, she had the vibe of a relaxed "girl next door" who happens to be a champion -- and IMHO was a much better representative for skating than anyone resembling an uptight ice princess.
The chefs had a chance to observe some of Flatt's spinning, but the producers clearly did not ask her to perform anything from a formal program.
In a bit of interaction, Flatt gently tried to encourage a terrified female contestant who had never been on skates.
The truth is that at least one of the guys who fancied Flatt did not seem to be the epitome of classiness ... seemed kinda creepy even. (I had never seen this season's cast before.) But I was pleased in general that her attractiveness was not lost on the males -- as it sometimes seems to be on GS members. Another male chef took a tough fall because he was trying too hard to impress her with his skating skills. (Or at least that is the reason the producers put forth. The fall did not result in injury.)
Segment is now up on YouTube. Here's the link, for those who missed it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMDCumhD3V4 . Rachael's appearance starts at 11:11. And yeah, the one chef Anton did seem to fancy her ;-)
SPOILER ALERT re Hell's Kitchen:
Remember the two guys who skated with -- and liked -- Rachael Flatt?
One of them was this season's winner of the whole shebang.
Not the creepy Anton, thank goodness. The winner was the other guy Scott -- who took a hard fall as he was trying to impress Rachael.