I can't agree more with what Peggy Fleming said about Michelle after the qualifying round at this year's Worlds. She seemed to feel that this competition and the months following would be a crossroads in Michelle's career. Should Michelle stay (and if she does, will she be a viable contender?) or is it time to go?
Honestly, if Michelle was entertaining serious thoughts about another Olympic appearance (which I absolutely feel she was and is), then I can only think this Worlds experience in Moscow was just what the doctor ordered. She has seen where she stands in comparison to other skaters (particularly Sasha and Irina) under the new judging system. She now knows without a doubt what she has to improve: the spins, transitions, choreography, etc. I think the real question is: does Michelle have the drive/desire to attack this new system and to radically improve these elements and her programs? She has been around for so long and this would be, at the age of 24, perhaps her greatest challenge. I have no doubt that she is more than capable of actually making these changes successfully. Her less-than-stellar LP (both the actual performance and the construction) from Worlds posted a respectable score of 113.98....and that is with PLENTY of room for improvement. So, she isn't dead in the water when it comes to COP.
Truthfully, though, it would be extremely difficult. She would need to dramaticly improve her spins and create a much stronger LP. "Bolero" wasn't horrible, but it certainly wasn't her best (nor was it best for COP). IMHO, it would also be absolutely vital for her to compete in the GP next season. She needs to know early on in the game how her programs stack up. She could then avoid having to make changes so late in the season.
So, to conclude, I feel that Michelle certainly has the potential/goods to adapt to this new system. I feel it is more a question of desire and motivation for her. She has accomplished almost everything under the sun in this sport and has already become a legend to most. Can she climb another mountain? Is the love for her sport enough to make one last significant transformation so late in the game? Personally, I hope so. I'd love to see her have at least one more great moment (and not necessarily at the Olympics) to cap her career. But, if she doesn't, so be it. She has given more to me and to this sport than any skater in recent memory. It will be very interesting to see what happens in the coming months. Michelle Kwan will probably be doing a lot of soul searching and decision making. I wish her the very best.