Michelle Kwan | Golden Skate

Michelle Kwan


Mar 21, 2005
Michelle Wingshan Kwan (Cantonese: 關穎珊) is a former U.S. Ladies' figure skater. She was born on 7 July 1980, in Torrance, California, USA. Her parents are immigrants from Hong Kong and she has two elder siblings (brother Ron and sister Karen, who was also a figure skater and currently dedicates to choreographing).

She is a two-time Olympic medalist (silver in Nagano 1998 and bronze in Salt Lake City 2002), a five-time World champion (1996, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2003) and a nine-time U.S. champion (1996 and 1998–2005). She is tied with Maribel Vinson for the all-time National Championship record and is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history.

Michelle is considered one of the greatest figure skaters of all time.

In 2011 she graduated from Tufts University (she studied international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy). Since 2006 she has been involved in several ambassadorship and political initiatives. She was the face of numerous endorsement contracts and appeared in several TV shows.

In January 2013 she married Clay Pell. However, in March 2017 both partners filed for divorce.

Last updated on 5 June 2019 by Mohacz​

Biographical information
Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Kwan
ISU Bio: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00000561.htm

Social media
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michellewkwan/
Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/michellewkwan

Programs and Videos

SP: "Totentanz" by Franz Liszt arranged by Maksim Mrvica; choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova
FS: "Prelude in C Sharp Minor Op. 18" by Sergei Rachmaninoff; choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova
Ex: "A Song for You" by Natalie Cole

SP: "Adagio from Spartacus" by Aram Khachaturian; choreo. by Nikolai Morozov
FS: "Boléro" by Maurice Ravel; choreo. by Christopher Dean
Ex1: "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban
Ex2: "This Used To Be My Playground" by Madonna

2005 World Championships2005 U.S. National Championships
SP: "The Feeling Begins" (from "The Last Temptation of Christ") by Peter Gabriel; choreo. by Scott Williams, Michelle Kwan, Karen Kwan and Nikolai Morozov
FS: "Tosca" by Giacomo Puccini; choreo. by Nikolai Morozov
Ex: "Fallin'" by Alicia Keys

2004 World Championships2004 U.S. National Championships
SP: "The Feeling Begins" (from "The Last Temptation of Christ") by Peter Gabriel; choreo. by Scott Williams, Michelle Kwan, Karen Kwan and Nikolai Morozov
FS: "Concierto de Aranjuez" by Joaquín Rodrigo performed by Ikuko Kawai; choreo. by Scott Williams, Michelle Kwan,Karen Kwan, and Nikolai Morozov
Ex: "Fields of Gold" by Eva Cassidy

2003 World Championships2003 U.S. National Championships2002 GP Skate America
SP1: "Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor" by Sergei Rachmaninoff
SP2: "East of Eden" by Lee Holdridge; choreo. by Lori Nichol / "Piano Trio No. 2" by Sergei Rachmaninoff; choreo. by Lori Nichol
FS1: "Scheherazade" by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov performed by New York Philharmonic; choreo. by Sarah Kawahara
FS2: "A csodálatos mandarin" ("The Miraculous Mandarin") by Béla Bartók; choreo. by Peter Oppegard
Ex: "Fields of Gold" by Eva Cassidy

2002 World ChampionshipsXVIII Winter Olympic Games Salt Lake City 20022002 U.S. National Championships2001/02 GP Final Kitchener, CAN
Round 1: no video found
Round 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrCReLTx4ZA ("Song of the Black Swan" by Villa Lobos)
Round 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltacwrEWr_c ("Scheherazade")
2001 GP Skate Canada International2001 GP Skate America
SP1: "East of Eden" by Lee Holdridge; choreo. by Lori Nichol
SP2: "Rush" by Eric Clapton; choreo. by Christopher Dean
FS: "O canto do cisne negro" ("Song of the Black Swan") by Héitor Villa-Lobos / "Dumky Trio" by Antonín Dvořák; choreo. by Lori Nichol
Ex1: "Beautiful World" by Sumi Jo
Ex2: "This Time Around" by Linda Eder

2001 Goodwill Games2001 World Championships2001 U.S. National Championships2000/01 GP Final Tokyo, JPN2000 GP Skate Canada International2000 GP Skate America
SP: "A Day In The Life" by John Lennon, Paul McCartney performed by Jeff Beck; choreo. by Lori Nichol
FS: "The Red Violin" by John Corigliano performed by Joshua Bell; choreo. by Lori Nichol
Ex1: "The World Is Not Enough" by Garbage
Ex2: "Hands" (from "Joy: A Holiday Collection") by Jewel

2000 World Championships2000 U.S. National Championships1999/00 GP Final Lyon, FRA1999 GP Skate Canada International1999 GP Skate America
SP: "Carmen Suite" by Rodion Shchedrin / "Carmen Fantasie" by Franz Waxman / "Carmen" (1983 film) by Paco de Lucia; choreo. by Lori Nichol
FS: "Ariane" / "Orchestral Suite No. 3" / "Orchestral Suite No. 6" by Jules Massenet // "Absalom's Death And Tango" by Leonid Desyatnikov performed by Gidon Kremer; choreo. by Lori Nichol
Ex: "Kissing You" by Des'ree

1999 World Championships1999 U.S. National Championships
SP: "Piano Concerto No. 3" / "Piano Trio No. 2" by Sergei Rachmaninoff; choreo. by Lori Nichol
FS: "Lyra Angelica" by William Alwyn / "Gymnopedie #3" by Erik Satie; choreo. by Lori Nichol
Ex1: "On My Own" (from "Les Misérables") performed by Kaho Shimada
Ex2: "Dante's Prayer" by Loreena McKennitt

1998 Goodwill Games1998 World ChampionshipsXVIII Winter Olympic Games Nagano 19981998 U.S. National Championships1997 GP Skate Canada International1997 GP Skate America
SP: "Dream of Desdemona": "Orchestral Suite No. 3" by Jules Massenet / "Final from Herodiade" by Jules Massenet / "The Red Poppy" by Reinhold Gliere; choreo. by Lori Nichol
FS: "Gyulistan Bayati Shiraz" by Fikret Amirov / "Lion of the Desert" by Maurice Jarre; choreo. by Lori Nichol
Ex: "Winter" by Tori Amos; choreo. by Michelle Kwan

1997 World Championships1997 U.S. National Championships1996/97 Champions Series (current GP) Final Hamilton, CAN1996 GP Trophée Lalique1996 GP Skate America
SP: "Romanza" by Salvador Bacarisse / "Fiesta Flamenca" by Monty Kelly; choreo. by Lori Nichol
FS: "Salome" by Miklós Rózsa / "Dance of the Seven Veils" by Richard Strauss; choreo. by Lori Nichol
Ex1: "East of Eden" by Lee Holdridge
Ex2: "Just Around the Riverbend" (from "Pocahontas") by Judy Kuhn

1996 World Championships1996 U.S. National Championships1995/96 Champions Series (current GP) Final Paris, FRA1995 GP Nations (Sparkassen) Cup1995 GP Skate Canada International1995 GP Skate America
SP: "Yellow River Piano Concerto" by Xian Xinghai performed by Yin Chengzong, Chu Wanghua
FS: "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso" by Camille Saint-Saëns
Ex1: "Fantasia on Greensleeves" by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ex2: "East of Eden" by Lee Holdridge

1995 World Championships1995 U.S. National Championships1994 Trophée de France1994 Skate America
SP: "Song of India" (from "Sadko") by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
FS: "East of Eden" (1981 TV miniseries) by Lee Holdridge

1994 Goodwill Games1994 World Championships1994 U.S. National Championships1994 World Junior Championships1993 U.S. Olympic Festival1993 Skate America
FS: "Miss Saigon" by Claude-Michel Schönberg
1993 U.S. National Championships
FS: "Concerto in F" by George Gershwin

1992 U.S. Junior National Championships
Competitive History

XIX Winter Olympic Games Torino 2006WD
2005 World Championships334
2005 U.S. National Championships111
2004 World Championships423
2004 U.S. National Championships211
2003 World Championships111
2003 U.S. National Championships111
2002 GP Skate America111
2002 World Championships322
XVIII Winter Olympic Games Salt Lake City 2002133
2002 U.S. National Championships111
2001/02 GP Final Kitchener, CAN3LP1: 2
LP2: 2
2001 GP Skate Canada International233
2001 GP Skate America111
2001 Goodwill Games222
2001 World Championships211
2001 U.S. National Championships111
2000/01 GP Final Tokyo, JPN2LP: 2
SF: 2
2000 GP Skate Canada International222
2000 GP Skate America111
2000 World Championships311
2000 U.S. National Championships311
1999/00 GP Final Lyon, FRA1FS1: 1
FS2: 2
1999 GP Skate Canada International111
1999 GP Skate America111
1999 World Championships422
1999 U.S. National Championships111
1998 Goodwill Games111
1998 World Championships111
XVIII Winter Olympic Games Nagano 1998122
1998 U.S. National Championships111
1997 GP Skate Canada International111
1997 GP Skate America111
1997 World Championships412
1997 U.S. National Championships132
1996/97 Champions Series (current GP) Final Hamilton, CAN322
1996 GP Trophée Lalique111
1996 GP Skate America111
1996 World Championships111
1996 U.S. National Championships111
1995/96 Champions Series (current GP) Final Paris, FRA411
1995 GP Nations (Sparkassen) Cup111
1995 GP Skate Canada International111
1995 GP Skate America311
1995 World Championships534
1995 U.S. National Championships322
1994 Trophée de France433
1994 Skate America

1994 Goodwill Games612
XVII Winter Olympic Games Lillehammer 1994Alternate
1994 World Championships1188
1994 U.S. National Championships322
1994 World Junior Championships

1993 Skate America

1993 Gardena Junior Trophy

1993 U.S. National Championships666
1992 U.S. Junior National Championships591

Exhibitions and Shows
2010 All That Skate - with Yuna Kim ("Hero") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7POGxxrSEA
No One 2010 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXtBA6EfjkA
2009 Ice All Stars - "Carmina Burana" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYcF9eVI3bk
2000 Champions on Ice - "The World Is Not Enough" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bOHwMuoWKI
1999 - Michelle Kwan Skates to Disney's Greatest Hits - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nl2JeyS03-k
1998 Champions on Ice - "Dante's Prayer" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edlTytIoFEk
1996 Champions on Ice - "Pocahontas" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szH376YVtjA

Pro-am and Professional competitions
2004 Campbell's International Figure Skating Classic - "Bolero" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdM6yxjYli0
2001 Masters of Figure Skating - "East of Eden" SP -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_8lRha-FoQ
2000 The Masters of Figure Skating - "Beautiful World" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UypDeH1xShQ
2000 The Masters of Figure Skating SP - "Rush" choreographed by Christopher Dean - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xZ9T7WSQuk
2000 Keri Lotion Classic - "Beautiful World" -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QgDN98ZakU
1999 USA vs. The World Figure Skating Challenge - "Hands" by Jewel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QTh84DbWCo
1999 Hersheys Kisses Figure Skating Challenge - "One More Time" from "Message in a Bottle" -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FehcN5tiuo
1999 Masters of Figure Skating - "Kissing You" FS - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxpf4UO-Pcc
1998 World Pro - "Lamento d'Ariane" LP - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0bggmmcVTs
1998 World ProAm - "East of Eden" TP - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcYTdxyoehk
1998 Ultimate Four - "Dante's Prayer" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZnp3fTlVwY
1998 Keri Classic - "Carmen" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDbg45qnjD8
1997 Nice 'n Easy Figure Skating Classic - "Les Miserables" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYPbUn-gRkU
1996 Ultimate Four - "Dreams of Desdemona" SP - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEklWrSU8VQ
1995 Champions on Ice - "Peter Pan" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ol3LFA1sjSw

Articles, Interviews and Other Media
3 April 2019 - "Michelle Kwan, Figure Skater, Olympian, and Diplomat" by YaleUniversity - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dCTvKk0KN4
6 January 2019 - "Michelle Kwan chats on the Gold Meets Golden Red Carpet" by BadCulture TV - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8QfnE7mErc
19 February 2018 - "Figure Skater Michelle Kwan On Struggling To Find A New "Identity" After Olympics" by People TV - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWSzf3ev3xY
6 January 2016 - "Michelle Kwan: TSL's Interview with the 9-Time U.S. Figure Skating Champion" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDt2HO4kHR8
24 July 2015 - "Michelle Kwan gives back" by CGTN America - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjNYjM82GaA
12 July 2014 - "Michelle Kwan - My DiverseStory" by DiverseStory Project - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpspu76lKYE
February 2014 - "Michelle Kwan - Figure Skating Documentary" by Athlete Sport - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1vIwFhNhPM
2013 - Michelle Kwan Documentary Part 4 by ESPN - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFu-LKZRld4
2013 - Michelle Kwan Documentary Part 2 by ESPN - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TafkO9feYTQ
8 July 2011 - "My Wish: Michelle Kwan Skates with Danielle" by Make-A-Wish America - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoW4oXaAT3o
2004 Michelle Kwan's Biography Part 4 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI1kuphSLJk
1998 - Michelle Kwan on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OYNygJE9KM
1996 - Michelle Kwan on Late Show with David Letterman - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8bpsxJfMQs
1996 - Interview with Michelle Kwan at Skate Canada international - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHmkmRmoT3w

Original post by Christinaskater
Finally a thread for arguably the best skater of all-time, Michelle Kwan! :):):):)
Last edited by a moderator:

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Feb 27, 2012
Michelle Kwan: 5 tips for staying fit and healthy
Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY 9 a.m. EDT July 14, 2013
The former figure skater shares her secrets for reducing stress, sleeping better, exercising and eating right in the new magazine USA TODAY 'The Best Ways to Stress Less, Sleep Better.'

Excerpt: "I still skate sometimes but not often, sadly only every few months."​


On the Ice
Jan 4, 2006
She's one of my all time favourite female skaters, I love her passion, her artistry and her sense of style and grace both on the ice and off it.
Jun 21, 2003
Here is an interesting MK mention. Two Michigan State University kinesiology professors serve on the Science Board of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

The panel makes sure public programs and messages delivered by Drew Brees, Michelle Kwan and other celebrity athletes on the council— “the face people,” Pivarnik calls them—are backed by sound science.


ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Feb 27, 2012
In the photo at the link below, MK looks as youthful as the skaters whom she inspires. :)

Tom Zakrajsek
Legendary day: Stopped by the East West Ice Palace for a special training session during the Glacier Falls competition. Michelle Kwan took time to speak with us and take pics. Amazing experience for Brandon Mroz, Anastasia Kortjohn and Luke West. Can't say enough nice things about the Kwan family!
Jun 21, 2003
She seems to be growing more confident and authoritative as a speaker.

I was thinking the same thing. When Michelle first started out representing the U.S. State Department she was like, ME?. :laugh: She has grown into the job.

I like the message of this short speech. Michelle says that when she travels abroad to speak to young people, she might be the first American those particular kids have ever met. She might be responsible for giving someone a different view of Americans than what they see in newspaper headlines.

Similarly, these exchange teachers from Egypt and China. Some students and their parents in Wisconsin will be able to say. Egypt? Sure, my teacher was an Egyptian.
Jun 21, 2003
^ Off topic, but I have wondered what stake (if any) the naming sponsor, the East-West Bank, retains in the Kwan's rink.


On the Ice
Jun 30, 2013
It says something. I'm not sure if it is entirely good (about the state of the sport) , that Michele can still command so much attention.


Match Penalty
Mar 11, 2007
It says something. I'm not sure if it is entirely good (about the state of the sport) , that Michele can still command so much attention.

Definitely a mixed blessing. Same goes for the fact that so many of the corporate sponsors are going with the Evans and Kristi's, over the up and comers. No disrespect to them but the reliance on the known and the decrease in "risk taking" on hopefuls, while completely understandable from a corporate risk standpoint, is still not a positive as you say, for the sport.


Dec 28, 2009
It says something. I'm not sure if it is entirely good (about the state of the sport) , that Michele can still command so much attention.

After re-watching her '98 programs this past weekend, it's not hard to see why. She remains the gold standard. :)
Aug 16, 2009
After re-watching her '98 programs this past weekend, it's not hard to see why. She remains the gold standard. :)

I think it's a good thing that people remember great skaters long past their tenure. It's not something that happens INSTEAD OF admiring current skaters. After all, when Michelle was skating, people still revered Dorothy Hamill and Kristi Yamaguchi. No, the fact that today's skaters aren't widely known outside of skating fandom in the U.S. is an entirely separate phenomenon. I don't know what we can do to ameliorate the situation, but we skating fans stand ready to help!