W Wants To Know: Michelle Kwan
Michelle Kwan, a nine-time U.S. figure skating champion, five-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist, currently works for the U.S. State Department and serves on the board of Special Olympics International. The 33-year-old legend recently shared some of her secrets in “W Wants to Know.”
What’s the one thing you need to consider your day complete? A kiss from my husband, Clay Pell. ... In terms of food, though, a lot of people will laugh at me, but I usually have a salad a day, with chicken and cheese and all the fun vegetables.
What’s one thing you know you’ll never do? Illegal drugs. I don’t want to break the law. I don’t want to put things in my body that don’t belong in there. There’s a long list of reasons why I’d never do them.
What song best describes your life? “God Bless America.” The reason is that for 20 years in skating I represented the United States, and I currently work at the State Department. I feel very fortunate to have been the recipient of all the sacrifices from others -- from my coaches to my parents to the choreographers -- during my skating career. In some ways I feel sort of selfish -- everything was focused on me. I had every help, everything that you could imagine for me. Now it’s time for me, still representing the United States, to give back.
What is one thing you still really want to do away from the ice? There are so many things I wasn’t able to do while I was skating. ... Things that I deemed as dangerous when I was skating. Going for a run -- I never ran because I was afraid I’d twist an ankle. Snowboarding. ... I would love to water ski. I think it’s just being active throughout my life and being able to not be afraid and to experiment with a lot of other sports.
What is your biggest weakness? Being too hard on myself. It was the way I was built as a competitor. My coach wasn’t the one who kept on pushing me because he knew I was so hard on myself that I would keep on doing it and keep on doing it. He did the opposite of what most coaches did. It was funny -- I was so hard on myself that I needed that person to pull me back. ... Still today, I think the things I do -- like sending out a memo -- could have been done better. I catch myself and stop myself and say, “It’s good now, but it could be better.”