Last night I got to sit next to Jessica Mendoza, Lisa Leslie and Michelle Kwan. I was sitting next to them on the main stage during the first night of the espnW Summit and I was beyond honored. I am not just saying that ... I was in awe.
See, I had never met Michelle Kwan before. I knew Michelle the way you know her. As the beautifully graceful yet powerful U.S. figure skating darling who captured our hearts by winning the silver medal in 1998.
I remember watching her skate. I remember being beyond nervous for her before the final program. And I remember being amazed by her ability to accept defeat. She won her silver medal with such class and integrity. That stuck with me 'til this day.
And since I was sitting next to her on the stage, I had to tell her how much that meant to us. I had to tell her that she taught generations how to accept second place with pride and grace. She made my silver medal mean more to me, and I needed her to know that.
I told her everything, in front of the crowd, and you know what? She was appreciative and real and everything I thought she would be. I love meeting fellow athletes but I really love meeting genuine, authentic people ... that is exactly Michelle Kwan.
Thank you wonderful women, Lisa, Jessica and Michelle, for allowing me to be a part of your stage.