Michelle Kwan is a champion ice skater who has won five World Championships, nine U.S. Championships and two Olympic medals, in addition to countless other skating competitions. While spectators worldwide have seen her glide effortlessly across the ice, long hours of practice and dedication underlie each jump, twirl and spin.
Kwan began ice skating when she was five years old, and her skill quickly became evident. By age eight, she skated several hours a day, every day of the week. Before school, after school and on weekends, she was at the ice rink. The cost of ice time and coaches quickly grew, but her parents, who had immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan, were committed to her success. Her family sold their home and purchased a much smaller one to free up money to pay for her ice skating.
When Kwan was 13, she performed at her first U.S. National Championships. After a disappointing performance, she vowed to work even harder and improve. She did. The next year, she finished second. From there she went on to win a silver medal at the 1998 Olympics and the first of her World Championships. She followed up with a bronze medal at the 2002 Olympic Games.
Kwan is the most decorated figure skater in American history. She was the sole inductee to the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame classes of 2012, and in 2014 she was inducted to the Hall of Fame at the U.S. Nationals Competition.
Even after retiring from skating, Kwan has not given up her dedication to learning, service and hard work. She received her college degree in 2009 from the University of Denver and is pursuing graduate studies in international relations at Tufts University. Meanwhile, she has held several diplomatic and ambassador positions representing the United States globally. Ultimately, whether on the ice, in the classroom or representing her nation, Kwan presents one consistent quality—dedication.
Dedication. Pass It On!
This billboard about Dedication features Michelle Kwan; figure skater, Olympic Medalist, United States public diplomacy ambassador.