Unexpected Trip To 1994 Olympics
Kwan was not perfect in her first USFSA National Championship appearance in 1993, but her performance was good enough to land her in sixth place. She had a much better showing at that year's U.S. Olympic Festival, where she won the gold medal. Already earning predictions of future greatness based on her jumping ability, Kwan was slowly incorporating the artistry into her program that would later become her trademark. Yet she was unprepared for the unprecedented attention focused on women's figure skating at the 1994 Nationals, which she entered as a still relatively unknown skater. Leaving the practice session ice at the Cobo Arena in Detroit, the site of the event, Kwan was just a few feet away when Shane Stant clubbed reigning U.S. Champion Nancy Kerrigan in the knee. Stant had carried out the attack in a plot coordinated by rival skater Tonya Harding's husband, Jeff Gillooly, in the hope of forcing Kerrigan out of Olympic contention. With Kerrigan sidelined by the injury, Harding won the championship, with Kwan placing second. Kerrigan and Harding were named to the Olympic team, but with the investigation around the attack centering on Harding's entourage, Kwan's nomination as an alternate to the team made her a featured attraction of the media circus that surrounded the Lillehammer Games.
Famous Sports StarsFigure SkatingMichelle Kwan - Started Skating With Sister, Chronology, Unexpected Trip To 1994 Olympics, Awards And Accomplishments, Related Biography: Skating Coach Frank Carroll - SELECTED WRITINGS BY KWAN: