There are few names (if any) that come to mind faster when thinking of figure skating than Michelle Kwan. She had a tremendous run in the sport in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, and was prominently featured in national advertising campaigns during that time. Through several endorsement deals with Kraft, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and many others, Kwan became a household name on and off the ice.
She added another distinction to her already immaculate athletic resume in early June. Michelle Kwan was inducted into the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame as part of the organization’s Class of 2022. She is one of several headliners in a star-studded group of inductees this year, which include Olympic legends such as Michael Phelps, Lindsey Vonn and Mia Hamm.
In an Instagram post, Kwan expressed her gratitude to the committee and her feelings about ascending to rarified air status amongst American athletes.
“I’m so honored to be inducted into the Olympic and Paralympic Hall Of Fame,” she wrote. “My 7 year old self would never believe it. I still vividly remember watching the Olympics as a child mesmerized by my idol Brian Boitano…The Olympic creed is an ideal that I take with me wherever I go.” Via Instagram.
Kwan participated in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics. She took home the silver medal in Nagano in her first Olympics, and a bronze medal in Salt Lake City in her second appearance.
The 41-year-old from Torrance, California also has a plethora of other accolades outside of The Games. She had a dominant stretch competing domestically, capturing the U.S. championship crown for eight consecutive years from 1998-2005. Kwan has won 43 competitions in her career, which is the highest total of any American figure skater in history (regardless of gender). She also recorded* more perfect marks under the old scoring system than any other skater.
This also is far from the first time that Michelle Kwan has been included in the most prestigious of athletic company. 2012 was a monumental year for Kwan, as she was recognized as one of the best to ever put on a pair of skates both nationally and globally. In January of that year, she was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame. A few months later, she was selected for membership into the World Figure Skating Hall Of Fame.
She was also recognized by her home state in 2017, joining the California Sports Hall of Fame.
Even if she did not receive this humbling honor from the U.S. Olympic committee, 2022 was already going to have a special place in Kwan’s heart. She became a mom for the first time in January, with the birth of her daughter Kalista Belle Kwan.
“I’ve always wanted to be a mom and, to me, she’s a perfect miracle,” Kwan communicated. Via Instagram