Web Exclusive

Michelle Kwan Says Door is Open to Competing at 2010 Olympics

Two-time Olympic medalist and five-time World champion Michelle Kwan said she “hasn’t closed any doors” on competing at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

Kwan, in Beijing fulfilling her duties as a public diplomacy envoy for the U.S. State Department, appeared live on NBC’s "Today" show Aug. 20, where host Ann Curry pressed Kwan about her plans for a fourth trip to the Olympics. President Bush selected Kwan to be part of America’s delegation to the closing ceremony, a delegation headed up by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In 1998, Kwan took silver in Nagano, in 2002 she took bronze in Salt Lake City, and in 2006, she had to withdraw from the Olympics in Torino due to injury. She would be 29 if she competed in the 2010 Olympics.

“After watching Michael Phelps, beach volleyball, Nastia [Liukin], I’m inspired,” said Kwan. “Vancouver is a year and a half away. You have to have heart, soul and mind to be in the Olympics. I’ve left all doors open. I haven’t closed any doors.”

Kwan said she is training while attending the University of Denver studying International Relations. Down the road she said she would like to attend graduate school. Kwan said, “I have a full plate.”

Kwan, whose parents were born in Hong Kong, has been to China several times as part of her presidential appointment to the State Department, and said China has changed a lot. Her role involves working with world youth to foster cross-cultural dialogue and create an understanding of America by sharing her own experiences.

Kwan said about the children of China, “They are so open and curious about everything outside of China, especially the United States.”

When asked what words of wisdom Kwan had for America’s Olympians, she said, “America is really proud of you. … Just have a good time, the two weeks will fly by.”