The first thing my mom says I wake up is "Your Michelle Kwan's really pulled out." I really thought it was some weird joke on my mother's part, or that she misinterpreted "possibility of withdrawal" for real withdrawal.
I really hate it when my mom turns out to be right.
But Michelle showed real class and grace in bowing out so early, giving Emily Hughes a chance to prepare. And had Michelle been able to compete, I really do believe she would've won the gold medal. She worked really hard this season, and I trust Tatiana Tarasova when she said Michelle would be making noise this year. But even without the gold medal, she's still my idol. I've admired her since I was nine years old, and I still do.
I feel guilty because I ignored her injuries and thought she'd really make it to next week. I just assumed she'd go, and I didn't worry about her. Granted, I'm being selfish because Michelle's legacy, anything that has to do with her is not my doing. Its the higher power and Michelle herself.
Michelle, you've been a real inspiration. You handled grace under all the pressure and snark from the media like I never could. Even when you did nothing wrong, you were pissed on by the media for being a bad sport. Well, you abided by the rules of the ISU and you've had nothing to be ashamed of. In fact you've always had good sportsmanship. I still remember when you helped Sarah Hughes up the steps to the gold podium. That was one gracious moment out of many.
You're strong. I know it sucks you've had three consecutive injuries in a row now, but maybe it happened for a reason. I still think you can go for gold in Calgary and win it like Dan Jansen did. But honestly, even if that happened, it wouldn't really matter. Gold medals are fleeting moments, and you aren't. You're a class act and a kick ass skater to boot. You've got consistency, good technique, and you're mesmerizing to watch. Its corny, but the following quote's true: "Courage and strength aren't always measured in medals and victories. The strongest people aren't the ones who always win, but the ones who don't give up when they lose." You've always come back, and I know you can still do it. You're not "old" either, regardless of what people say.
You're awesome. You're strong-willed and kind and caring too, and it shows once again. More than any other time, I want to be like you even more now.