Monday, May 28, 2012
40 greatest female athletes: Michelle Kwan
As an eighth-grader, Michelle Kwan finished eighth at the 1994 world championships.
ESPN is marking the 40th anniversary of Title IX by unveiling the top 40 female athletes of the past 40 years.
As a 13-year-old, Michelle Kwan was thrust into one of the ugliest scenes in figure skating history when she was sent to the 1994 Winter Olympics as an alternate following an attack on Nancy Kerrigan that Tonya Harding was later linked to.
And while Kwan didn't get a chance to skate in Lillehammer -- Kerrigan took silver and Harding finished eighth -- it was from those ugly roots that one of the most artistic and elegant figure skaters of all time grew.
Kwan's career ended with five world championships and nine U.S. titles, but she was never able to capture Olympic gold, settling for a silver in 1998 and a bronze in 2002.