U.S. and World Champion Michelle Kwan is headed to Beijing! President Bush has invited her to the closing ceremonies as part of a special delegation from the United States. Kwan has been serving as a diplomatic envoy for the past few years. She'll have to take a few days off of summer classes at Denver University, where she majors in international studies. She'll be joined by Secretary of State (and former figure skater) Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao; Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt; Clark T. Randt, Jr, the U.S. ambassador to China; U.S. Olympic committee president Peter Ueberroth; and Karen Hughes, global vice chair of Burson-Marsteller.
According to Sports Illustrated:
Although she has not been told what her duties will be in Beijing, she expects to see several events during a nearly two-week stay.
"There are so many things I want to do," Kwan said. "Watch basketball, of course -- there are a few people I know on the team. Gymnastics, swimming -- I've never seen swimming or diving in person. Volleyball and beach volleyball. I'll get to as many events I can.
"I love sports and I am an athlete. When you see athletes doing their best and trying their hardest and you personally know how much it takes to make that performance at that moment the best they can perform, it's very special to watch."
And Kwan isn't the only figure skater headed to the Olympics; Scott Hamilton is also planning on attending. I would say it's a safe bet, however, that Elvis Stojko is steering clear.