Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Michelle Kwan hits the Big Apple

Looking resplendent in a Ralph Lauren gown, Michelle Kwan walked the red carpet at the Women's Sports Foundation's 29th Annual Salute to Women in Sports. Last year, Kwan, 28, received the Billie Jean King Contribution Award. This year, she was simply present to show her support of an organization that gave her a helping hand before she was a nine-time U.S. ladies champion, five-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist. "When I was 13, I got a training and travel grant," said Kwan. "So you have to give back, be here and support the organization. It's a yearly function I like to attend. To see Billie Jean and everybody. Come back and support this great foundation." This past August, Kwan was part of the U.S. Presidential delegation at the Olympics in Beijing. She said being a spectator was fantastic. "I was able to cheer on Nastia [Liukin] and Shawn [Johnson] and all the athletes. I watched women's and men's basketball. I watched water polo. I did everything I wasn't able to do when I was competing," she said. Liukin was honored as individual sportswoman of the year. She and Johnson were both present at the gala. Also in attendance was the U.S. women's softball team, and Jessica Mendoza was named team sportswoman of the year. After her quick trip to New York, Kwan heads back to Denver, Colorado, where she is finishing up her undergraduate education at the University of Denver. She's studying political science and international studies and said she's close to earning her Bachelor's Degree (when asked if she'd be done in the spring, she said, "sooner" with a wink).

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