Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kwan agrees to perform in Kim's show in Korea

Michelle Kwan celebrated more than just the Fourth of July last weekend.

On Friday, through her agent, Shep Goldberg, Kwan announced that she will skate in Yu-Na Kim's Ice All-Stars 2009 in Seoul, South Korea, in August. Kwan has not skated before an audience since an appearance in Champions on Ice in Las Vegas on August 16, 2006.

"Michelle has turned down other invitations, but she and Yu-Na have a mutual admiration society going," Goldberg told The Associated Press.

She has not skated competitively since a groin injury forced her to withdraw from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. The timing of this announcement leaves open the possibility for a return to competition this year, with the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver on the horizon. Kwan has been practicing and working out for most of the year.

"Michelle is feeling healthy and has her abilities up to the standards she sets for herself, which are very high standards," Goldberg added.

Kwan, a five-time world champion and nine-time U.S. champion, will turn 29 on Tuesday. She has until September to enter regional qualifying competitions for the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash., which will serve as the Olympic trials.

Goldberg reiterated that Kwan, who won a silver medal at the 1998 Games in Nagano and a bronze four years later in Salt Lake City, has not yet made a decision about trying for another Olympics.

Kwan spoke briefly to The Associated Press in March at the world championships in Los Angeles: "I don't have a timetable; I do have goals," she said. "Right now, I want to do one thing at a time before I make any decisions. I want to make sure everything is out there, and I look at all the options. Eventually, I'll get to a place I am comfortable with."

She recently graduated from the University of Denver and was accepted into the master's program at Tufts University.

For the last several years, Kwan has remained in the public eye. In November 2006, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appointed Kwan a public diplomacy ambassador. Kwan was also part of the Presidential delegation at the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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