How Missing Out on the Gold Changed Michelle Kwan's Life

More

The Olympic silver medalist says that falling short of her dream changed her outlook on everyday existence. 

kwan.jpgMichelle Kwan, with coach Frank Carroll, reacts to her scores in the figure skating long program at the 1998 Winter Olympics. (Reuters)

Notes from the Aspen Ideas Festival -- See full coverage

In 1998, Michelle Kwan was America's most adored Olympic athlete. The 17-year-old arrived at the games fresh from a performance at the U.S. championship that earned her eight perfect scores and moved one judge to tears. But she didn't win the gold at the Olympics, losing the coveted first-place spot to her rival Tara Lipinski.

"You can train your hardest, you can try your best and have no regrets -- and still not get what you want," Kwan told an audience at the Aspen Ideas Festival. "That's a hard lesson to learn in front of millions of people." At the same time, she says, accepting her status as a silver medalist was oddly liberating. Here she talks about how missing out on her lifelong dream changed her outlook on everyday existence.

Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In