I first started
skating when I was 10, after my mom signed me up for skating lessons. I was never really good at it, but I worked harder than
most of the other people at my rink, so I didn't fall behind, although I didn't excel either. Figure skating at first
didn't mean much to me. I just skated. I just skated. I just skated at the rink where the top pair skaters in China like Shen and Zhao, Pang and Tong,
and Zhang and Zhang trained! Sometimes I would go watch them, but I don't think that I really understood figure skating
6, school work forced me to quit skating. I stopped for a whole year and half until after I came to Canada for 1 year, I realized how
much skating meant to me. I went public skating in winter break, and it was the feeling that caught me. Perhaps it was because
that I was older, but for whatever reason, it seemed like I just found something that I have lost for a long time. I started
taking skating lessons again the next January, and I really started to “learn” figure skating. I started to see
the inside of this very graceful sport. I found my passion. Still, I was not a natural at figure skating, but that didn’t
matter to me. I practiced and worked hard.
It was the book Heart of a Champion, by Michelle Kwan, that got
me into the world of figure skating. In China, I used to hear the words Guan Ying Shan, the queen of figure
skating. I didn’t know who Guan Ying Shan was, but then after I started reading Heart of a Champion, I realized
that Michelle Kwan was her! Michelle Kwan brought me into the magic world of figure skating. At first, I was so impressed
with all the competitions that Michelle had won at such a young age (up to 1997). Then, later, it was Michelle’s
dedication, grace, and generosity that taught me so much.
The Heart of a Champion that I borrowed from the library only told me about Michelle's life up to 1997, and
of course I didn’t get enough of it. I went on internet and searched “figure skating”, and “Michelle
Kwan”. There were so many links and it was really confusing. I started off with USFSA discussion board, since it was
the official website of United States Figure Skating Association. I started visiting there a lot and learned a lot too
about all the skaters not only in the U.S., and also in the world.
I remebered it
was March when I started visiting USFSA discussion board, and the World Championships was just over. People were talking
about the results and rivalry between Michelle, Sasha, Irina like crazy! That taught me a lot about the other side of this sport - tension
and pressure. I got to know about Michelle's rivalries, like Irina from Russia, Sasha, Sarah, and Tara in the past from the
U.S. Michelle showed me that a friendly battle is possible. Irina has been a competitor for almost as long as Michelle, but
she seems pretty nice to me. While Sasha and Tara didn't give me a very good impression for some reasons. I don't think it's
because that they have both tried to challenge Michelle, because I like Sarah and she won the Olympics gold medal in 2002.
My view on Sasha
Cohen changed after I read her autobriography Fire On Ice. Sasha has matured and growed into a very classy lady through
the years. Sasha showed me that she has a lot of respect for Michelle and has once looked at Michelle as her idol. I have
gained more and more respect to not only all the figure skaters, but also all the athletes out there the more I learned about
figure skating. I learned that there are many things in life that you can not get, but you can work very hard towards one
goal and one day maybe you will achieve it.
Then, after a
few months, I found Michelle Kwan Forum. It was Michelle Kwan Forum that taught me much more about Michelle than just her
medals. What inspired me the most is Michelle's heart, and passion. Michelle doesn't skate for the medals, she skates
for her fans, and her love from this sport. One quote of Michelle that especially inspires me is, "the gold medal would
not complete me as a person". It tells me that there are so many more things out there than what you're trying to
accomplish. It would not necessarily make you a better person if you do accomplish it.
I stopped skating
again in June, but went public skating regularly. Having to stop skating didn't stop my love for figure skating. In July,
I decided to create this website dedicated to Michelle. It might not be good, but I'm still working on it. This is just
like our life. It's never perfect, but you can try to make it better.