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25 Reasons Why Michelle Kwan Is The Hero All Asians Needed

And what she meant to an Asian girl growing up.

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Michelle Kwan is a golden name in the world of ice skating. She's considered one of the most decorated figure skaters in U.S. History.

She has a total two Olympic medals, five world titles and nine U.S. titles under her belt. This isn't counting the various honors and special awards she's received over the years.
Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

She has a total two Olympic medals, five world titles and nine U.S. titles under her belt. This isn't counting the various honors and special awards she's received over the years.

1. Growing up, Asians in the media were a rarity. This is the reason Michelle Kwan stood out to me.

http://U.S. Figure Skating Championships / Via youtube.com

My parents were so proud, especially since she was an ABC like me (American-Born Chinese). My sisters and I would wear slippery socks while pretending to skate on our hardwood floors.

2. Michelle's facial expressions were always powerful.

Jacques Demarthon / Getty Images
JACQUES DEMARTHON / Getty Images

She evoked some strong emotions and made us feel them too.

3. Her costumes were things to be envious of.

MARK HUMPHREY / ASSOCIATED PRESS
Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images
JOHN MACDOUGALL / Getty Images

Look at that sparkle!

4. Her smile and happiness were infectious.

ABC / Via youtube.com

5. And her disappointments were always handled gracefully.

Our hearts also broke when we saw her tears.
John Macdougall / Getty Images

Our hearts also broke when we saw her tears.

6. Even with my limited skating knowledge, I knew she was skilled.

NBC / Via youtube.com

The way she moved on the ice was extraordinary.

7. The golden dragon necklace she wears during competitions is from her grandmother and serves as her good luck charm.

Susan Goldman / AP
DENIS PAQUIN / ASSOCIATED PRESS

When I was younger I had a copy of this necklace from one of her book sets, and I literally wore it everywhere!

8. Her 1999 portrayal as Mulan in Disney's Greatest Hits on Ice was a memorable performance.

ABC / Via youtube.com

She was always the perfect Mulan in my mind.

9. She also did a Pocahontas program in 1997 at the Honda Prelude Cup open figure skating competition.

Shizuo Kambayashi / ASSOCIATED PRESS

10. Her height is 5'2", proving that short girls rule.

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11. She had a super-short hair phase and looked fabulous.

Doug Pizac / Associated Press

12. I spent hours playing the computer game Michelle Kwan Figure Skating, which allowed you to create your own skating program.

Michelle Kwan Figure Skating / Via youtube.com

Please tell me someone else played this!!

13. From a young age, she had that star quality AND knew how to pose.

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14. As a nerdy and skinny child, I was never considered athletic or powerful. Michelle was proof that looks are deceiving.

JOHN DISCHER / ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cathy Ngo / BuzzFeed

Michelle on the left and author on the right.

15. One time, I dressed up as Michelle Kwan for a book report presentation.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0590763407/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-1&pf_rd_r=0QVSYJP0TNGHY464KDS4&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=2079475242&pf_rd_i=desktop
Cathy Ngo / BuzzFeed

I read and reread her book many times, Michelle Kwan: Heart of a Champion. There was an amazing flip-book feature in the bottom corners of the pages.

16. Even after her competitive skating days, she is still active and giving back to the community.

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In 2010, she was elected for the board of directors of the Special Olympics International.

17. Michelle was homeschooled during her competition days. She went back to to finish her undergraduate degree at University of Denver and her master's at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

SouthernVTCollege / Via youtube.com

At the Southern Vermont College commencement, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

18. Michelle is doing loads of philanthropical work and is a U.S. public diplomacy envoy.

She was appointed a public diplomacy ambassador by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

She was appointed a public diplomacy ambassador by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

19. She's a council member on the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.

The council advises the president on promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles.
Evan Vucci / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The council advises the president on promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles.

20. While doing all this, she's still in great shape!

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That perfect pose is giving me some flashbacks.

21. She has spoken out about social issues with wisdom and grace.

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22. At the Pan-Asia event at Washington University, she had a great reply to a question about the lack of Asians in politics.

"I think you have to make sure that you follow your own path and passions," said Michelle, "Perhaps you don't see many Asian-Americans in the political path, but it doesn't mean that you can't do it.
Claire Komyati / Student Life / Via studlife.com

"I think you have to make sure that you follow your own path and passions," said Michelle, "Perhaps you don't see many Asian-Americans in the political path, but it doesn't mean that you can't do it.

23. Through all this, she still has a sparkling sense of humor.

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24. Many people still list Michelle as an inspiration, figure skaters and non-skaters alike.

Gramfeed / Twitter / Via twitter.com

25. Michelle Kwan has carved a place in history and stood out as a positive role model.

Plus she'll forever be the hero of a shy and skinny Asian girl, who grew up in a community where Asian-Americans were not celebrated. As the only Asian kid in class, I was terrified of being different. But Michelle was different and she owned it. She also taught me that constant hard work and passion can take you places. This woman is such a inspiration to me and many others. So Michelle, thank you for being a positive light during my adolescent years.
Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

Plus she'll forever be the hero of a shy and skinny Asian girl, who grew up in a community where Asian-Americans were not celebrated. As the only Asian kid in class, I was terrified of being different. But Michelle was different and she owned it.

She also taught me that constant hard work and passion can take you places. This woman is such a inspiration to me and many others. So Michelle, thank you for being a positive light during my adolescent years.

Wong Maye-E / ASSOCIATED PRESS / Via unsplash.com

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