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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.

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

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.


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

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


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

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

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

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.

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.

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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.

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.


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

That perfect pose is giving me some flashbacks.

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

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

Claire Komyati / Student Life / Via

"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.

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

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.