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Michelle Kwan is a five-time world champion figure skater and Olympic medalist, though she has yet to capture Olympic gold.
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At the Nagano Olympics in 1998, Kwan was favored to win gold, but ended up with a disappointing silver medal when fellow U.S. skater Tara Lipinski took a surprising first place. Shortly before the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, Kwan, who was then the reigning world champ, inexplicably fired both her choreographer, Lori Nichol, and longtime coach, Frank Carroll. Once again, the gold medal eluded her when she finished third behind rival Irina Slutskaya of Russia and U.S. skater Sarah Hughes, who took first.
A student at the University of California at Los Angeles, Kwan has continued to compete since her defeat in Salt Lake City, winning gold at the U.S. Nationals and bronze at the World Championships in 2004. In February 2006, she was forced to withdraw from the Olympic games in Torino, Italy, due to a severely strained groin. Though Michelle Kwan did not compete during the 2006-2007 figure skating season, she has turned down an offer to be a commentator for NBC Sports and says she is not retiring.
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