Sick of the Kwan

I have reached the end of my endurance, and I must speak out. Please forgive me. Please please forgive me for what I am about to say:




I love the Winter Olympics, but I HATE MICHELLE KWAN.

Little Miss “Ooh, I have a cold, Oooh, I don’t have an Olympic medal, Ooh, let me fire my coach, Oooh, let me do the SAME ROUTINE TWO OLYMPICS IN A ROW … Oooh, let me swoop around with my leg in the air so the crowd goes wild …”



Sorry, Kwan. You lose. Back down. Give it up. Retire. I am sick of you dominating the airwaves. You think we don’t all know it’s deliberate? As though hemming and hawing about “oooh, I have a cold” will mean, somehow, that you will get a Gold medal? “Ooooh, will she compete? Will she not?”


I love ice skating, but I have one message for the Kwan-ster:


Sasha Cohen blew you out of the water at the last Olympics, skating with more fire and more courage than you did – and you should be very very frightened of your competition, and stop trying to create some emotional melodrama so that you win as some kind of emotional favorite. I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOUR FACE AGAIN.


I want someone ELSE to compete for the gold medal. It’s not yours to win anymore.




Dear Lord in heaven: forgive me.

So come on now, God. Let me have it. Strike me down with lightningbolts. I know I deserve it. I know when I speak to mere mortals, down here on earth, and I say something like, “I am so SICK of Michelle Kwan” I am stared at with shock, and revulsion. I have spoken blasphemy.

Which is part of the problem.

Because – er – she’s just Michelle Feckin’ Kwan. She hasn’t won a Gold Medal. Big whup. Neither have I. Her time is up. She has received every other Medal known to man, but waaah waah wah she wants the Gold Medal!!!



Sasha Cohen is going to KICK YOUR ASS – at least this is my deepest prayer – and it’s time for you to step back, join the cast of Skating with Celebrities and SET US FREE FROM YOUR WINTRY GRIP OF DOOM!

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87 Responses to Sick of the Kwan

  1. Lisa says:

    Dude. DUDE. I’m so with you.

    In 2002, when Sarah Hughes won the gold, you would’ve thought the freakin’ WORLD had come to an end. And then when they did the “medal-winning” performance on the last day and Michelle Kwan skated to Sting’s “Fields of Gold” they were practically WEEPING because of the tragedy of it all. “See? She picked that music BEFORE she fell on her ass and lost the gold! Isn’t that TRAGIC?”


    She needs to retire and join Scott Hamilton on his “One Ball, No Gold” tour.

  2. red says:

    hahahaha One Ball No Gold … oh man …

    Like: I don’t CARE that she’s the emotional favorite. Sarah Hughes skated perfectly – can we dwell on that please???? And not the “tragedy” of the fuckin’ Kwan?

    Sick of her.

    Step down.


  3. JFH says:

    Since Sasha Cohen is now “legal” compared to the last Winter Olympics, can I now say I have a crush on her and it NOT be a sin.

  4. Lisa says:

    Yeah. And shut up, Dick Button.

    I hate him, too.

  5. red says:

    I just … The whole Kwan DRAMA takes over the Olympics … It’s the same with other sports, you know – the stupid personal-interest stories – but they take it to a new level with Kwan. It is as though she is the freakin’ Virgin Mary in a grotto in Bethlehem.

    ARGH. I was looking forward to a Kwan-less Olympics. Sadly, I will have to wait.

  6. JFH says:

    If it was anybody else but Kwan, Kimmie Meissner would be the #2 at the Olympics (Crap, I’m embarrassed I know this much about a sport that I don’t even consider a sport… Art form, sure. Sport, no! any more than ballet or ballroom dancing, thank goodness that got nipped in the bud)

  7. red says:

    I LOVED it when Sarah Hughes “swept”. A 16 year old – and stupid Kwan doing THE SAME ROUTINE SHE HAD DONE AT THE PAST OLYMPICS 4 years before – LIke: she wants to rewind time? She refuses to grow? She wants to do a “do-over”?

  8. red says:

    JFH – do you ever watch Project Runway? One of the “challenges” was to design a skating outfit for Sasha Cohen – so she was on the show quite a bit. She was adorable.

  9. red says:

    I don’t think it’s a sport either. A sport should involve either a clock, or the tallying up of points scored. Not something subjective.

    These people are, however, amazing athletes, and I just … I love the whole damn thing, mkay??? I love figure skating. I love it. Not wacky about ice dancing, but I love figure skating.

  10. JFH says:

    No but I was miffed that I missed it after I read your account… I just can’t get sucked into another reality show, I just can’t. Like an addict, I’d tell myself, “Okay, it’s just one episode” but pretty soon I’d be spending 4 hours a week on another reality show: one hour (45 mins on TiVo) watching the show, three hours discussing the show afterwards with other addicts…

  11. red says:

    Also, here’s the deal:

    She did not skate well at the last Olympics. That’s a FACT. My roommate – who knows nothing about ice skating – watched her, and compared to Sasha Cohen and Sarah Hughes – my roommate was like: “She’s kind of blah.”

    So then the rhapsodies of the broadcasters made NO SENSE to my roommate who was just judging what was right in front of her. “Why do they keep talking about her when it seems like those other girls skated so much better?”

    I know we have weeks of that to look forward to now as well. No matter if Kwan falls a gazillion times, we will be told again and again and again what a legend she is …


  12. red says:

    JFH – I absolutely and completely understand.

  13. Lisa says:

    I love pairs the most. In 2002, when the judging scandal hit Sale and Pelletier, I was so LIVID that I couldn’t even think about it without raving like a manic. It consumed me. I even ordered one of those cool CANADA sweatshirts from Roots — just to support of them.

    I was (was?) insane.

  14. red says:

    Lisa – hahahahahahahaha was?

    Yeah, I love the pairs, too.

  15. red says:

    Oh and yes – I agree – the Canadians clearly skated better.

    I loved when they skated a routine all together at a benefit or an exhibition or something a couple of weeks after the scandal – did you see that? The 4 of them skating at the same time?

  16. Bud says:

    Agree with you, Red, 1000%. Kwan’s following in the footsteps of other media-made skating prima donnas, including: Debbi “I have profound ambivalence about actauly winning ’cause I’m off to med school” Thomas, Nancy “that’s my knee you’re smashing, you redneck whore” Kerrigan, and of course Oksana “I’m just a poor Soviet orphan” Baiul.

    Sappy Dick Button and the ABC creators of “up close and personal” should be used as the whetstones to sharpen, or not, Kwan’s skates. Let the games begin!

  17. Lisa says:

    Back when I was in college my roommate and I LIVED the ’88 Winter Olympics — the drama that was Debi Thomas v. Katarina Witt. Black v. White. US girl v. East German Commie. We were glued to the TV. Poor Debi couldn’t get it done though, and we were sad.

    Fast forward to 1997. My FIL is in the hospital with a staph infection following a knee replacement and guess who his doctor is? DEBI FREAKIN’ THOMAS. (She was doing her residency in orthopedics at UAMS in Little Rock.)

    We were visiting FIL in the hospital once when she rounded on him (Did I PLAN it that way? You know I did.) and I couldn’t hardly talk I was so excited. She seemed very flattered that I remembered her, and I was floored that she would think I wouldn’t.

    She was very very nice, and wouldn’t even talk trash about the commie girl, even though I tried to get her to. ;)

  18. JFH says:

    Katarina Witt proved that you could vamp your way to a Gold Medal

  19. mere says:

    so Sheila, how do you REALLY feel about Michelle Kwan?

  20. Dave E says:

    Okay, one of you guys distract red and I’ll hit her with the tranquilizer….

    Actually I’m with you on this. The whole drama thing around her has gotten really tiresome.

  21. Emily says:

    You know, I think the fact that I don’t care about the Olympics, figure skating and know nothing about Michelle Kwan and therefore do not have any opinion of her but still genuinely enjoy reading a thread devoted to talking shit about her means I am a very, very bad person.

  22. red says:

    emily – hahahahahahahahahahaha

  23. red says:

    mere – michelle kwan is DEFINITELY not as good as we were – that snow-day in high school when we went skating on that pond in the woods. member that day??? hahahaha

  24. Alex Nunez says:


    I am sick of Kwan, one of the biggest choke artists in the history of US Figure Skating at the olympics. She’s Payton Manning on ice skates fer Chrissakes. You know, the BEST, that is, until it’s for all the cookies. Then the skills get swallowed up by an aura of suck that follows them around, waiting to crush them.

    And for the record, I couldn’t take Sarah Hughes either last time around. She was a graceless skater (I cannot tell you how many times the NoonzWife and I saw her skate between periods at Ranger games at MSG. we were very not impressed) who had the routine of her life that night. I would rather have seen the 9th place finisher win gold. Also stoking the fires of hate we had for Sarah Hughes was her impossibly annoying coach, who had me wishing awful, terrible things would befall her. When that winning score came in, the show she put on for the cameras was particularly offensive. I was so finished with the olympics by then.

    Sasha Cohen, who is pretty and graceful, should own these Olympics. Don’t sweat Kwan, Red. Ass and ice shall meet, to be sure.

  25. mitch says:

    A sport should involve either a clock, or the tallying up of points scored. Not something subjective.

    Like the strike zone!

    (Sorry. Also sick of Kwan. And figure skating in general. Although I find I like ice dancing. But could people focus on the COOL stuff like Nordic Biathlon for a while?).

  26. Oh dont EVEN get me started on that lumbering horse who was up against Oksana Baiul (cant remember her name) – I frankly dont care if she was the victim of a conspiracy, every time she got out on the ice, I kept thinking of those Budweiser clydesdales…and then there was Oksana tripping across the ice like a little snow fairy – I loved her!

  27. Stevie says:

    I had such a boycrush on Peggy Fleming. I’m a boufant man, what can I say? I thought Janet Lynn (her successor) was a slow-moving dipsy doodle, and I swerved mightily from the rest of the country when I didn’t jump on the Dorothy Hamill bandwagon. Wedge smedge. After that, I just couldn’t get it up for girl skaters.

    But oh, Toller Cranston – his “artistic and dramatic” (read “flaming”) performances and pert ass were enough to make me forget Peggy. Sigh.

  28. red says:

    Sharon – you are so right: “snow fairy” is a perfect way to describe it. It was so great that she won after all that brou-haha

  29. red says:

    stevie – wedge smedge


    do you watch Skating with Celebrities? Dare I ask??

    Peggy Fleming is the epitome of grace. Beautiful woman.

  30. red says:

    mitch – hahahaha with the strike zone!!!

    speaking of ice dancing – who was that REALLY famous american pair from the – I think – 1976 winter olympics who won – and who skated to Bolero and shook the very pillars of the earth with their passion???
    It was the same Olympics as the tragedy of Tai Babilonia …

  31. red says:

    Alex – for some reason, I am just HOWLING at some of your word choices … hahahaha “stoking the fires of hate” … about ice skating! I totally get it!!!

    You have made me now excited to see Kwan on the ice. It will be YET ANOTHER upset and still more annoying and very very blog-able.

  32. red says:

    Also, stevie: “i swerved mightily from the rest of the country …”


  33. Lisa says:

    The Bolero couple were English — Torvill and Dean.

  34. Lisa says:

    Stevie’s post about Cranston made me think of when Christopher Bowman (“Bowman the Showman”) burst onto the scene. His greatest asset was NOT that he was a particularly good skater (which he was — when he felt like it) but that he was STRAIGHT so they told us AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY. (In addition to the ladies, he also liked the nose candy — but hey! It was the 80s. And that’s another story.)

  35. red says:

    Torville and Dean!!! Of course!!

  36. red says:

    Oh man, suddenly I am SO excited for the winter olympics. I feel like I might have to live-blog the entire thing. Except, I actually do HAVE A LIFE.

  37. red says:

    Hey did anyone see the interview with Tonya Harding on Entertainment Tonight?? With Mary Hart? It was so damn sad, weirdly. I suddenly felt really bad for Tonya Harding.

    It reminds me of what my friend Pat used to say:”I don’t think Nancy Kerrigan is the angel that the press makes her out to be. I think she’s a fucking bitch, actually.”

    Anyway, it made me feel really bad. And Harding’s obsession with “being a lady” – very interesting. It kept coming up. “Being a lady means …”

  38. Patrick says:

    Sheila, sort of off topic, but slightly related. The Grammy’s are tonight. I don’t usually watch award shows but I might this evening because I want to see what stupid thing Kanye West says. He’s my Michelle Kwan. It’s a shame that he gets so much attention and people with talent like Michael Buble perform as the pre-show entertainment.

  39. red says:

    My brother’s working the Grammys!! He’ll be on the red carpet. Keep your eye open for a John Cusack look-alike shuffling the people along!! That’s my brother!

  40. tracey says:

    All right. I can’t believe I’m going to be THAT person and say this, but … Scott Hamilton, One-Ball Boy, DID win the gold medal in, like ’84 or something, wearing some unfortunate skater blue onesie, if I remember right.

    It’s Kurt Browning who never won the gold. But they basically grew to look and skate exactly alike. They are virtually identical now — well, in every way but one, I hope.

  41. Lisa says:

    I ALWAYS hated Nancy Kerrigan and never thought she was all that, so when she got whacked I felt sorry for her for about a millisecond, then back to the hate.

    Then when she had an affair with her manager and broke up his marriage, well, I just said, “Toldja so!”

    (And Grammy-wise: AAAAHHHH KELLY CLARKSON!!!!)

  42. Lisa says:

    Tracey, I know Scotty won the gold! That’s why he’s One Ball! KWAN is No Gold!

  43. red says:

    tracey –

    “unfortunate skater blue onesie”

    I can’t stop laughing. Somehting about figure skating brings out people’s brilliant language!!

  44. red says:

    “then back to the hate …”


    I am so sorry to keep commenting on word choices, but I can’t help it!!

  45. red says:

    tracey – as a winter olympics afficianado (you are, aren;t you??) what are your thoughts on Michelle Kwan??

    Are you indifferent? Thrilled? Inspired?

    The people have a right to know!!

  46. Lisa says:

    No problemo, Tracey.

    Wait. Your brother looks like John Cusack? HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS? ::vapors::

  47. red says:

    yup. he’s a look-alike. My brother is MORE handsome though. :)

  48. tracey says:

    I’m afraid to care about her anymore. She’s let us all down too many times. She makes me TOO nervous — like when that whole thing kept happening with that speed skater Dan Jansen. He JUST KEPT CHOKING — remember that? You would just cringe to watch him. He finally did win, but it was almost too much for me to watch. And everyone treated him like some kind of HERO.

    I think that’s what will happen if Michelle wins now. She’ll be the “beleaguered athlete who had to overcome so many obstacles,” blah, blah, BLAH!!

    Maybe someone can just hit her in the kneecap real hard for us.

  49. Lisa says:

    What? The mind, it boggles!

  50. tracey says:

    Yeah!! A Gillooly!! Who will do it for us?!!

  51. red says:

    tracey – I so agree with you. Watching her makes me NERVOUS. You should be able to relax watching an athlete do their thing. Like Derek Jeter – or … David Ortiz … you know they will do what needs to be done in the big moment. Kwan is all .. a psychodrama in those moments,

  52. red says:

    oops – floating comma in that last comment … ignore it!!

  53. JFH says:

    Let’s be honest Peggy Fleming and Dorothy Hamill set the bar so high (Stevie’s opinion accepted) that it’s impossible for anyone after them to compete with their legend.

  54. tracey says:

    Sheila, I think you’re gonna have to live blog the women’s skating final — whaddya think?

  55. Lisa says:

    Know who else needs a Gillooly? Bono.

    I’m just sayin’.

  56. Alex Nunez says:

    Red, the Jeter/Ortiz comparison is very apt.

    Those are two guys who are SO money, SO clutch, that they make the other players around them (cough…A-Rod) seem like a bunch of pretenders.

    Kwan is the A-Rod of skating.

  57. Lisa says:

    Kwan is the A-Rod of skating.

    Only not as pretty.

  58. red says:

    Alex – exactly!! When Jeter comes to the plate – well, we Red Sox fans tremble in fear – while you Yankee fans relax … THAT is a sign of a good damn athlete!!

  59. ilyka says:

    Forgive you? I’m thinking THANK you.

    You know how bad it is? My boyfriend brought her up to me: “What’s her deal, why do they always go on and on about her, I don’t think she’s that great, I don’t get it”–and keep in mind, the man knows NOTHING of figure skating. Nothing. And even he’s had it up to here with Michelle Kwan Television. We are all a little Kwanned out here in the U.S., I think.

    Don’t even get me started on what I think of her artistic interpretation abilities–wait, no, that’ll be very short actually: She HAS none.

    I second Tracey’s suggestion that you live-blog the finals. That would be fabulous.

  60. red says:

    ilyka – kwanned out … hahahahahaha

    Okay, I will MOST DEFINITELY live-blog the finals – if my schedule allows. do we have any idea when these are??? I have a busy February, believe it or not, and must plan ahead.

  61. red says:

    JFh – I agree.

    it’s kinda like Nadia Komeneci – her accomplishment basically says to all other gymnasts: “DON’T EVEN TRY, CHIPS.”

  62. JFH says:

    As a younger baseball fan and a stats geek, I never got the Reggie Jackson thing. But Sheila and Alex are right, there IS a choke factor that it’s involved… and especially in skating. Kwan knows that in national competitions that she’s got an unfair advantage with the judges that gives her a sense of calm. It’s the international competition that makes her freak…

  63. Alex Nunez says:

    Also on the topic of the Winter Olympics: is there anything more insufferable than the schmuckface quasi-entertainment reporters they have running around the venues reporting on how long the lines are to get this year’s ROOTS (TM) beret, or the obligatory shots of the lunatics who spend like a trillion dollars buying those collectible pins (“Look, this one’s for the Ukranian Curling team!”) that they put all over baseball caps?

    And don’t forget Bob Costas with the effing fireplace and the interviews (“No really, Michelle Kwan, what IS your favorite color?”)

    I can’t stand it.

    (I’ll watch it every night.)

  64. red says:

    alex –


    Me too! I will watch every night and BITCH ABOUT IT (ahem, BLOG about it) every night!!!

    I HATE the personal-interest stories and yet I watch each and every one of them.

    I am a deeply ill human being.

  65. tracey says:

    Hooray for live blogging! And NO — I haven’t the faintest idea when they are yet!

  66. red says:

    JFH – exactly!! She freaks out when push comes to shove …

    Now think about Sasha Cohen’s Olympic debut – she was, what, 16?? She FLOURISHED in the choke moment. THAT is a great athlete. She truly LIVES for competition. Kwan lives for the adulation. HUGE difference.

  67. Lisa says:

    Who IS it that does those fireplace interviews? It’s not Bob Costas, it’s some Jimmy person whom they drag out every Olympics. You NEVER see him any other time, just the Olympics, like he’s some sort of animatron.

    I will watch every night too (except for next Monday and Tuesday — that’s the Westminster Dog Show).

    Ladies’ final is one of the last nights — probably two weeks from Thursday.

  68. red says:

    So the 23rd … hmmmm. I can do that. I need to figure it out so I CAN do that.

  69. Lisa says:

    Oooo, yay for me! It IS the 23rd — that’s the free skate. The short program is the 21st.

    I was just guessing before.

  70. Alex Nunez says:


    Jimmy Roberts….

  71. Stevie says:

    Back to Peggy Fleming for just a second because she’s just too important and how often do you get the opportunity to talk about her? Here’s my most vivid ice memory: For the 1968 Nationals Peggy was a virginal sweetheart – she wore white chiffon, big puffy pirate sleeves with gold cuffs, and the costume went all the way to her gold-trimmed neck with her complicated netted boufant she looked like a demure cocktail waitress from Ceasars Palace). For the O-LYM-pics, however, she wore a leaf green ensemble with a comparatively plunging neckline. But what I distinctly remember is that someone had decided to “enhance” her cleavage a little by using makeup. Frankly, Ms. Fleming’s Olympic “medals” were modest, and so the result was a completely flat, ghostly white chest featuring a dark vertical smudge in the middle. I was riveted. It’s as if five minutes before hitting the ice, Peggy’s coach took a charcoal briquet and rubbed it between her tatas for good luck.

    It was a huge relief to me (and I’m sure millions of other viewers) that she won the gold because it covered the offensive smudge.

  72. Dave J says:

    OK, I hope Sasha Cohen wins gold, and Michelle Kwan chokes spectactularly and finishes last.

    Now that that’s out of the way, didn’t you promise to live blog this week’s Project Runway? So what are your thoughts?

  73. red says:

    i couldn’t live blog it since i watched the entire thing on the phone with mitchell…. thoughts to come later!!!

  74. Dave J says:

    OK, cool; I just wanted to be sure there wasn’t some metaphysical catastrophe that actually prevented you from seeing it. ;-)

  75. dave rudbarg says:

    Now you know why I watch pro wrestling………

  76. anonymiss says:

    Sasha Cohen is reusing Dark Eyes for 3 years now. Her Romeo & Juliet program is even older. why not take a swing at her too or does she have special rights?

  77. red says:


    I just checked the Constitution.


    Sasha Cohen DOES have special rights.

  78. red says:

    dave rudbarg – hahahahahaha

  79. Dave W says:

    Now *this* is one reason why it’s good to be living in England. There are few bigger sports fans or Olympics fans than I; yet I knew nothing of this melodrama. Not one precious moment of my life has been wasted worrying about or fuming at Michelle Kwan.

    The coverage over here will probably be very good for a pure sports fan. Since there aren’t that many good local stories, eventually they’ll have to focus on the best stories and the best athletes regardless of country. Just knowing that I’ll be missing the usual media-generated soap opera has put a hop in my step. Thanks!

  80. Just1Beth says:

    Stevie- Re:Peggy Fleming- HA HA HA HAA! I always had a bit of anymosity for her, due to the fact that my sister Christy was attempting to jump and spin on ice skates like Peggy and fell and broke her arm. Clearly, it is Peggy Fleming’s fault that my sister spent the rest of ice skating season in a cast, no longer able to skate. We won’t even talk about how the day she got her cast off, she was running down the stairs, fell,her arm shot through the rungs of the bannister and she re-broke the same arm. The curse of the Fleming smudge… or was it just coincidence? I think not.

  81. red says:

    beth – hahahaha I never heard that story!!

    It is CLEARLY all Peggy Fleming’s fault. CLEARLY.

  82. Stevie says:

    Beth – the curse of the Fleming Smudge – hahahahaha!!!

  83. Nightfly says:

    Not to kvetch – but a strike zone is not subjective. It is ruled to be a certain height by a certain width. The subjection is in the umpire, who has about 1/10th of a second to decide if the ball passed through that rectangle anywhere. So yes, it’s possible to fool him, to produce the illusion of a strike by skillful pitching – but that’s part of the skill. Lesser pitchers can’t do that, so they have to lay the ball over the fat of the plate to get strikes. Wackiness ensues.

    As far as Ms. Kwan, I think she’s casting herself as the Kerrigan to Cohen’s Tonya Harding, with full connivance from the sports media. Like many journalists, most of them are a little lazy and whenever possible they like to shoehorn things into the template they already know. Good girl-bad girl is simple.

    Tracey – totally on board with the Dan Jansen comparison. “Overcoming so much…” Well, most of that was Dan falling down. I’m not sure much credit ought to accrue to the man who overcomes obstacles he himself has created.

    Lisa – “like A-Rod, only not as pretty.” BWAHAHAHAHAH! I agree with Sports Guy, A-Rod probably hits like .750 with his team already leading by four runs. Meanwhile, big game, tight spot, he strikes out against Arroyo – or, he should have (there’s that pesky subjective strike zone again!). But it made it better because we got to see the two-handed Prissy Karate Slap of Might, followed by Jeter standing in the dugout, full of fury and contempt at the thought of having to go back to stand on first base because of it.

    If I got one pitch in the major leagues – just one in my whole life – Well, ok, that pitch would bounce of Barry Bonds’ goalie equipment. But if I got a second one, it would land between the one and the three on A-Rod’s back. (I could be the designated plunker, so a manager wouldn’t have to waste a real pitcher on vengeance.)

  84. sylvie says:

    *sigh* i can’t agree with you as passionately as you state it, but i do have to admit you have a point.

  85. jb says:

    Good, I’m not the only one that despises Michelle K. Is it me or is she the worlds biggest crybaby? It was so sweet to see the “talented Kwan” beaten by the young-uns (Lipinski, Huges, and would’ve been Cohen). I don’t think she ever heard of bowing out gracefully. There was nothing graceful about accepting an Olympic spot knowing your body was out of shape. Let’s all hope she hangs up her skates for good. Hey Michelle: apparently 3x ain’t the charm for you.

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