Michelle Kwan is a U.S. Olympian

Jan. 27, 2006 at 9:25 PM
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ARTESIA, Calif., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Michelle Kwan is headed to Turin as a member of the United States Olympic figure skating team.

The five-time world and nine-time U.S. figure skating champion -- who missed the recent competition in St. Louis because of a groin injury -- was declared fit enough to join the team Friday by a panel of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

During the St. Louis event, Kwan petitioned the committee for one of the three women's spots on the squad. On Friday, a monitoring committee witnessed her skate flawlessly at Artesia, Calif.

"After evaluating Michelle (Friday), the monitoring committee felt very strongly that she is more than ready to compete in the Olympics," said U.S. Figure Skating International Committee Chairman Bob Horen. "Both her short program and free skate were very solid, and she showed us that her levels and jumps are ready for international competition."

"I tried to stay within myself," said an elated Kwan. "Today wasn't the Olympics."

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