While Kwan has never won an Olympic gold medal, she has become one of the greatest Olympians ever. She is far more than an extraordinary figure skater and role model for her sport; she is a person of substance who is a role model for all women. Kwan spent years performing gravity-defying jumps and dazzling spins that led to nine U.S. championships, five world titles and silver and bronze Olympic medals. Now the Los Angeles native is building a second career as an expert in foreign relations.
Kwan was appointed the first U.S. public diplomacy envoy in 2006 by then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, traveling the world to speak with students about leadership and social issues. She kept her job in the Obama administration and was appointed to the presidential council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.
Her latest gig was to co-chair (along with producer Frank Marshall) the 5th Annual IOC Women and Sport Conference that just wrapped in Los Angeles. I sat down with Kwan on the last day of the conference to talk about her role in the event, her career, and advice she would give her 12 year old self.