Apr 13, 2014

Michelle Kwan and Musing About Being A Celebrity.

I love figure skating. Always have. Always will. Kristi Yamaguchi, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Tara Lipinski, Nancy Kerrigan, Tonya Harding, Michelle Kwan, Brian Boitano, Katarina Witt, Scott Hamilton, Ilia Kulig...just to name a few. I have always watched the Olympics and any other figure skating competition I could get my hands on. It was when we lived in Kansas that I first learned about the traveling figure skating show called Stars On Ice. It is a figure skating show that has been around for 28 years. Scott Hamilton and some friends of his started it in 1986 when the Ice Capades did not renew their contract with Scott.The show almost always has the medalists from the most recent Olympics performing along with many other big figure skating names.

It was 2001, the last year that Scott Hamilton actually skated in the show, that I went to my first Stars On Ice show in Kansas City. I took Madeline and Miriam with me that year. We got to see Tara Lipinski, Kristy Yamaguchi, Kurt Browning and Scott Hamilton just to name a few. It was fabulous. But life, kids, and not living by a city the tour stopped in made it so I never went to see it again until......yesterday. I have no idea what compelled me after all these years of not having Stars On Ice on my radar to decide to look it up. I think it is because I watched all the figure skating from the Sochi Olympics with Tatiana and Natalie. And that brought back lots of memories and started lots of conversations. It got so crazy that I even ended up pulling out the glossy old program from the Stars On Ice show that I went to in 2001 to show the girls all about it. So anyway I ended up looking up all the 2014 tour dates and stops several weeks ago but I did not act on it I just sort of let it simmer in my mind. And then for some reason a week ago I decided that my girls would love it and I was doing it no matter what. The tickets were very reasonable and I had no doubt that we would have fun and sometimes you just can not resist the urge to give your kids a view of the world.

The show is always so well done nicely choreographed numbers, awesome lights, good music. We had pretty good seats too. I wanted to take pictures but I honestly did not want to take my eyes off of the skaters to attempt it. They all were so mesmerizing. I have to tell you that watching their shadows on the ice while they are skating is pretty dang cool :) Besides you have to have some mad picture taking skills to capture anything but a blur when they are skating and it is dark :)

I am not going to focus too much on the spectacular show we got to see because the real reason I am even blogging about it is because during intermission Natalie and I decided to go up in the concourses and try to find a drinking fountain. While we were walking I noticed a crowd of people gathered around someone I took a peek into the circle as we kept moving but I am not one to stop and gawk so I did not question much further than that unfruitful peek and Natalie and I kept on our drinking fountain quest. We visited the ladies room and on the way back to our seats the crowd we had passed earlier had dispersed and I could clearly see who it had been around.....darling Michelle Kwan. I tried to explain to Natalie who she was. A little mortified that I had not educated my girls on all the figure skaters in the land. I was shocked when Natalie said she wanted her picture taken with her. Natalie is so anxious and shy most of the time and hates any attention to be drawn to her so I definitely paid attention when she said she wanted her picture taken. There were about ten people still milling about getting autographs and pictures and the Stars On Ice show had restarted and we almost just left. But I knew this was a once in a lifetime. SO I watched, as sweet Michelle Kwan, carefully took pictures with everyone and autographed anything they handed her. It felt so weird to want to get a picture taken with someone because of their accomplishments. She was so gracious about it and felt so sincere. It did not feel right to take something from her and having nothing to offer in return. Um do you want a lifesaver? :) I wanted to chat away with her like we were friends. I can not get over how surreal it was to watch us all swoop in to gather what we wanted from her and then turn and leave her standing there. I wonder what that feels like? Do they feel how weird it is too?

This is the first celebrity I have ever been anywhere near close enough to to get a picture with. Oh wait, there was that small concert where Imagine Dragons was the third billed group and Miriam and I were standing there all casually at the back of this teeny tiny standing room only concert with the lead singer of Imagine Dragons. This was right before Imagine Dragon shot straight up to playing at the Grammy awards. I had no idea what they would become :) But getting autographs and pictures was weird then too. Why do we want proof that we saw them in person? Other than what we want from them we have no connection. So strange. I have been having all these lingering thoughts about it all day today. I even searched for a fan mail address or an email for Michelle Kwan when I got home last night thinking I wanted to write a note to her thanking her for being so thoughtful and kind to all those people. She was so patient with everyone.

I have had a good time researching her today. Reminding myself about her skating career and learning about what she has done after the figure skating part of her life. She went back to school, got a job, and got married. She seems to be a very thoughtful person. And in my snooping around I found a quote from her that I really liked:

"Literally falling on the ice and having to pick yourself up in front of thousands of people is not an easy thing to do. The thing is to pick yourself back up, to learn from your mistakes."

I wish I knew about the quote when I ran into her in the Providence Rhode Island Dunkin Donuts Arena she and I could have had a great chat I know all about falling down and picking yourself back up and time will tell if I am learning anything :)

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