It's Official! Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist, Michelle Kwan, is now a married woman. Kwan married her boyfriend, Coast Guard Lt. Clay Pell in a gorgeous ceremony at the First Unitarian Church of Providence this afternoon. Clay Pell, grandson of the late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell, is the director for strategic planning on the National Security staff at the White House. He proposed to her over the Labor Day weekend.
Michelle Kwan is without a doubt, the darling of figure skating. Last year she was the only inductee into the Figure Skating Hall of Fame. A fitting tribute for someone who dedicated her whole life to the sport and gave so much to her fans. Kwan is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history. She made figure skating seem effortless and her artistic expression always won over the hearts of many.
Kwan is a nine-time national champion, five-time world champion and two- time Olympic medalist. Her first Olympic medal was in 1998 where she won the silver and then in 2002 where she took home the bronze. She was the 1994 Junior World Champion.
Michelle Kwan's emotional skate to Eva Cassidy's "Fields of Gold" during the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics Skating Exhibition after winning the bronze, made many in the audience cry in solidarity. Even former skater and NBC commentator, Scott Hamilton, choked up on national TV when she finished her routine.
There wasn't a single person in that room who wanted her to retire. Everyone wanted her to have that elusive gold medal. But as fellow Canadian figure skater, Sandra Bezik, commented on NBC during the gala: "Success isn't always measured by a gold medal."
For over a decade, Michelle Kwan was the dominant face of figure skating. She later went on to obtain her Bachelor's degree in International Studies in 2009 and was awarded her Masters in International Relations in 2011.
In January 2009, President George W. Bush, appointed Michelle Kwan a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She is currently still serving in that position.
Her council member profile states: "In November 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appointed her as the first U.S. Public Diplomacy Envoy. In this capacity she travels the world and meets with young people to speak about leadership, and to engage them in dialogue on social and educational issues."
In December 2012, she was named Senior adviser for public diplomacy and public affairs.