World champion skater crosses country for Clinton

By Katie Garwood |


Brian Matthews takes a selfie with Michelle Kwan at a voter registration table.

After dedicating her life to figure skating, five-time World Champion and two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan, 36, is dedicated to a new cause: getting Hillary Clinton in the White House.

Kwan made a campaign stop at Flagler College’s Markland House Wednesday to speak with local campaign organizers and voters, as well as interact with volunteers as they registered voters on campus. Kwan also made stops at other North Florida campuses—University of North Florida and University of Florida.

In the final weeks of the campaign, Kwan and Clinton campaign fellows and volunteers are focusing on voter registration, getting out the vote and recruiting additional volunteers.

Kwan highlighted the importance of young people voting in this election, which she says could be “one of the most important elections of our lifetime.” In her experience at college campus stops, students are eager to become more involved in the campaign.

“The stakes are so high and I think young voters are realizing ‘Wow, this is a game-changer, my voice counts,’ ” she said. “When you look at millennial voters, it really can make a difference.”

Sophomore Faith Wyluda, who works as a fellow for the Democratic Party of St. Johns County, attended Kwan’s event.


Kwan interacts with Clinton campaign volunteers in the Ringhaver Student Center during her Wednesday visit.

“I thought that her speech showed that she was human, and even after all she’s accomplished, she still went back to study political science to show how important it is to pursue our civic duties,” said Wyluda.

After retiring from ice skating, Kwan earned both bachelor’s and graduate degrees in political science, international relations and foreign policy. She worked with Clinton in the State Department before joining her campaign, where she has been since Clinton announced her candidacy. Now, Kwan is “having an amazing time on the campaign trail,” interacting with voters, volunteers, campaign staffers and interns alike.

“I’ve traveled across the country talking to voters and really listening to the challenges that Americans face, and that is why I’m on the campaign, because I’m confident and I know that Hillary has proposed all these ideas in terms of making college affordable, climate change, immigration reform, that really affect the American people,” Kwan said.

Although being on the campaign trail can be rewarding, it is not for the faint of heart. Luckily, Kwan has a special trait already under her belt: being a former Olympic athlete.
“When I was training for the Olympic games, eight hours of sleep and getting the right physical therapy and having a lot of down time was very important,” Kwan said. “But on the campaign trail there is no downtime. In the beginning, it’s a marathon, we have to pace ourselves, but now it’s like a full sprint. I’m lucky that I have an Olympic kind of stamina to help me with the campaign.”

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