Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune recently conducted a lengthy interview with former figure skating star Michelle Kwan. Below is an except of the interview, Part 2 of which you can read here.
Q: What is the funniest thing that happened to you as a skater?
Michell Kwan: It was probably the world championships in Germany (2004) when I was warming up before the long program, and a guy came on the ice in a tutu. He could have picked a lot of skaters to get on the ice and do that with, and he picked me, which seemed kind of cool at first.
I remember people yelling and I was like, “What’s going on?" Then I saw him on the ice, and I thought about what happens if he has a gun. For a second, I thought I better get off the ice and run for my life. Then seeing him stagger around the ice, I realized if he had a gun he couldn’t aim it, or if he had a knife, he couldn’t get to me with it.
Looking back at the tapes and stuff, it’s not like football where (security) rushes the field. It was like, “How many security guards does it take to tackle somebody on the ice?”
It was the only time in history that happened in skating, right?
(NOTE: The intruder, wearing skates and ski goggles, jumped the rink boards and stripped to the waist to reveal the name of an Internet casino painted on his back and chest. He pulled a tutu over his tights and began to do a clown-like routine as Kwan briefly continued to warm up before it turned serious in her mind. More than a minute passed before anyone in the security force reacted at all to the intruder's presence on the ice. It eventually took five men in street shoes 40 seconds to herd him off. Kwan declined the offer of an ice resurface and competed after some minor debris had been removed. She said after finishing her heart began thumping wildly while she waited for security to apprehend the intruder. Kwan composed herself to skate flawlessly until doubling a final planned triple jump, a performance good enough for a bronze medal, her last of a U.S. record nine world medals.)