Michelle Kwan Traveling to Russia as Public Diplomacy Envoy

Michelle Kwan with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

(6/12/07) - Michelle Kwan, the first U.S. Department of State American Public Diplomacy Envoy, will depart June 13 for Russia to visit Moscow, Volgograd, and Elista. This is Kwan's second trip as an American Public Diplomacy Envoy under the auspices of the Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs following her highly successful trip to China in January 2007.

As an American Public Diplomacy Envoy, Kwan promotes cross-cultural dialogue with international youth and increases understanding of America by sharing her story and life experiences. Kwan's activities in Russia will help commemorate the 200th anniversary of U.S.–Russia diplomatic

During her visit to Russia, she will meet with students learning English in an ECA-sponsored English language enhancement program for Russian youth in Kalmykia, connect with aspiring student entrepreneurs working on Junior Achievement projects, and share her experiences with women leaders as well as Russian athletes.

More Skater News

Kimmie Meissner and the Cool Kids Campaign will showcase Kimmie's Angels on Ice, Aug. 25, 2007, at the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Md. It will be Meissner's first skating appearance in the Baltimore area. All proceeds of the show will benefit the programs of the Cool Kids Campaign, which provides services for pediatric oncology patients throughout the country.

Funds from the skate show will help fund Cool Kids Connection, a quarterly newspaper that is sent to more than 200 hospitals across the country. Meissner is the publication's co-editor. Funds will also be used to implement a computer grant program. This program will allow any hospital in the United States that treats pediatric oncology to apply to receive computers through the Cool Kids Campaign.

Also, Meissner is offering discounted show tickets to the 46 schools that participated in the Cool Kids Reading Challenge. More information can be found at www.coolkidscampaign.org.

Brian Berger of Sports Business Radio recently conducted an interview with U.S. ice dancing champion and Olympic silver medalist Tanith Belbin. To access the interview click here and skip ahead to the 14:30 mark of the show.

Belbin and Evan Lysacek also spoke with Steve Olson of KARE-11 in Minneapolis in an on-camera interview. To view the story, click here.

1968 Olympic champion Peggy Fleming has teamed with HealthSaver to help promote fitness and get folks in shape for the summer swimsuit season.

"Shape up with a fitness routine that centers on cardio," Fleming said. "Focus on the three common problem areas: thighs, abdominals and back side."

Former World Junior champion Jennifer Kirk is currently hosting an Internet talk show titled “Oh My God. Did You Hear?” The show debuted on YouTube on May 11 and can also be seen through myspace.com. Kirk is partnering with David Lewis for the short webisodes, which include the latest gossip from the celebrity and sports world. Three episodes are currently available for viewing. Click here.

International News

Skate Canada announced June 7 that Meagan Duhamel and Craig Buntin are the country's newest pairs team. Duhamel, 21, of Lively, Ont., and Buntin, 27, of Kelowna, B.C., will live and train in Montreal, where they will be coached by Richard Gauthier and train at the Club de Patinage Artistique St-Leonard.

Buntin's former partner Valérie Marcoux recently announced her retirement from eligible competition. Marcoux and Buntin, who began skating together in 2002, won three Canadian titles as a team and finished as high as fifth at the World Championships (2006).

Duhamel captured the Canadian junior women's title at the 2003 BMO Canadian Championships, and has gone on to finish as high as fourth in the senior women's discipline at the national championships (in 2006). She placed sixth at the 2007 BMO Canadian Championships.

A member of Skate Canada's 2007-2008 national team as a singles skater, Duhamel has previous experience as a pairs skater. She competed at the national championships with former partner Ryan Arnold, finishing eighth in the senior pair discipline in 2005 and sixth in 2006. Duhamel and Arnold ended their partnership in March 2006.

Three-time Canadian champion Emanuel Sandhu will not compete on the ISU Grand Prix Series this fall. A report on TSN.ca said that Sandhu asked Skate Canada not to be included in the Grand Prix Series, but that he still plans to do the Canadian nationals in January 2008.

The International Skating Union has granted Seoul, Korea, the right to hold the 2008 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. The event will be held Feb. 8-10, 2008.

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