Nagano 1998: Figure Skating: Winter Of The Dueling Divas

Rink icons and commercial phenoms, Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski skate off or bragging rights

Only in the worlds of figure skating and Nabokov does the age of 17 seem old. But Michelle Kwan, all of 17 and already once an ousted champion, embodies fallibility and, yes, maturity as she crosses blades with her toughest competitor, Tara Lipinski, 15 (rid of her final baby molar only last year when she won the U.S. Figure Skating Championships). Hordes of sponsors and adoring young fans are choosing sides. Even bookstores are battlegrounds, with Lipinski's Triumph on Ice taking on Kwan's Heart of a Champion. A real showdown, though, took place last week at the 1998 Nationals in Philadelphia,...

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