Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010

Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski

There are few things Americans love more than cheering for their darling, talented, teenage figure skaters. But what happens when there are two of them? In the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Michelle Kwan, 17, and Tara Lipinski, 15, both captured America's hearts. But who to root for: The consistent and medal-decorated Kwan whose artistry on ice had been known to make judges cry? Or Lipinski, the energetic reining world champion whose giant smile was hard to ignore? The two athletes both skated near perfect long programs, but in the end Lipinski's slightly more technical routine, complete with her famous triple loop-triple loop combo, snagged her the gold (making her the youngest individual gold medalist in the history of the Winter Games) and left Kwan with the silver.