Earlier in the show,
when he was announcing who would be on, Jay said ďthe lovely Michelle
Kwan.Ē After the commercial break from the previous interview, this
picture of Michelle doing a sit spin during Fields of Gold at
the Olympics is shown on the screen, with the Tonight Showís title
on the left hand side of the picture
Jay Leno: All
righty. Hey! My next guest, one of the greatest Olympic figure skaters
of all time. She has two medals -- a silver and a bronze. Take a
look at her performing in Salt Lake City. (A clip of the final
spin and end pose from Scheherazade at the Olympics is shown)
Please welcome Michelle Kwan!
walks out, waving, in a long black dress. Her hair is down.
On the big screen that she passes while walking out, there is a
collage of pictures from her career: Landing during Salome, carrying
the torch, Dream of Desdemona stare (black dress), and two practice
pictures. The audience is standing. She walks
over to Jay, and they hug.
JL: Have a seat.
How are you doing?
I doing OK, Iím doing OK
JL: Youíre doing
great, youíre great. I think your great.
looks a little embarrassed and laughs) Aww.
JL: I think youíve
handled everything with class. And, you know what, this whole thing,
youíve looked like. Whatís the strange part, is there a strange
part to this?
MK: Well, coming
home, people donít know what to say to me. They come up, and they
donít know whether to congratulate me, or (makes a hugging motion)
you know, say, ďitís OKĒ, you know. And, itís hard, because for
me, itís very disappointing. I didnít have the dream skate that
Iíve always imagined...
MK: You know,
skating. And, victory, and winning the gold. And, um...
JL: But, see,
I contend you did, because, the character you showed -- you fall,
you get up -- thereís no. You keep doing it. Youíre a champ. And
the character is what really comes through. I mean, itíd be great
to win the gold, thatís cool... (Audience cheers and applauds.
Michelle laughs. Jay, and the first guest, Chris Tucker, applaud.)
But itís the character that really does it. I mean, itís really
true, you know. Cause I think, we are all sort of ambassadors for
our country, you know. When people act childishly, and you see athletes
behave foolishly or do something selfish, and yet you just were
a champ. And, so, to me, I go, you know what I think? I think you
are just going to have the matched set. Next time, youíll have (counts
on fingers) gold, silver...youíll have the whole matched set
MK: The whole
cycle. Yea, exactly. (An audience member screams. Michelle laughs)
That would be nice. That would be nice. Take one thing at a time,
JL: Now, what
happened? I heard Dorothy Hamill gave you something. You know what
Iím talking about?
MK: Yea, well,
after the medal ceremony, I had the bronze medal around my neck.
MK: And I spoke
to Dorothy. And there was a stuffed animal in the, in the dressing
room. And she took the stuffed animal, took the medal -- there was
like a plastic gold medal -- and she gave it to me (Michelle
mimes putting a medal around someoneís neck)
JL: Oh, thatís
MK: And sheís
like, this is not as good as the real one, (Michelleís laughing)
but, here you go. And, it was a touching moment for me. It sort
of, uh, made things lighter, you know. (Michelle has tears in
her eyes when she tells this story)
JL: Well, friendship
is a great thing. I mean, you know what I mean? Sometimes, when
most things happen, you really find out the reasons why people love
you. And thatís great, you know? If youíre like a self-centered
person, you know, youíre not. They love you, and people like you.
And thatís whatís great.
MK: People are
rooting for me.
JL: Now, (Audience
cheers and applauds. Michelle laughs.) Now, I heard in fact,
I was talking to...who that guy back stage, is that your manager?
JL: He said, ďYou
know, she really doesnít like the cold weather.Ē And I said, ďWhat?Ē
How can you be an ice skater and not like -- (Audience laughs)
MK: I know! How
can I be an ice skater? I should have picked a much warmer sport.
MK: Yea, I know.
I always say, if youíre starting skating, this is the advice I give
you...donít borrow gloves. Because, you borrow someoneís gloves,
itís like, (Makes
a motion like sheís wiping her nose, and then shakes her hand)
you donít know where itís been. (Audience laughs)
JL: Oh, I see.
Itís the old, uh (Jay makes the same motion with his arm)
And, really, whatís more beautiful that in that in figure skating?
MK: I know, exactly.
JL: Kind of changing
the whole image of it, (Michelle laughs) in my mind now.
MK: You have the
rhinestones, beautiful costumes (Sniffs and makes the motion
with her arm again)
makes the motion with her arm again) So, if I have a movement
suddenly like this, now you know why. (Audience laughs)
JL: You know,
we have someone whoís in love with you. Ross our intern. (Michelle
gasps) Heís in love with you. Heís --
Where is he?!?
JL: I think he
was trying to track you. Didnít he bump into you or something?
MK: Yes, uh, yes,
I saw him (Jay laughs) at the Olympics.
JL: Was he annoying?
You can be honest
MK: He was, (Gasps
and puts her hands
by her face, with fingers extended) Michelle!! Well, maybe
a little more, but...
A little more?
MK: A little more
that that, but it was sweet.
JL: Now, was your
boyfriend jealous...now, your boyfriend is a hockey player, right?
MK: He is a hockey
JL: Now, was he
jealous of Rossís advances?
MK: Yea, a little
MK: He wasnít
there, so it was OK.
JL: OK. You know
what I want to ask you about? Was it in the exhibition match where
you and Sasha Cohen, you... (Jay hits his fists together)
it was at the National Championships
JL: The National
MK: Yea, it was
in the Staples Center
JL: OK, you guys
bumped each other. What was that? Was that like...
MK: We bumped
into each other twice. And I had...I skated first. So, it was pretty
intense. You have a six minute warmup, and, um, you try to get all
your jumps in. And youíre really focused.
MK: And, you know,
itís crazy out then. And we (Hits her two hands together)
JL: But, was it
an accident? Or does it happen?
MK: I hope so,
yes. (Laughs) But, you know, my boyfriend plays hockey.
MK: So, Brad told
me, ďOK, if anything happens and itís not on accident...itís
on purpose...then Iíll teach you how to cross-check.Ē (Audience
JL: Oh, there
you go! (Michelle makes a move like sheís cross-checking)
Yea. See, I think, see I think ,that could had a whole new element.
You can have figure fighting.
MK: Figure fighting?
JL: Yea. See,
that would be great. I would love to see that.
JL: Now, I know
you parted ways with your coach recently. You know, everybody speculates
on these things. You didnít get another coach going into the Olympics.
MK: Well, there
was only two months before the Olympics, and I figured, you know,
you canít rush into getting a coach, you have to take one thing
at a time. And, my dad has been my cheerleader, as heíd say. Heís
just standing at the boards supporting me. And Iíd ask him, ďIf
youíre a cheerleader. Whereís your pom-poms? I donít see you go
(Waves her arms in the air, cheering) I want to see the high
kick. I want to see jumping jacks.Ē
JL: Now, what
happens in the future? Are you going to do the, uh, whatís the next
skating event the come up?
head yes) The World championships
JL: OK, now what
MK: Theyíre in
(Taps Michelle on the arm) Got any tickets?
MK: Oh, yea. (Audience
laughs) Are you going to be one of those people in Salt Lake
City? (Makes a rectangle shape with her hands, like a sign)
ďI need tickets.Ē
CT: I just need
CT: Or four. If
you can get four. You can get four?
JL: Because Michael
may want to go (During Chris Tuckerís interview, they talked
about Michael Jackson)
CT: Yea, Michael
(Audience yells and applauds)
JL: Yea Michael
might want to go.
laughs) Michael will be like ďCome on, come on, do it, come
on. (Audience laughs. Michelle
does some dancing moves, back and forth with her head and upper
body...very cute, then laughs some more) Do it girl!Ē (Michelleís
doubled over laughing. Audience is screaming with laughter.)
CT: Iím gonna
to be there.
CT: Weíre going
to be there.
JL: So, you are
going to the World Championships?
MK: Yes (An
audience member screams!)
JL: Is that official?
JL: Is that official
tonight? Oh, thatís cool. Thatís cool. Thatís very cool. Now, how
about the next winter Olympics games?
MK: Oh, four years,
JL: Youíre 21
now, is that...
MK: If I want
that cycle I better go (Laughs)
JL: You can go.
MK: Take one thing
at a time. I want to go back to school.
JL: Yea (Audience
applauds, and an audience member yells ďyea, UCLA!Ē)
MK: Iíve put UCLA
on hold, so, I can go back.
JL: Now, what
do you, learn a trade, that kind of thing? (Audience and Michelle
laughs) But, I mean what are you studying in school? What are
JL: But I mean,
like, are you taking one particular...
MK: I havenít
decided on a major...psychology, political science...Iím kind of
(Motions with her hands, and closes and rolls her eyes)
JL: Now, what
is that (Makes the same motion)
JL: Chris, she
should go to the Olympics in 2006?
CT: Uh, yea!
MK: Will you be
CT: Yea, I can
teach you a few things.
Chris makes a few
motion with his hands, one in front of the other...hard to explain,
sorry! Audience laughs. Michelle
does the same motions. Chris shakes his head yes. Audience is
JL: Now, youíve
got the Champions on Ice tour
MK: The John Hancock
Champions on Ice.
JL: And thatís
coming up when?
MK: After Worlds.
JL: After Worlds.
MK: April through
JL: Well, I think
youíre very classy. And, I think that youíre a great asset to our
country. And youíve made us all very proud.
MK: Thank you
JL: So, Congratulations
hand) Michelle Kwan! (Michelle turns
to the camera and waves)
JL: Be right back
with Train, after this.
(A clip of Michelle
spinning during Rachmaninoff at the Olympics is shown.)
When they come back
from the commercial break, you can see Michelle waving to someone
in the audience. Then, after the musical group Train sings, they
come over to talk with Jay. Towards the end of the interview, Jay
asks Train about performing at the Olympics
JL: Now, you guys
were at the Olympics, right?
A Train member:Yea,
it was pretty cool.
Pat Monahan (Trainís
lead singer): Yea (Turns
to Michelle) We couldnít go see you because you had to be,
like, in the government somewhere (Audience laughs) to get
in to see you skate.
MK: Security was
JL: Yea, you guys
donít look suspicious at all. (Audience and Michelle
laughs) Well, guys, congratulations. Two Grammys, it doesnít
get much cooler than that. Train, ďDrops of JupiterĒ is the CD.
(Audience applauds) Michelle Kwan, thank you very much!
MK: Thank you!
JL: Our Olympic
smiles) Thank you Michelle.
screen captures linked in the transcript were done by me. Also check
out some more from the show:
pic #2, and
check out Jarrett's
screencaptures from the interview.
a real video clip of the interview,
courtesy of Moyesii!
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Photo © Jay Adeff