BURBANK, Calif., February 16, 2006 – Michelle Kwan, the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, will serve as a celebrity representative and spokesperson for businesses across the entire range of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), it was announced today by Matt Ryan, senior vice president, Brand Management, The Walt Disney Company. Earlier this week, with a magnanimous gesture that exemplified sportsmanship, selflessness and respect for her sport, Michelle Kwan withdrew herself from the 2006 Winter Olympic Games due to injury.
As part of the multiyear agreement, Kwan may participate in advertising, promotions or public service announcements involving all of Disney’s businesses, make guest appearances on original programming and personal appearances at live Disney events, and take part in Disney’s company-wide initiatives.
“Professionally and personally, Michelle is a true champion. While her magnificent artistry on the ice has been applauded the world over, she also sets the standard for grace and dignity, which truly accounts for her universal appeal,” said Ryan. “We at Disney are honored to be associated with Michelle and know that her unique style and commitment to quality will be enjoyed and appreciated by our audiences everywhere.”
Kwan authored the motivational book The Winning Attitude! What It Takes To Be A Champion and contributed to the fictional book series Michelle Kwan Presents Skating Dreams published by Disney Publishing Worldwide and has appeared in Disney and ABC television specials. Michelle starred in the primetime TV special Reflections on Ice: Michelle Skates to the Music of Disney’s Mulan, which was selected as the best-produced skating special of 1998-99.
In her career, Kwan has won an unprecedented 43 championships, including five World Championships, eight consecutive and nine overall U.S. National Championships and two Olympic medals. She is the only woman in figure skating history to reclaim the World title three times, and she holds or shares nearly a dozen U.S. records. Kwan began skating at the age of five and won her first competition when seven years old.