Michael Jordan, Ken Griffey Jr., Tiger Woods and Joe Montana have all had video games bearing their names. It’s not too surprising since they are some of the most well-known athletes in their respective sports. But it takes a truly special athlete to get a video game in a sport that’s only relevant about once every four years. In 1999, Electronic Arts came out with Michelle Kwan Figure Skating. It’s a testament to not only Kwan’s success on the ice but also her marketing appeal off of it.
Kwan was born and raised in Torrance, Calif., by Chinese immigrants from Hong Kong. She followed in her two siblings’ footsteps and began skating at 5 years old. She started to make great strides when she began training with Frank Carroll at the age of 10. By 13, she was an Olympic-alternate and by 15 she won her first of nine U.S. championships.
Despite her massive success in U.S. and international competitions, she fell short of winning gold in the Olympics. In 1998, she was upset by Tara Lipinski by a 10th of a point and in 2002 she finished with a bronze medal. But with her nine U.S. titles and five world championships, she was easily the most decorated figure skater in American history and was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame this past January.