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- American figure skater
President Joe Biden has nominated two-time Olympic medal-winning figure skater Michelle Kwan as U.S. ambassador to Belize.
The White House announced Kwan's nomination on Wednesday alongside the nomination of President John F. Kennedy's daughter Caroline Kennedy as U.S. Ambassador to Australia.
Kwan confirmed her intent to accept the nomination on Twitter.
"I am honored to be nominated by President Biden to serve as ambassador to Belize, and if confirmed, I will be very proud to serve my country," Kwan wrote.
Kwan, 41, is best known for her prowess as a U.S. singles figure skater. She won five gold medals, three silvers and a bronze in world championships from 1996-2004. She secured the silver medal in ladies singles at the 1998 Nagano Olympics behind gold medalist and fellow American Tara Lipinski. She won bronze at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City behind U.S. gold medalist Sarah Hughes and Russian silver medalist Irina Slutskaya.
Kwan has previous diplomatic experience in Bush, Obama administrations
Since retiring from competitive figure skating, Kwan has been active in diplomatic roles and working with political candidates and elected officials. In 2006, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice appointed Kwan as the first American Public Diplomacy Envoy under President George W. Bush. She continued her diplomatic efforts under President Barack Obama as a State Department senior adviser for public diplomacy and public affairs. She also served on Obama's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.
Kwan worked on her then-husband Clay Pell's failed bid for Rhode Island governor in 2014 and has since worked on Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and joined Biden's campaign in 2019. She is currently a board member and treasurer of Special Olympics International.
“She is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, having won 43 championships, including five world championships, nine national titles, and two Olympic medals,” a White House statement reads. “She became the first Public Diplomacy Envoy in 2006, and for a decade, traveled extensively on behalf of the U.S. Department of State to engage youth around the world on social and educational issues.”
Her appointment requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate.