At the end of a grueling season that included the emotional ups and downs of her second national and world championships and an Olympic silver, Michelle Kwan is looking forward to four more minutes of skating.
That will come Saturday night in the finals of the ladies figure skating in the Goodwill Games, a competition she leads after a brilliant short program Thursday night.And then it will be so long Rachmaninov, hello Hawaii.
"After my long program, I'm hitting the beach," Kwan said.
And while she's relaxing, coach Frank Carroll will begin work on a new short program to replace Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3, which has served Kwan so well this season.
"I'm really kind of sad to give this program up," Carroll said after Kwan skated it flawlessly again. "I think it's a very special, unique signature program. It has a special feel to it and it certainly has an impact on the audience and the judges."
So why give it up?
"It doesn't permit her to improve," Carroll said. "It's necessary for her development to do something new. It can become stale if you don't move on."
Blending with the music brilliantly one last time Thursday night, Kwan seized the lead with a flawless short program. European champion Maria Butrskaya of Russia was second and Viktoriya Volchkova of Russia, who was celebrating her 16th birthday, was third.
Also in front halfway through their competition was the world champion Russian dance team of Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ov-sian-ni-kov. Another Russian couple, Irina Lobacheva and Ilia Averbush, was second, followed by the Ukranian pair of Elena Grushina and Rusian Goncharov.
Kwan, the next-to-last skater, made the wait worthwhile with a flawless show, earning a perfect score from one of the judges.
SWIMMING: Cristina Teuscher, Jenny Thompson and Leo Maurer were the big stars, but the younger swimmers who finished second and third in five of the seven events made the difference as the United States edged the World All-Stars 65-57 in a dual meet.
BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Karolyn Kirby and Liz Masakayan, who dominated women's beach volleyball in the mid-1990s, are back together and winning. Kirby, 37, and Masakayan, 33, beat Kristine Drakich and Guylaine Dumont of Canada 15-5 Thursday to even their round-robin record at 1-1.
BOXING: Two-time Olympic silver medalist Juan Hernandez of Cuba earned a spot in the Goodwill Games boxing finals by dominating two-time United States champion Darnell Wilson 12-1.
After losing the first two semifinal bouts, the United States responded with wins in five of its next eight fights.