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MICHELLE KWAN: NOW
No surprise here: when Kwan exchanged wedding vows with boyfriend of two years, White House staffer Clay Pell, in Providence, R.I. on Jan. 19, she wore a mermaid gown by Vera Wang, the same designer who created many of her skating costumes. In 2009 Kwan hung up her blades for politics: She received a master’s degree in law and diplomacy, and is now a staffer at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C.
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MICHELLE KWAN: THEN
Known for her artistry on the ice, Kwan won the silver medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, narrowly losing the gold to fellow American Tara Lipinski. Four years later Kwan took the Olympic bronze in Salt Lake City, Utah. A five-time women's world figure-skating champ, she went on to become the most decorated American in the history of figure skating.
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BRIAN BOITANO: NOW
Though the champ still performs in exhibitions and teaches skating to disadvantaged youth, he's been focusing lately on another creative pursuit – cooking! He grills, sautés and bakes on his Food Network series, What Would Brian Boitano Make?, and has written a cookbook due out in May. "It's a lot of work and a lot of cooking the same thing," says the 49-year-old of writing a culinary how-to.
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BRIAN BOITANO: THEN
The 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada, turned into the Battle of the Brians – Boitano versus Orser, two exceptional figure skaters competing for the gold medal. In the end, Boitano’s triple jumps and axels edged out Orser’s, and he landed in first place.
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DOROTHY HAMILL: NOW
Since retiring from the rink, Hamill has run a fantasy figure-skating camp in Nantucket, Mass., designed a line of jewelry that benefits charities and wrote a best-selling memoir, A Skating Life: My Story. A breast cancer survivor, Hamill, 56, travels the country as a motivational speaker but still keeps up with her Olympic pals. "Dorothy and her husband [lawyer John MacColl] came [to the wedding], and it was just so nice," Kwan says.
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DOROTHY HAMILL: THEN
She was the It Girl of the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Just 19 years old, the plucky skater from Greenwich, Conn., had equal amounts of talent and charm when she nabbed the gold. Her Hamill Camel, a seated spinning move, became her trademark – as did her short wedge hairstyle, which became all the rage in the '70s.
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DICK BUTTON: NOW
When his skating career ended, his TV career began. For more than five decades, Button, 83, has been providing lively color commentary during televised figure skating competitions. Ever the pro, he thoughtfully reviewed the Kwan-Pell wedding with this guest book entry: "elegant, beautiful, fun, reserve, and quality."
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DICK BUTTON: THEN
Button has the distinction of being not only the first American to win an Olympic ice skating title, but also the only American to win two Olympic gold medals in figure skating, in 1948 and 1952. It was Button – a competitor since age 13 – who introduced now-familiar jumps like the double axel, triple loop and flying camel.
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MICHELLE & CLAY
The [ceremony's] "whole energy came from family and friends," says Kwan. "People were crying. There were so many tears shed, especially from me!" Says new husband Pell, a Coast Guard lieutenant who wore his uniform for the nuptials, "She has such warmth for me and I just felt this fire the whole day, and I still do."
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