Michelle Kwan Gets Engaged To White House National Security Staff Member
Michelle Kwan will have some diamond bling to add to all of her gold now that the figure skating champion has gotten engaged to Clay Pel.
The 30-year-old Pell proposed to Michelle Kwan earlier this month on Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island, CBS8.com reported. The couple first met in April 2011.
“It was a simple decision and it made sense; that’s what’s so exciting to me,” the 32-year-old Michelle Kwan told People magazine. “We are working together as a team, like in [pair skating].”
But the proposal almost didn’t go off as Pell planned, Kwan said.
“It was hot and we were going to go into the water to cool ourselves off a little bit,” she said. “I wasn’t anticipating going swimming. I said, ‘I don’t feel comfortable because I don’t have my bathing suit on.’ He’s like, ‘No, come on in,’ so I said, ‘Okay.’ ”
Even though the couple had been dating more than a year, Pell said he was still nervous about whether Michelle Kwan would say yes.
“We had been talking for a while about how we would like to have a family and the idea of getting married and what we wanted to do with our lives – and public service,” said Pell, a member of the White House’s National Security team. “So I think we both knew where we were relationship-wise and where we were going.”
He added, “It was amazing from the very beginning how in sync our way of thinking is, our basic values and our sense of priorities. We just both got each other.”
Pell is a JAG and Lieutenant in the US Coast Guard and the grandson of former Rhode Island Senator Clairborne Pell. The senator was the founder of Pell grants for college.
Michell Kwan has also been involved in public service since she left competitive skating in 2005. After wining the national figure skating championships nine times and the world championships five times, Kwan moved into advocacy. In June, she was appointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Council to Empower Women and Girls Through Sports and is a US public policy envoy in the State Department.