Kwan Pulls Out, Hughes Gets the Call Michelle Kwan Pulls Out
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Kwan Pulls Out, Hughes Gets the Call

Kwan, a five-time world figure skating champion, has won the silver and the bronze in previous Olympics -- but for now, she will have to give up her dream for Olympic gold. David Gray/Reuters hide caption

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David Gray/Reuters

American figure skater Michelle Kwan has pulled out of the Olympics due to a groin strain injury. Kwan came to Turin and participated in the opening ceremony, but she injured herself landing a triple flip jump during a practice session Saturday.

The United States will replace her with 17-year-old Emily Hughes, the younger sister of 2002 Olympic figure skating gold medallist Sarah Hughes. It's a great opportunity for the teenaged skater, except for one obstacle -- she's at home in New York, which is being blanketed by a snowstorm. A foot or more is expected, and flights are being cancelled at New York-area airports. Ironically, there's no snow in Turin -- at least in the city itself, the site of the figure skating competition.

Kwan skipped the U.S. Nationals competition last month due to a prior injury, but received a medical exemption that cleared the way for her to skate in the Olympics. Emily Hughes finished third in the nationals and was named an Olympic alternate.

After learning of Kwan's withdrawal, Emily Hughes told WNBC-TV in New York she is ready to travel to Turin. "Just point me in the direction and I'm there."

Now if only it would stop snowing.

The women's figure skating competition starts February 21.