Michelle Kwan Posts Tribute for Late Skating Coach Frank Carroll

Michelle Kwan is remembering her skating instructor and friend, Frank Carroll, after the legendary coach died at the age of 85 on Sunday, June 9. 

On Monday, June 10, the Olympic figure skater, 43, shared a heartfelt tribute on social media paying her respects to Carroll, and highlighting cherished moments from their relationship, which spanned more than 30 years. 

Michelle Kwan and her coach Frank Carroll react to her scores, February 1998.

Jamie Squire /Al/getty

“Yesterday, we bid farewell to a legend,” Kwan began in a lengthy Instagram post.

“Frank Carroll, my former coach, mentor and dear friend for over 3 decades, was a towering figure in the world of figure skating,” she explained.  

Included in her tribute was a carousel of images that started with the pair sitting beside one another with enthusiastic looks on both their faces. The photo appeared to be taken at one of Kwan’s many skating competitions, as she held onto flowers and stuffed animals. 

A television cameraman could be seen standing in front of them to capture their reactions during the 1998 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. 

“I still recall our first meeting vividly,” she said of her 11-year-old self “unknowingly setting off a pet peeve of his” by calling him “Mr. Carroll.”

“Call me Frank, he insisted, with an eye roll and smirk. And so, Frank he became!” she wrote.

Another image that she shared in her carousel showed them sitting together at a press conference. A young Kwan was seen smiling, as he sat beside her with a proud smirk on his face. 

The photo that followed showed her on the ice looking intently as Carroll gave her directions. 

“Frank was everything I could have hoped for in a coach and more – a rock-solid supporter (seriously, he never missed a lesson!), a fountain of knowledge (on and off the ice), and a dear friend,” Kwan said. 

Frank Carroll, February 2022.

Doug Pensinger/Getty 

She considered him to be “a treasure trove of figure skating history” who was always sharing stories about “Olympic champions like Sonja Henie and American greats like Maribel Vincent [sic] Owen.”

“To Frank, once you were in his life, you were a friend for life,” she said, also pointing out his ability “to make us all laugh” during skating lessons.

Kwan also added photos of herself as a child, on the ice with Carroll. 

“I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been one of the lucky ones to work with him and, most importantly, to call him a friend,” Kwan said. “Frank, you will be dearly missed, but your legacy of laughter and love will forever live on in our hearts. Love you.”

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U.S. Figure Skating confirmed Carroll’s death to PEOPLE and also in a statement shared on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday. 

In addition to Kwan, the World and U.S. Figure Skating Halls of Fame member was also instrumental in the careers of Olympians Linda Fratianne, Evan Lysacek and Gracie Gold during his decades-long career.

According to NBC Sports, the Worcester, Massachusetts native won three medals on the national level before he transitioned into coaching the sport in the 1960s.

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