9:37am PT by Hilary Lewis
Michelle Kwan to Cover 2014 Olympics for Fox Sports
Less than two weeks before the launch of its cable sports channel, Fox Sports is continuing to add to its talent pool, hiring champion figure skater Michelle Kwan to cover the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Kwan told The Associated Press that she's also been encouraged to report on sports outside of the Olympics and hopes to be involved in Fox's Super Bowl coverage in February.
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''When they asked, they were really encouraging to me to try it out,'' Kwan, who currently works for the State Department as a senior adviser for public diplomacy and public affairs, told the AP. ''They said, `We are going to be innovative and fun and open to different angles,' which really attracted me. Reporting and storytelling is what they want, so for me, it will be interesting to kind of let the public know about the stories of athletes, or their perspectives on the Olympics.''
Kwan said she's also looking forward to covering curling and hockey.
"I won't be covering it like NBC would, but more doing insider stories," Kwan added. "I also like the idea they are launching [Fox Sports 1] this month, and I will be able to be a part of it and see it take shape and form. And also, if I have some … ideas [about] how I want to report the Olympics, I will have that freedom to do it.''
Fox also hired Olympic skiing champion Picabo Street as another analyst.
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Fox has made a number of high-profile hires in recent months, including Erin Andrews, Regis Philbin and Andy Roddick as the company's new sports network looks to compete with stalwart ESPN.
Fox's Olympics hires suggests the company is also looking to try to steal attention from NBC, which broadcasts the games in the U.S.
"There is no bigger name in the sport of figure skating than Michelle Kwan, and we are delighted to welcome her to Fox Sports,'' Rick Jaffe, Fox Sports senior vice president of news, told the AP.
Kwan's already planning to sit down with men's figure skating gold medalist Evan Lysacek as he attempts a comeback. She's also working on interviewing champion ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
Kwan is a two-time Olympic medalist. In 2010, she covered the Vancouver Games for ABC.