Michelle Kwan is doing her best to indulge my trite question about explaining the difference between the axel and the lutz in layman's terms. She mentions a counter-clockwise rotation, the outside edge of a skate and trying to "pole-vault yourself up in the air," among other things.

"I don't know how to explain it better than that without demonstrating it," Kwan says with a laugh.

But a few seconds later, without realizing it, Kwan helps me see the light. She cites a skating movie, and it's not "Blades of Glory."

"I don't know if you've seen the movie 'Cutting Edge' ... " she says.

Ah, yes.

Moira Kelly.

D.B. Sweeney.

The Toe Pick.

Sad, but suddenly it is all more relatable.

But Kwan tells me (and all those casual Olympic fans who aren't savvy about the technical aspects of skating) not to sweat the details.

"If you talk to my mom, she can't really tell the difference -- after 20 years of skating -- can't tell the difference between a loop and a flip," she says. "So just enjoy what you're watching."

Check out the video above for our conversation.

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