Five-time world champion Michelle Kwan has been awarded a slot on the U.S. Olympic team for next month's Winter Games in Turin, Italy after proving she is physically able to compete.

U.S. Figure Skating's international committee chairman Bob Horen announced the move late Friday. The decision was reached after a specially-appointed panel watched Kwan perform both her short and long programs at an ice rink in California.

Kwan, 25, had been awarded a medical exemption from the U.S. Figure Skating Championships earlier this month after she suffered a groin injury late last year.

Kwan will join U.S champion Sasha Cohen and runner-up Kimmie Meissner on the U.S. Olympic team. Emily Hughes, the younger sister of 2002 Olympic champion Sarah Hughes, is now relegated to the alternate slot on the team.

Michelle Kwan was the gold-medal favorite for the 1998 and 2002 Olympics, but has never won an Olympic gold medal. She was an alternate on the 1994 team when former Olympic silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan recovered from an attack in time to compete in Lillehammer, Norway.

Some information for this report provided by AP.