This Figure Skater is Officially the First Black Woman to Win the Grand Prix Medal

by Xara Aziz
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Starr Andrews made history at Skate Canada in Ontario Saturday when she became the first Black woman to earn the ISU Grand Prix medal –  a prestigious feat in the world of figure ice skating.

The watershed moment in the sport is the first in the series’ 27-year history. The 21-year-old first became a figure skating sensation when she went viral for her routine to the then-popular song Whip My Hair by Willow Smith. She was just nine at the time.

On Saturday, she performed a free skate to Lara Fabian’s remake of Je Suis Malade, which rose her from fifth to second place. Her performance included six triple jumps, which included a challenging double axel euler triple salchow. It landed her a final score of 191.26 right behind Rinka Watanabe of Japan who won first place with a score of 197.59 points and ahead of Young You of South Korea who came in third place with a score of 190.15 points.

“I can’t even put into words how I feel right now!! I couldn’t be more proud of how I skated in Canada,” Andrews wrote on Instagram. “Thank you to all the support I’ve gotten even on the skates that weren’t my best. This is a dream come true.”

Prior to her win, Andrews has enticed spectators with astounding acts to Mickey Guyton’s Black Like Me and Etta James’s At Last.

“I think it’s a huge deal, to be a woman of color in figure skating,” Andrews told Team USA after her accomplishment. “I’m so proud I could represent. I actually still feel like it’s a dream.”

She continued: “I am one of the few people of color in the sport, and to bring home a medal is even more special.”

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