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.”