Figure skater Starr Andrews has become the first African-American person in the sport to win the Grand Prix medal.
According to Yahoo News, Andrews has become the first African-American figure skater to win an ISU Grand Prix medal since the series’ inception in 1995. The event took place in Mississauga, Ontario, on October 29 as part of Skate Canada, the nation’s governing body for figure skating.
“I can’t even put into [words] how I feel right now!!” Andrews wrote via an Instagram post on November 1, “I couldn’t be more proud of how I skated in Canada. Thank you to all the support I’ve gotten, even on the skates that weren’t my best. This is a dream come true.”
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The 21-year-old won a silver medal for her stellar performance, making her second overall. That day, she wowed judges as she skated to Belgian singer Lara Fabian’s rendition of “Je Suis Malade” (1994) and earned a total score of 191.26. During her performance, she killed the competition with six triple jumps, including a double axle and Euler Triple Salchow.
“I think it’s a huge deal to be a woman of color in figure skating. I’m so proud I could represent. [It makes] bringing home a medal even more special…I actually still feel like it’s a dream,” Andrews told Team USA. “I’ve gone into this year with a different mindset, trying to not be so caught up in my head. It helps a lot when I don’t think so much. It’s definitely paid off, even though my season didn’t start off so strong [at Nebelhorn Trophy in September]. I was still getting used to my programs.”
The figure skater’s triumph arrived a year after undergoing surgery to remove an extra nerve near her heart. She initially rose to fame for being a part of singer and actress Willow Smith’s viral hit “Whip My Hair” (2010).