Starr Andrews Is First Black US Figure Skater to Win Grand Prix Medal

Starr Andrews of the United States performs her free skating program at the Skate Canada International figure skating competition in Mississauga, Ontario, on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022.
Starr Andrews of the United States performs her free skating program at the Skate Canada International figure skating competition in Mississauga, Ontario, on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022.

Starr Andrews made history at just 21 years of age on Saturday by becoming the first Black US figure skater to earn the ISU Grand Prix medal. This historic feat is a first in the series’ twenty-seven year history. It took place at Skate Canada in Mississauga, Ontario

In 2010, Andrews went viral for her routine to Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” when she was just 9 years old. She performed her second program of the tournament (a free skate to singer Lara Fabian’s remake of “Je Suis Malade”) on Saturday, which elevated her from fifth to second place.

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Andrews executed six triple jumps, including a challenging double axel euler triple salchow. Her final score was 191.26. Rinka Watanabe (from Japan) won first with a score of 197.59 points, while Young You (South Korea) received the bronze medal with 190.15 points total.

After the program, Andrew wrote on Instagram: “I can’t even put into words how I feel right now!! 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.”

In the past, Andrews has enchanted audiences with breathtaking performances to Mickey Guyton’s “Black Like Me” and her own rendition of “At Last” by Etta James at Skate America just last year.

“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. [It makes] bringing home a medal even more special . . . I actually still feel like it’s a dream.”

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