In a sport where Black women rarely make it to the medal podium, she triumphed. Figure skater Starr Andrews became the first Black woman to take home a medal at the US Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, California, after participating in the national championship program last week. The 21-year-old concluded the two-day competition with a total score of 188.24 and a free-skate score of 119.27, placing fourth overall, according to Local News Today.
“To be the next African American woman to stand on a podium is amazing,” Andrews said, according to The Washington Post. “It will never be an easy path [in skating]’ Andrews said. “There are ups and downs, and you have to make the best of it. This is how you become a great athlete, and it also helps you in normal life.”
Even with a few small setbacks, Andrews was pleased with the current performance’s progress.
“I can’t even put into words how much it all means to me. I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for everyone who believed in me. Even though I made two huge mistakes in my long I am so glad from how much I improved over the last year. I hope to keep improving and showing my star power,” Andrews wrote on Instagram.
Andrews stood on the same podium as the gold medallist, Isabeau Levito, the silver medalist, Bradie Tennell, and the bronze medalist, Amber Glenn. Following her free skate, Andrews was chosen as the first proxy for the American women’s team competing at the March World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan.
In the series’ history, which goes back to 1995, Andrews became the first American Black figure skater to be awarded a Grand Prix medal by the International Skating Union (ISU). On October 29 in Mississauga, Ontario, she won Skate Canada. – Steve Sijenyi