Starr Andrews became the first Black U.S. figure skater in history to win an ISU Grand Prix medal at Skate Canada International.
Since SCI’s first competition series in 1995, a U.S. Black skater has never won a Grand Prix medal. That changed on Saturday, Oct. 29, in Mississauga, Ontario, after the 21-year-old’s electrifying performance placed her second overall, winning her a silver medal.
This was a lifelong dream come true for Andrews, who’s been skating since she was a toddler. Filled with joy, she expressed her gratitude for the monumental moment in an Instagram post.
She thoroughly impressed judges and the crowd with her second tournament program, which included her nailing six triple jumps and landing a double axel Euler triple salchow.
This was a free skate to Belgian singer Lara Fabian’s rendition of “Je Suis Malade.” The performance bumped Andrews from fifth place, after her Friday program, to second with a total score of 191.26 points. This was 10 points higher than her top showcases at a 2019 Grand Prix in France, according to PopSugar.
Andrews shared that she prepared differently for this year’s competition.
“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 last month). I was still getting used to my programs,” she said, according to a Team USA press release.
She’s also happy that her win can encourage and inspire other Black women and minorities within or outside of the sport.
“I think it’s a huge deal, to be a woman of color in figure skating,” she said. “I’m so proud I could represent. (It makes) bringing home a medal even more special.”
Back in 2010, Andrews’ “Whip My Hair” performance went viral on YouTube, gaining 57 million views. Since then, she’s perfected her craft and put in the work to make history, but it’s obvious this is only the beginning for the young star.