Celebrating Asian American Skaters

yume

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
if I lived in Nigeria I would look Nigerian. Simply: Human.

:laugh::laugh: Sorry. Not as simply as that, but would have been great if it was the case.
Everyone should be just an human in each country.
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
People who experience privilege based on their ethnicity shouldn't be telling people who face adversity based on their ethnicity that nobody's ethnicity counts. That's just ignorant and inaccurate. Don't invalidate my experience just because it never happened to you, and don't think that just because you think it shouldn't happen (which is great), that it doesn't happen.

Can I, as a person of the "Caucasian persuasion", like this 1000 times? If an Asian-American says watching Kristi Yamaguchi inspired them as an Asian-American, then:hap10: If an African-American tells me that seeing Debi Thomas inspired them as an African-American, then :hap10:If a person of Hispanic descent says watching Rudi Galindo inspired them as a Hispanic, then :hap10:

Whether I think it matters to *me*, or what my outlook on life is, is completely irrelevant. What matters is whether they tell me that it's relevant to *them*.

And if our next great Asian American superstar in 2030 says seeing team USA today inspired them, then I say :clap:
 

Manitou

Medalist
Joined
Jan 17, 2014
And if our next great Asian American superstar in 2030 says seeing team USA today inspired them, then I say :clap:

My greatest sport inspiration is Usain Bolt. Not because he is white, but because he is a great hard working and talented human.
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
I don't give ... how I look and how everybody else looks. I look American. If I were black or blue I would also look American. If I were dotted yellow, striped green and orange or spotted purple, I would look American too.
If I lived in Brazil I would look Brazilian, if I lived in Japan I would look Japanese and if I lived in Nigeria I would look Nigerian. Simply: Human.

It is naïve to assume that the U.S. is a utopia where no one gives a **** about how others look and where everyone sees each other simply as human.

I was born in the U.S., and yet I have been told to "go back to your country."

Meanwhile, I am pleased to know that you as an individual don't give a **** how anyone looks.
But that does not mean that racial discrimination does not exist in the U.S.
 

GGFan

Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 9, 2013
There's a huge difference between (a) believing in the goal of a colorblind society and (b) actually ameliorating all of the problems caused by previous discrimination so we can achieve said colorblind society.

(b) cannot be done in a colorblind manner. Scientific studies show that in order to eliminate bias you have to be cognizant of it.

Until we find a panacea that eliminates the importance of color/race/ethnicity etc. these achievements will matter.
 

prettykeys

Medalist
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Exactly. Why even talking about it? American is American. There is literally NOTHING else.
I might be labelled a Polish American, but for Americans I am simply an American. Period.
So...the Polish flag on your profile is just accidental? Why not an American flag, hmm? :scratch2:

Michelle by Kristi
I thought Michelle Kwan wanted to be like Tonya Harding and practice 3A's, until Frank Carroll tuned her into Janet Lynn. Heh. Those are the inspirations that I recall Kwan mentioning at least. Maybe she had more.

Re: optics. Imagine if either Karen Chen (3rd at Nats) or Mirai Nagasu (2nd) had been pulled off the team to swap in Ashley Wagner again...and I like Ashley...
 

koheikun90

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 25, 2010
Just wanted to share: The first Asian American to represent the US in Olympic figure is Kristi Yamaguchi in 1992. Here is the list and you can see how far we have come. As an Asian American, this is a big deal for me and our community.

1992 Kristi Yamaguchi
1994 Kyoko Ina, Elizabeth Punsalan
1998 Kyoko Ina, Michelle Kwan, Elizabeth Punsalan
2002 Kyoko Ina, Michelle Kwan
2006 None
2010 Mirai Nagasu, Amanda Evora
2014 Madison Chock, Maia Shibutani, Alex Shibutani (first Asian American man to represent the US in the Olympics!), Felicia Zhang
2018 Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou, Karen Chen, Mirai Nagasu, Alex Shibutani, Maia Shibutani, Madison Chock
 

VIETgrlTerifa

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Just wanted to share: The first Asian American to represent the US in Olympic figure is Kristi Yamaguchi in 1992. Here is the list and you can see how far we have come. As an Asian American, this is a big deal for me and our community.

1992 Kristi Yamaguchi
1994 Kyoko Ina, Elizabeth Punsalan
1998 Kyoko Ina, Michelle Kwan, Elizabeth Punsalan
2002 Kyoko Ina, Michelle Kwan
2006 None
2010 Mirai Nagasu, Amanda Evora
2014 Madison Chock, Maia Shibutani, Alex Shibutani (first Asian American man to represent the US in the Olympics!), Felicia Zhang
2018 Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou, Karen Chen, Mirai Nagasu, Alex Shibutani, Maia Shibutani, Madison Chock

Hey, I tweeted something like that. :) Don't forget 2006 has Rena Inoue and somebody already mentioned Tiffany Chin. There was also Tai Babilonia in 1975 and 1980.

I did notice that Nathan and Vincent are the first Asian-American Mens singles skaters to represent the U.S. at the Olympics and Alex Shibutani is the first Asian-American man to ever represent the U.S. at the Olympics in figure skating.

Of course, some people have to get all defensive, but it's very telling who is being defensive and who is celebrating this.

Did you know the first non-European ancestry skaters of any country to ever medal at Worlds in ice dance are the Shibutanis? In a perfect world, the same opportunities would seem open to anyone regardless of race. However, that's not the world we're in - and a minority kid looking at ice dance before the Shibs broke that barrier would probably assume they're not welcome, especially given how subjective ice dance is. Think of how much more popular skating in general would be if it were more representation at the elite levels.

Speaking of the Shibs being the first non-European ancestry skaters of any country to ever medal at Worlds in ice dance, I wondered if at 16 in 2011 if Maia was the youngest world medalist in ice dance at least from the time ice dance became an Olympic sport.
 

VegMom

On the Ice
Joined
Aug 25, 2017
Well, I welcome the racial diversity skating is beginning to show. When I saw the title of this thread I was a bit afraid to open it, thinking that it was going to be a rant against having 'so many Asian-Americans on the Olympic team." Thank goodness it's not that.
 

livetoskate

On the Ice
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
As someone who grew up as an ethnic minority in the south, facing discrimination at ice rinks too (e.g., a stupid kid making ching chong noises at me while I skated as an adult!), I can't help but feel a sense of pride and happiness to see these athletes of Asian ancestry doing so well. Perhaps some people don't want to watch "the Asians taking over the sport," but now kids of all backgrounds can see them as role models.
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
So...the Polish flag on your profile is just accidental? Why not an American flag, hmm? :scratch2:

I thought Michelle Kwan wanted to be like Tonya Harding and practice 3A's, until Frank Carroll tuned her into Janet Lynn. Heh. Those are the inspirations that I recall Kwan mentioning at least. Maybe she had more.

I think that Michelle's big role model and inspiratiion in skating was Brian Boitano.
 

Exposed

Match Penalty
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
I think what some people don't get is that figure skating was performed by mostly/only by white people before the late 80's in the states.
 

prettykeys

Medalist
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
I think that Michelle's big role model and inspiratiion in skating was Brian Boitano.
There's really no shortage of role-models to choose from, whether they sort of look like you or don't! :hap10:

Correspondingly, it can be safely said that a hugely influential icon such as Michelle Kwan has also inspired many different ethnicities and nationalities...and genders.
 

draqq

FigureSkatingPhenom
Record Breaker
Joined
May 10, 2010
As a Chinese-American, Michelle Kwan certainly got me interested in figure skating in the first place. I think that there has been strong representation by Asian-Americans in general in the American pool of skaters since then. We're not usually the biggest or tallest athletes so we're not frequently in more popular American sports like football, basketball, boxing, UFC, etc. in America (and there aren't many Asian-American stars and celebrities overall as far as representation goes), so it's encouraging to have a sport where we can shine.
 

Ice Dance

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
It has taken a while but we are seeing more diversity among the top young dancers at U.S. Nationals:

Howard Zhao (and Katarina Wolfkostin) won novice dance.

Jeffrey Chen (and Gianna Buckley) were second in novice dance.

Caroline Liu (and Kenan Slevira) finished third in novices.

Avonley Nguyen (and Vadim Kolesnik) were 5th in junior dance & fourth in the FD. They also earned 2 JGP invites this season.

Jonathan Zhao (and Nastia Efimova) were 4th in intermediate dance & 2nd in the FD.
 

Spinning

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 10, 2015
Mao and Yuna got more coverages during their time than any other combine. Hanyu turns people around the globe to figure skate. I don't see the lack of Asian role models anywhere. Most of my American Expat friends know Mirai without watching figure skates.

Pele, Maradona, DB, CR or Messi has been hero to young kids even before the internet. Moh Salah is newly African phenomenon due to his single-handled Egypt to WC final. If there is lack of idols in your country, look elsewhere!
 
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