U.S. Figure Skating Team Makes History With Record Number Of Asian-Americans

The team is already scoring points for representation.

The Winter Olympics may have just started, but the U.S. figure skating team has already set a record. 

Out of its 14 members, a record-breaking seven skaters, half of the team, are Asian-Americans. Among them are several Olympic favorites, including men’s gold medal prospect Nathan Chen and Kristi Yamaguchi mentee Karen Chen

Asians across the internet are ecstatic over the representation. 

Other Asian-American team members include Olympic veterans Maia and Alex Shibutani, Madison Chock and Mirai Nagasu, as well as Vincent Zhou. Asian-American representation is up from the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in which four Asian-Americans were on the 15-member figure skating team. 

As a whole, this year’s Team USA stands as the most diverse U.S. team in Winter Olympics history. In addition to 11 Asian-Americans, the group also includes 10 black athletes and two openly gay team members, according to the team’s data. However, Jason Thompson, the U.S. Olympic Committee’s director of diversity, says there’s far more work to be done.  

“We’re not quite where we want to be,” he told NPR. “I think full-on inclusion has always been a priority of Team USA. I think everybody’s always felt it should represent every American.”

Compared with the team that went to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, the U.S. winter team lags in representation. Black athletes made up more than 20 percent of the summer team, compared with 4 percent at Pyeongchang.