Actions

Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi gets Barbie doll for AAPI Heritage Month

This comes ahead of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, as well as the upcoming Summer Olympics in Paris.
Kristi Yamaguchi doll close-up
Posted at 12:04 PM, Apr 24, 2024

Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi is being honored with her own Barbie doll.

This comes ahead of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, as well as the upcoming Summer Olympics in Paris.

Mattel said the Kristi Yamaguchi Inspiring Women doll honors the gold medalist for her achievements both on and off the ice. She was the first Asian American to win a gold medal in figure skating. She has also authored several best-selling children’s books and is a fierce advocate for early childhood literacy, according to Mattel.

The athlete serves as an inspiration to future generations and Asian American women and girls.

“She’s a fitting addition to a series that pays tribute to courageous women who took risks, changed rules, and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before,” Mattel said in its post about the collectible.

Kristi Yamaguchi doll poses

Yamaguchi’s doll is part of the Inspiring Women series, which honors female role models past and present. The Yamaguchi Barbie joins other iconic figures in the series like Jane Goodall and Ida B. Wells.

The athlete said she was honored to be among those chosen for the collection.

“It’s a huge, huge honor. I think a lot of pride comes along with it, not just recognizing the Olympic achievement, but also being recognized during AAPI Month and following in the footsteps of some incredible women that I idolize — Anna May Wong, Maya Angelou and Rosa Parks,” Yamaguchi told The Associated Press. “It's hard to see me put in the category with them.”

Her Barbie’s outfit is inspired by her look at the 1992 Winter Olympics, when she achieved the historic first with her gold medal. The doll wears her iconic black and gold leotard, complete with a gold bow in her hair.

The athlete said she is pleased with how the doll came out.

“It looks like me for sure. You know, the eyes and just the shape of the face. And then, of course, the hair, for sure. I mean, it has the bangs that are the '90s,” Yamaguchi told AP.

She said she is happy to offer representation.

“When kids see themselves or see someone who inspires them, then it just opens up their world and their imagination to what’s possible," she said.

The Kristi Yamaguchi Inspiring Women doll sells for $44.99.