Kristi Yamaguchi honored with Barbie doll for AAPI Heritage Month

Kristi Yamaguchi honored with Barbie doll for AAPI Heritage MonthKristi Yamaguchi honored with Barbie doll for AAPI Heritage Month
via Olympics, Mattel
Michelle De Pacina
April 25, 2024
Figure skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi has been honored with a Barbie doll in her likeness by toy maker Mattel.
Key points:
  • Yamaguchi’s doll was released on Wednesday as part of Barbie‘s Inspiring Women Series for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.
  • Mattel is honoring Yamaguchi’s achievement as the first Asian American woman to win an individual gold medal in ice skating at the 1992 Winter Olympics.
The details:
  • The doll depicts Yamaguchi at 20 years of age during the Albertville Winter Olympics in France, wearing her famous black-and-gold brocade outfit and gold hair ribbon. It also features a red-and-white bouquet that Yamaguchi held on the podium.
  • “It looks like me for sure,” Yamaguchi told the Associated Press. “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, who is now an author and clothing designer, expressed immense pride in being recognized alongside other inspiring women, such as Anna May Wong, Maya Angelou and Rosa Parks. 
  • Despite facing challenges due to her Asian heritage in securing endorsement deals in the past, Yamaguchi sees the doll as a positive step towards representation and inspiration for future generations.
  • “I think that it’s meaningful to the community to have positive stories out there and symbols to inspire the next generation,” Yamaguchi told People. “If it’s happened before, it can happen again. Even if it hasn’t happened yet, they can blaze their own trail. It’s a huge honor and it’s a lot of pride being able to have it showcased during AAPI Month.”
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