Michelle Kwan, the most decorated figure skater in US history, visited UT in April to speak and participate in a panel discussion with coaches from six countries as part of the Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports initiative.
The initiative is part of the US Department of State’s sports diplomacy efforts to open opportunities for women and girls around the world and promote positive social change. The department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs awarded a grant to UT’s Center for Sport, Peace, and Society to implement many of the initiative’s athlete exchanges and mentoring programs.
As part of this event, twenty-four young women from six countries—Argentina, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Nigeria, South Korea, and Turkey—were in the United States to take part in activities surrounding the NCAA Women’s Final Four Multi-Nation Basketball Program.
Kwan talked about her skating career, how participating in sports helps young women develop confidence and discipline, and how sports can provide a bridge to address international challenges.