Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi honored with Barbie doll for AAPI Heritage Month

Barbie's latest doll celebrates Yamaguchi's 1992 Olympics Gold Medal moment.

April 24, 2024, 1:37 PM

Kristi Yamaguchi's epic 1992 Olympics gold medal moment is now being celebrated in the form of a Barbie, and as a special tribute to AAPI Heritage Month.

Mattel has released a new doll in the famed figure skater's likeness that includes a look that's very reminiscent of of what the gold medal Olympian wore during her winning performance in Albertville, France — including her shimmering black and gold embroidered dress, red lipstick, bangs and ponytail.

The release is timed for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, recognized in May.

The doll's look was complete with special details such as duplicates of Yamaguchi's big gold ribbon worn in her hair, her celebratory bouquet, and white skates.

PHOTO: Mattel has launched a Barbie celebrating Kristi Yamaguchi.
Mattel has launched a Barbie celebrating Kristi Yamaguchi.
Courtesy of Mattel

Yamaguchi was the first Asian American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating, and now her life's work has translated into being a best-selling author and children's literacy advocate.

"My life's work – whether on the ice or off through my advocacy at Always Dream – has been driven by my personal mission to inspire new generations of athletes, students and activists," Yamaguchi said in a statement.

She continued, "Collaborating with Mattel to create my Inspiring Women Barbie doll is a natural extension of our shared purpose, and I hope it serves as a constant reminder for young kids everywhere to follow their dreams."

PHOTO: Mattel has launched a Barbie celebrating Kristi Yamaguchi.
Mattel has launched a Barbie celebrating Kristi Yamaguchi.
Courtesy of Mattel

The toymaker's latest launch is part of its Inspiring Women Series that honors incredible heroines of their time, courageous women who took risks, changed rules, and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger.

Others honored this past year include Celia Cruz and Bessie Coleman. Other notables such as Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and Madam C.J. Walker have also been recognized in previous years.

"Barbie is proud to honor Kristi Yamaguchi as the latest addition to our Inspiring Women series," said Krista Berger, senior vice president of Barbie and global head of dolls at Mattel, in a statement. "As the first Asian American to win a gold medal in the Olympics, she has broken down barriers for women and Asian Americans in the sports industry, inspiring young girls to, as Kristi Yamaguchi says, 'Dream big and accomplish big things.'"

"Her determination, advocacy, and commitment to educating and empowering the next generation perfectly embodies the mission of the Barbie brand and we couldn't be more thrilled to amplify her inspirational story for a new generation of kids," she added.

In support of the AAPI community, Barbie has vowed to split a $25,000 Barbie Dream Gap donation between Kristi Yamaguchi's Always Dream and ASPIRE (Asian Sister Participating in Reaching Excellence, Inc.), an organization committed to building and empowering a community of Asian American women leaders through identity development, mentorship, and education.

Barbie's new Kristi Yamaguchi doll is available now to shop at mass retailers and below.

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