Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi on working with Barbie, and child literacy efforts

Mattel said Yamaguchi is part of a Barbie series honoring courageous women. Her addition comes ahead of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.
Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.
Posted at 4:32 PM, Apr 26, 2024

Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi said she worked closely with Barbie on each detail of the design of her new doll out now from Mattel Creations, down to the bouquet of flowers she held when she stood on the Olympic podium to receive her medal. The addition of Yamaguchi's doll for the iconic brand comes just ahead of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.

Kristi Yamaguchi doll

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Mattel called Yamaguchi 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." The doll will sell for just under $50 for one of the versions Mattel has released.
Yamaguchi has moved ahead after her Olympic win to focus on child literacy, authoring her book "Dream Big, Little Pig!" and founding the Always Dream Foundation. The organization has reached over 29 schools in northern California and in Hawaii, Yamaguchi said. She told Scripps News the organization hopes to be in nearly triple the amount of schools by 2027, which currently serves around 10,000 individuals each year.
She said, "When kids see themselves or see someone who inspires them, then it just opens up their world and their imagination to what's possible."
"It's an exciting time," she said. "It's also a very nerve-wracking, walking-on-eggshells kind of time too, but such a thrill."