Amber Glenn Makes History as First LGBTQ+ Woman to Win U.S. Women’s Figure Skating Championship

Columbus, Ohio – Amber Glenn, a figure skater from the United States, has made history by becoming the first LGBTQ+ woman to win the U.S. women’s figure skating championship. After competing in six U.S. championships, Glenn’s score of 210.46 earned her the gold medal, a significant achievement for the openly queer athlete. In previous years, Glenn had finished on the podium multiple times, including a third-place finish in 2023. This victory marks a major milestone for both Glenn and the LGBTQ+ community in the world of figure skating.

Glenn expressed her joy at being the first openly queer women’s champion, acknowledging the fears she had about how her sexual identity might affect her scores. Over the last couple of years, Glenn has witnessed the positive impact of her visibility on young people in the sport, making her victory even more meaningful. While her performance in the free skate was not flawless, with a few missed elements costing her points, Glenn was still able to secure the top spot.

The silver medal went to Josephine Lee, who achieved an overall score of 204.13. Isabeau Levito, who was in the lead after Thursday’s short programs, finished in third place. Levito struggled during her free skate, suffering a couple of falls and earning a four-point deduction. Despite this disappointment, she reflected on the experience as a challenging yet awakening one.

In addition to Glenn’s historic win, the women’s free skate program also saw another milestone. Mia Kalin, a 15-year-old competitor, became the first woman to cleanly land a quadruple jump at the U.S. Championships. Although she did not finish on the podium, this accomplishment showcases the increasing skill and talent within figure skating.

Meanwhile, in the men’s short program, defending champion Ilia Malinin took an almost 20-point lead with a score of 108.57. This marked the largest lead in U.S. Figure Skating Championship history after the short programs. While Malinin did not execute the quad axel that made him famous in 2022, he still impressed the audience with two other quad skills. Maxim Naumov finished in second place with a total of 89.72 points.

Despite a fall that deducted one point from his score, Jason Brown, the former Olympian and 2015 U.S. champion, remained positive and expressed his love for the U.S. championships. The next events to crown their champions will be ice dance and pairs, with their long programs scheduled for Saturday.

Amidst the excitement and achievements at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Amber Glenn’s victory stands out as a groundbreaking moment for LGBTQ+ representation in the sport. As figure skating continues to evolve, these athletes are rewriting history and inspiring a new generation of competitors.