Two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan came to speak at UF on Thursday on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign.
After Kwan finished her Olympic career as a figure skater, she went back to school to focus on political science and international relations. She is now the surrogate outreach coordinator for the Hillary Clinton campaign.
“She has been fighting for us, so we have to fight for her,” Kwan said.
Kwan also emphasized the need for APIA students to talk to their friends and family who may be disinterested in politics about the upcoming elections, since they are the swing vote.
“People fought to make sure you have a voice in these elections, so use it,” Kwan said.
Kwan’s parents immigrated to the US with a belief in the American Dream.
“Secretary Clinton has been fighting for the AAPI community as Secretary of State, as First Lady, as Senator, and she will continue to do that as President,” Kwan said.
According to Kwan, making college affordable and making it easier to vote are both issues that impact the APIA community.
Clinton’s college affordability plan would impact 175,000 students in Florida by allowing them to graduate debt free, she said.
The campaign website’s description of Hillary Clinton’s college plan promises that “by 2021, families with income up to $125,000 will pay no tuition at in-state four-year public colleges and universities.”
Ianne Itchon, internal vice president of Asian American Student Union, said that she came to the event because Michelle Kwan was one of her biggest inspirations.
“Growing up, she was one of the only athletes that looked like me that was American also,” the third-year biochemistry major said. “She wasn’t someone from a different country. She was Asian American just like me.”
While Itchon said that she grew up clumsy, she always dreamed about being on the ice and looked up to Michelle Kwan. Her favorite movie is Ice Princess, where Kwan plays a reporter and mentor to a young figure skater.
“She’s just one of my favorite people,” Itchon said. “And last night, I did watch like half of Ice Princess again.”
After hearing what Michelle Kwan had to say, Itchon said that she could be leaning towards voting for Clinton.
According to Itchon, Clinton has spoken more about what she can do for people of color than Trump has.
“No matter what you believe in, you should take part in what I think is going to be a historical election for this country,” Itchon said.
Featured photo courtesy of UF Asian Pacific Islander American Affairs.