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kwan on panelMichelle Kwan, the most decorated figure skater in US history, visited UT on Thursday to speak and participate in a panel discussion with coaches from six countries as part of the Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports initiative.

If you missed the event, you can watch the webcast here. You will be asked to input your NetID and password.

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 State 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—have been in the United States to take part in activities surrounding the NCAA Women’s Final Four Multi-Nation Basketball Program.

Huffman, Hillyer, Cheek, Kwan, Rogero, Rider and ThompsonKwan, a five-time world figure skating champion and two-time Olympic medalist, now works as a senior advisor and the first public diplomacy envoy at the US Department of State. She travels the world and meets young people to speak about leadership and engage them in dialogue on social and educational issues.

Kwan talked about her skating career, how participating in sports helps young women develop confidence and discipline, and also how sports can provide a bridge to address international challenges.

Among the others participating in the event: Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek; Bob Rider, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences; Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero; Sarah Hillyer, director, and Ashleigh Huffman, assistant director, Center for Sport, Peace and Society; and Dixie Thompson, associate dean of CEHHS.