Karen Chen ’23, a human development major in the College of Human Ecology, placed fourth in the women’s final at the 2020 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Jan. 24 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Chen, 20, from Fremont, California, arrived at Cornell in fall 2019. She won the 2017 U.S. championship and placed 11th at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
At Cornell, she is balancing training and studying, while competing at the sport’s highest level.
“My schedule is very packed. If I’m not at the rink or gym, I’m studying. I wish I could say I have it all figured out, but I’m not quite there yet,” Chen said. “However, knowing that balancing school and skating is something I want to do for myself gives me the grit and determination to figure it out no matter how tough it gets.”
Chen, who began ice skating at age 4, has already written a memoir (“Finding the Edge: My Life on the Ice”) and is a brand ambassador for an activewear company. She has her eyes on a return to the Olympics, in 2022 in Beijing.
“My proudest achievement [is] making the  Olympic Team,” Chen said. “Although I didn’t skate how I hoped, every time I look back at that moment, I feel pride in how hard I worked and all the sacrifices I made to earn that spot on the Olympic team.”
– Stephen D’Angelo