Karen Chen's mom designed her figure skating costume.
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Olympic Skater Karen Chen's Mom Made Her Sparkly Costume

They’re quite a talented family.

by Jen McGuire

Karen Chen came out strong at the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing this year. She might only be 22 years old, but she’s already won a silver medal in the team event. And let’s face it; she looked really lovely doing her thing too. When Chen performed for her butterfly-themed free skate in Beijing on Monday, she wore a lilac beaded costume that stole the show.

All thanks to her mom.

Putting The “Blood, Sweat, & Tears” In For Her Daughter

Chen’s incredibly intricate, lilac skating costume complete with heavy beading was actually created by mom Hsiu-Hui Tseng, the young Olympian explained in a video on Team USA’s Twitter account. Or mostly made by her mom, at any rate. “She probably does 90 percent of the work,” Chen explained in the clip. “I do 10 percent, and by 10 percent, I just tell her, ‘Oh, that looks good,’ or ‘That doesn’t look good.’” Tseng added the appliques, rhinestones, and hand-sewn beading with her own “blood, sweat, and tears,” Chen explained, and it paid off. Not only did Chen love it, the rest of the world did too,

Inheriting Some “Mad Skillz”

Karen Chen inherited skills from her mom.

The proud daughter took to Instagram for Mother’s Day where she shared a video of her Tseng skating on one foot with the message, “happy mother’s day to the v talented mom who gave me my mad one foot gliding skillz!”

Inspiring Their Kids

Karen Chen’s parents inspired her.

Chen grew up in California with mom Tseng and dad Chih-Hsiu Chen, both of whom moved the family to California after each getting their masters at Syracuse University. And once they realized their daughter was interested in figure skating, they become hugely influential to her career, “Since I was a really shy kid growing up, trying new things was extremely challenging, however, because of how supportive and encouraging my parents were, I was able to stumble into the figure skating world,” Chen told NBC. “As I got more and more into this sport, my mom's competitive nature and my dad's patience rubbed off on me, which helped me grow me desire to succeed in this sport while still understanding that goals take time and trust to come true.”

Not The Only Skater In The Family

Karen Chen’s brother is also an impressive skater.

Karen is not the only world-class skater in the Chen household. Her younger brother Jeffrey is also a talented ice dancer who was the 2021 Junior National Champion and won gold at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games. Jeffrey skates with partner Katarina Wolfkostin, and he told Team USA in 2020 that his older sister was a big part of his own skating journey. “I didn’t actually like skating at the beginning when I started off,” Chen said. “But then Karen was my inspiration for skating. Watching her compete and improve was really motivating.”

Not just one but two figure skaters in the family along with a super talented designer. Now that’s inspirational.