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Olympian Karen Chen’s figure skating dress was designed by her mom

The Team USA star says her mother put “blood, sweat and tears” into the beaded, lilac costume she wore during her butterfly-themed free skate.
Figure Skating - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 3
Karen Chen during the free skating team event on day three of the Beijing Olympics at Capital Indoor Stadium on Monday.Jean Catuffe / Getty Images

Karen Chen helped the U.S. secure the silver in team figure skating this week with a beautiful free state performance, but it wasn't just her triple lutz, triple loops or layback spins that brought beauty to the ice.

Chen wore a stunning, heavily detailed, lilac costume for her routine, and now she’s revealed the designer behind it — her own mother.

In a video shared on Team USA’s official Twitter account, the 22-year-old explained how mom Hsiu-Hui Tseng made the piece that suited her free skate so well, as well as how she helped.

“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.’”

Figure Skating - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 3
Chen's mother, Hsiu-Hui Tseng, created her detailed, lilac costume.Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

But the difficult details, which include hand-placed beads, rhinestones, sequins and appliques, are all down to mom.

“She does all the hard work, and she puts in blood, sweat and tears into it,” Chen said.

And it shows.

“I think my favorite part is probably how this butterfly down here, she strategically put the stones and arranged them in a way so that it looks like a butterfly,” she noted as she pointed out a collection of rhinestones on the front of her costume. “Because, in my free program, I’m skating to ‘Butterfly Lovers Concerto,’ and I just want to be a pretty butterfly on the ice.”

Figure Skating - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 3
"I just want to be a pretty butterfly on the ice," Chen said of what she hoped her costume would communicate. Lintao Zhang / Getty Images

Thanks to Tseng’s design, and her own moves, she achieved that goal.

Last year, in an Instagram post that celebrated Tseng on Mother’s Day, Chen shared something else her mother gave her.

“Happy mother’s day to the v talented mom who gave me my mad one foot gliding skillz!” the now-silver medalist wrote.