Lausanne, Switzerland


The International Skating Union (ISU) is proud to announce the American Figure Skating Coach Michelle Hong as the “WISD Icon #1” of the second World Ice Skating Day (WISD) edition, taking place on December 3, 2023. This annual festival strives to open the doors of ice skating rinks to everyone all over the world with the purpose to experience in a joyful and fun way the practice and techniques of ice skating sports. As a globally recognized Figure Skating coach, Michelle Hong with her unique teaching and mentorship style has been dedicated in making Figure Skating accessible by empowering every generation and level of skaters. Her inclusive approach perfectly resonates with the values of the World Ice Skating day creating a powerful partnership that promises to break down barriers and unleash new opportunities in the ice skating world. 

With more than fifteen years of expertise as a former national-ranked Figure Skater and current Coach/Choreographer, Michelle Hong is also a precursor in the field of online coaching. In 2016, she launched what she believes was the first digital platform for Figure Skating tutorials - an activity that grew tremendously in parallel to the “traditional” coaching lessons she is giving at the Oakland Ice Center in California (USA).

Michelle Hong WISD 5 LD

Figure Skating Coach Michelle Hong, Oakland Ice Center, California, USA, 2023. @Jasmin Guinn

Driven by the willingness to share her passion well beyond a local area, Michelle naturally came to the idea to produce a series of free videos about skating, workouts and stretching tips, while more recently introduced a virtual coaching program known as Coach Michelle Academy. Gaining in popularity over the years, Michelle contributed in creating a major breakthrough by making the sport accessible to a global audience, which has now garnered over 1 million followers just on her @coachmichelle TikTok account, plus an impressive following on Instagram and YouTube.

"For me, it was all about giving back and creating an opportunity and a resource bank where there’s lack of,” she said. “Skating is something that is really difficult to get into. A lot of people feel like there’s a barrier to enter. For me, it’s all about making sure people around the world feel they can have the opportunity to skate.”

Michelle’s vision truly aligns with the ISU’s mission and goals to strengthen diversity, inclusion and fairness within the ice skating community, as exemplified by the “World Ice Skating Day”, which is not just a day but a movement. This initiative not only aims at encouraging aspiring skaters to step into the sport – regardless of their age, economic/social background or physical ability – but also supports the development of all ice skating disciplines especially in countries where they are still at a nascent stage.

Michelle Hong WISD 3 LD

Figure Skating Coach Michelle Hong, Oakland Ice Center, California, USA, 2023. @ Emily Bers

Michelle Hong embarked on her figure skating journey at the tender age of 7, inspired by the passion her older sister, Melissa, had developed for the sport. As the children of Cambodian refugees, Michelle's parents initially had little knowledge of figure skating, but their hearts were touched by their children's deep affection for it. Despite facing resource constraints, Michelle displayed remarkable dedication and perseverance, achieving the Senior Moves-in-the-Field Test milestone by the age of 12. At just 13 years old, she qualified for the US Jr. National Championships at the Juvenile Level, repeating the achievement at the Intermediate Level the following year. Michelle's list of accomplishments includes being the 2009 Central Pacific Novice Ladies Regional Champion, earning qualifications for the Pacific Coast Sectional Championships at the Novice, Junior, and Senior levels, and achieving the distinction of being a two-time US National Alternate and ISI World Champion.

Michelle Hong WISD 2 LD

Figure Skating Coach Michelle Hong, Oakland Ice Center, California, USA, 2023. @ Emily Bers

Michelle’s continuous passion for the sport of Figure Skating shined long after her own competitive skating career. While studying at the University of California Berkeley, where she majored in Business Administration and Media Studies at the Haas School of Business, she served as the President of the Cal Figure Skating Team helping it grow from 5 members her freshman year to 30+ members her Senior year. During that period, she found tremendous joy not just in teaching the sport's technique and skills, but also in inspiring athletes to build inner confidence both on and off the rink.

Michelle Hong WISD 4 LD

Figure Skating Coach Michelle Hong, Oakland Ice Center, California, USA, 2023. @ Emily Bers

After graduating, Michelle began her career as a Business Analyst for a biotech business, but  soon discovered her vocation to coaching full-time with the hopes of changing the sport. This is when she started to launch her digital coaching platform by adopting a holistic approach in the video content she is creating: from skating skills, choreography, off-ice conditioning, flexibility to emotional strength and inner confidence. All aspects of the Figure Skating “life” are covered to support her students and online community at every step of the way.  

Michelle Hong WISD 1 LD

Figure Skating Coach Michelle Hong, Oakland Ice Center, California, USA, 2023. @ Emily Bers

In addition to the above, Michelle also held important positions in programs that help better the sport and experiences of those in it, like U.S Figure Skating’s Aspire that was created to provide accessible and affordable on and off-ice group classes beyond the Learn-to-Skate Program levels. She is also the co-founder of the “Figure Skating Diversity & Inclusion Alliance” created in 2020 along with fellow WISD Ambassador (2022) and Canadian former competitive skater Elladj Baldé as well as professional skater Mariyah Gerber.

As a WISD Icon, Michelle will share her coaching tips and expertise to the entire skating community with a series called “#WISDom with Coach Michelle” that includes specially curated videos beneficial to skaters of all levels and disciplines, with a special focus on beginners and recreational skaters. This tailor-made series of content will be showcased on both the WISD social media channels and Coach Michelle Hong’s social media accounts.

Michelle Hong WISD 6 LD

Figure Skating Coach Michelle Hong, Oakland Ice Center, California, USA, 2023. @ Jasmin Guinn


So stay tuned and get ready to glide together around the world on December 3, 2023 !


Discover the WISD event and the participation processes here:

To know more about Michelle Hong’s coaching offering:


About World Ice Skating Day

The World Ice Skating Day presented by the International Skating Union (ISU), is a one-day global festival dedicated to Ice Skating celebrated on the first Sunday of December. The key objectives are to make Ice Skating sports accessible to everyone in a fun and safe environment – for first-timers, amateurs, professionals or retired competitive skaters – by creating a memorable experience for the entire family. The concept of the World Ice Skating Day stemmed from the idea to popularize and share the spirit of Ice Skating worldwide through a celebration with a vision towards development, inclusion and fairness. For further information please visit World Ice Skating Day website.