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9-year-old ice skates to inspire other Black children

A video of Kaitlyn Saunders skating in Black Lives Matter Plaza to the song "Rise Up" went viral over the weekend.

WASHINGTON — One 9-year-old Washington, D.C. native is skating for hope -- hope for better days, hope for justice, and hope for equality. 

After seeing Mayor Muriel Bowser have the words Black Lives Matter painted down 16th Street in front of the White House, and hearing the mayor say that her hope is for all to speak up for themselves, 9-year-old Kaitlyn Saunders wanted to express her hope the only way she knew how: through skating.

Kaitlyn has been ice skating for two and a half years. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Kaitlyn trained daily with her coach, Joel Savary of Diversify Ice Foundation. Kaitlyn still trains daily, but now it's virtually with coaches from all around the world.

At 5:30 a.m. while the streets were still empty, Kaitlyn and her parents went down to Black Lives Matter Plaza to record a video of her skating to one of her favorite songs, “Rise Up” by Andra Day. 

"She wanted to be a part of history," Kaitlyn’s mom, Katrice Saunders, said. "Kaitlyn improvised the routine and hopes she inspires more Black children to think about ice skating." 

One day, Kaitlyn plans to become a figure skater, but for now, she’ll skate along Black Lives Matter Plaza. Her mom posted the video online and the post went viral!

To watch Kaitlyn’s skating progress videos, visit @the.skate.kid

RELATED: DC mayor unveils Black Lives Matter Plaza, mural painted on 16th Street

RELATED: Hundreds march to White House for 'Prayer Walk for Peace and Justice' amid protests

RELATED: 'I had to tell her that I fear police. I didn't want to have to do that' | Black DC father explains race relations to biracial child

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