An Olympic medalist brought her message on empowering women to Knoxville.

Figure skater Michelle Kwan spoke Thursday at UT as part of the Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative. It's an effort by the U.S. State Department.

Two dozen young women from six countries are in the U.S. through next week to take part in activities related to the NCAA Women's Final Four.

Kwan says sports is a common language, and it's a great way for girls to come together.

"It builds confidence. Sports is a way that teaches you about teamwork, hard work, about work ethic, about, for me at least, when I was in skating, falling on the ice and getting back up. And these lessons that you learn can be applied outside sports as well," she said.

In late April, more than a dozen female soccer players from Brazil will travel to UT to be part of a program focused on the World Cup and women's empowerment.

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