Jessica Pegula recently spoke about her Korean heritage in an op-Ed on the Buffalo Bills’ website. Pegula’s parents own the Bills, an NFL team in New York. Her mother, Kim, was born in Seoul, South Korea and adopted by a couple from New York.
Pegula wrote the op-Ed for AAPI heritage month, describing her evolving relationship with her Korean identity.
“Growing up, I was never really in touch with my Asian roots. That started to change with a family trip to Seoul for the Korean Open in 2019,” she wrote
Pegula traveled to South Korea with her family for the Korean Open in 2019.
“I played in that tournament mostly because I wanted my mom to go. We visited her orphanage and learned about the process that brought her to the United States. It was a special experience we were able to share with my whole family, and it was tennis that brought us together for it,” Pegula wrote.
The tennis star wrote about her mother’s influence as one of the few Asian American women working as a sports executive. It inspire her to become a founding member of Asian American Pacific Islander Tennis Association.
Pegula is currently competing in the French Open where she is the no. 3 seed. She faces 28th ranked Elise Mertens on Friday in the third round. Pegula and CoCo Gauff will also play in the second round of the Women’s Doubles competition that day.
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