WOODINVILLE, Wash. — Like just about any 10-year-old girl, Yolanda Ji loves horses.
"I love that I can pet them," she said. "I can brush them. I can give them treats. And they're pretty and they're cute and they're kind."
After school she takes riding lessons, walking, trotting, cantering and galloping on her show jumping pony.
"Her name is Kali," she said. "I believe she's 10 years old and she's really pretty."
But Ji isn't just any other 10-year-old girl. That's because for years she's been singing "The Star Spangled Banner," in front of thousands of sports fans all across America.
"I don't think about how many people there are," Ji said. "I think about focusing on myself and not anyone else because it's just like singing at home. It's the same song."
JI has performed at Marlins Park in Miami and Camden Yards in Baltimore. She sang just a few feet away from LeBron James at the Forum. She has sung both the anthem and "God Bless America" several times in front of the home crowd at T-Mobile Park.
"The National Anthem is this song that honors our country and shows that we are free and we have freedom," she said.
Ji hits an unexpected high note on the line "that our flag was still there" which often gets a big cheer from the crowd. That's the reaction she loves the most.
"I love the anthem because it's fun to sing and I like my voice," Ji said. "I think it sounds nice and beautiful".
Ji started singing in kindergarten. She's had voice lessons and practices every evening. She's performed on New Day Northwest and for our show, in a horse pasture.
Her father Yichao Ji has seen his daughter perform at six ballparks so far.
"You just feel this enormous happiness and joy," he said.
And if you think driving your kid to soccer games is too much, Yolanda Ji said she's just getting started.
"My goal is to sing the national anthem for all 30 major league baseball teams by the age of 18," she said.
On Sunday, May 7, Ji performs the national anthem before the Sounders match at Lumen Field and then crosses the street to sing "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at T-Mobile Park. Later this month she will sing the anthem in Cleveland.
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