There likely will be no Sochi Olympics for two-time U.S. Championships winner Alissa Czisny.
Tuesday the 26-year-old announced that she was withdrawing from the 2014 Midwestern Sectional Figure Skating Championships, set to get underway this week. Czisny needed to finish in the top four at that competition to qualify for the U.S. Championships in January, the Olympic qualifying event for U.S. skaters.
“It’s a tough decision for me not to compete at sectionals this week,” the 2009 and 2011 national champion said via a press release. “I’ve given my very best to make a full recovery and a successful comeback to competition, but I’m simply not yet completely prepared to be competitive. I’ve made great progress, and all the elements are returning, but it’s been slow and I cannot rush the process without risking further injury.”
Injuries have marred Czisny’s career, that has stretched over a decade and saw her win eight Grand Prix medals, three U.S. Championships medals and place as high as fifth at the World Championships, in 2011.
“I’m so thankful for everyone who has supported me on this journey, and especially to those people who have been there every step of the way,” said Czisny. “It breaks my heart that I will not be competing this season. As for the future, I’m still uncertain what that holds for me. Skating has been a passion for me, and I definitely want to continue skating through performing in shows.”
Czisny, along with 2010 U.S. national champion and Olympian Rachael Flatt, was looking to make an unlikely comeback to the podium at Nationals after struggling through injuries. Both women won their regional competitions in October.
Alissa Czisny, the Audrey Hepburn of the skating world. I love you and am blessed to call you my friend. You’re an inspiration.
— Jeremy Ten (@j3r3bear) November 20, 2013