Alysa Liu retires from figure skating competition at age 16

Alysa Liu
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Alysa Liu retired from figure skating competition at age 16, three years after becoming the youngest U.S. champion in history and weeks after placing seventh at the Olympics and third at the world championships.

“I’m here to announce that i am retiring from skating,” was posted on her Instagram on Saturday. “I started skating when i was 5 so that’s about 11 years on the ice and it’s been an insane 11 years. a lot of good and a lot of bad. … i feel so satisfied with how my skating career has gone. now that i’m finally done with my goals in skating i’m going to be moving on with my life.”

Liu’s father and U.S. Figure Skating later confirmed the veracity of the post.

Liu said before and after last month’s world championships — where she became the first U.S. female singles skater to earn a medal in six years — that she was undecided on whether to continue competing next season.

Some skaters retire after one Olympics, though Liu would be the first U.S. female singles skater to not bid for a second Olympics since 2002 gold medalist Sarah Hughes.

Liu’s Olympic teammates — Mariah Bell and Karen Chen — also said last month that they were undecided about competing next season. Chen will resume studies at Cornell but could try to juggle skating.

Liu made a big splash in 2019, at age 13, when she broke Tara Lipinski‘s record as youngest U.S. champion. She was also the youngest woman to land a triple Axel internationally (also 13) and the first U.S. woman to land a quadruple jump in competition (age 14). She repeated as national champion in 2020.

Her last positively graded triple Axel or quad was in the 2019-20 season, after which she had multiple coaching changes in the last two years.

This year, she withdrew during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January after a positive COVID test following her third-place short program. She successfully petitioned onto the three-woman team as the highest-ranked American in international competition this season.

In her Olympic debut, she was the top American in seventh place. She followed that last month with a bronze medal at a world championships without Russian skaters.

Liu is the oldest of five children raised in the Bay Area by a single father who emigrated to the U.S. from China in 1989.

Philip Hersh contributed to this report.

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