Mariah Bell, who last season became the oldest U.S. women’s figure skating champion in 95 years and made her first Olympic team at age 25, announced she is ending her competitive career.
“All good things must come to an end and I am so lucky I am ending with my love of skating at an all time high,” Bell wrote on social media. “See you on the ice again but now just for the fun of shows.”
Bell endured by winning her first national title in her ninth senior nationals appearance, a record wait in women’s singles, before placing 10th at the Olympics and fourth at the world championships.
She did not enter this fall’s Grand Prix Series while deciding her competitive future.
After winning the 2013 U.S. junior silver medal, she had her senior breakout three years later: a runner-up at Skate America, two months after moving from Colorado to California to train under Rafael Arutunian.
She was fifth at the 2018 U.S. Championships, missing that three-woman Olympic team. Bell rebounded to place third and second at the next two nationals, including a mesmerizing “Hallelujah” free skate at the latter after adding Adam Rippon to her coaching team.
After not making the 2021 World Championships team, she rebounded again to win the 2022 national title and become the oldest U.S. Olympic women’s singles skater since 1928.
“If you have a dream, there is no limit on the time you have to achieve that dream,” Bell said at nationals.
Bell is the second woman from the three-woman U.S. Olympic team to announce the end of her competitive career after Alysa Liu. Karen Chen, the third member of the team, is not competing this fall while returning to classes at Cornell and has not announced if or when she will compete again.
Bell is the first U.S. woman to leave competitive skating rather than defend a national title since Sasha Cohen in 2007 and the first to outright end her competitive career as national champion in three decades.
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