Sixteen-year-old prodigy Alysa Liu is stepping away from figure skating. She officially announced her retirement from the sport on Saturday afternoon in an Instagram post.
“I started skating when I was 5 so that’s about 11 years on the ice and it’s been an insane 11 years,” Liu said via Instagram. “A lot of good and a lot of bad but that’s just how it is.”
Following her first Olympic debut at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, Liu has decided to hang up the skates. But who knows if it will really be her last? For now, the young athlete is happy with what she has accomplished and plans to take on something a bit more conventional for individuals her age: college.
“Now that I’m finally done with my goals in skating, I’m going to be moving on with my life,” Liu said. “I’m probably just gonna spend all my spare time with my family and friends, and I’m also going to study.”
The two-time national champion was forced to withdraw from the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships after testing positive for COVID-19 in January 2022, right before the U.S. spots were named for the Beijing Olympic team.
Refusing to give up the ultimate chance to showcase her talent, Liu became the first skater to petition for a spot in the Olympics since Michelle Kwan did so in 2006 due to a groin injury. And her persistence paid off. After her petition was granted and she was named to the Olympic team, Liu ended up scoring a 69.50 to place eighth in the women’s short program at the Winter Games.
Despite her choice to retire at such an early age, Liu has quite a colorful resume of accomplishments. She is content with her career and is ready to move forward.
“I feel so satisfied with how my skating career has gone,” Liu said.
Liu is a two-time World bronze medalist (2020, 2022), the 2021 CS Nebelhorn Trophy champion, the 2021 CS Lombardia Trophy champion and a two-time U.S. national champion (2019, 2020). She is also a two-time Junior Grand Prix champion, the 2019-20 Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist, as well as the 2018 U.S. junior national champion.
Liu picked up the skates in 2010 and won her first national title at only 13 years old, making her the youngest-ever U.S. women’s national champion. A year later at age 14, Liu became the youngest to win two senior national titles.