Alysa Liu announces retirement from figure skating

The 16-year-old makes the surprise announcement just two weeks after winning World Championships bronze, saying she was "going to be moving on with my life".

By ZK Goh
Picture by Óscar Corrons/Olympics.com

Just two weeks after claiming bronze at the World Figure Skating Championships, Alysa Liu is quitting the sport.

The 16-year-old made the surprise announcement on Instagram on Saturday (9 April), saying she was "done with my goals in skating" and would "[move] on with my life".

"i started skating when i was 5 so that’s about 11 years on the ice and it’s been an insane 11 years," she wrote. "i honestly never thought i would’ve accomplished as much as i did LMAOO i’m so happy. i feel so satisfied with how my skating career has gone."

During her career, Liu won two senior U.S. national championship titles, becoming the youngest athlete to win the women's crown when she did so in 2019 aged just 13. She retained her title in 2020, prior to the pandemic, which – coupled with injuries and a growth spurt – slowed Liu down.

She won Team USA an additional Olympic spot for Beijing 2022 at the Nebelhorn Trophy last October and, although she had to withdraw from the 2022 nationals after contracting Covid, was named to the Olympic squad.

Liu finished seventh in the Chinese capital, opting against attempting the triple Axel or any quadruple jumps, which she had previously landed in Junior Grand Prix competition. The full results of the women's singles event in Beijing remain provisional.

Her final competition was the World Championships last month in Montpellier, France, where she improved from fifth after the short program to win bronze.

Speaking after that medal, Liu said of the past two years: "I lost a lot of my motivation. I was barely going to the rink, not doing off-ice [workouts]. Then I grew a lot and got injured quite a bit. I had an on-and-off injury and that really slowed me down. Honestly, I have no idea how I got my motivation back and got to this point."

This season was Liu's debut year at the senior level. She previously won two ISU Challenger Series golds, two ISU Junior Grand Prix golds, a Junior Grand Prix Final silver, and a World Junior Championships bronze medal.

"this skating thing has taught me a lot more about life than i anticipated," Liu concluded her social media post.

"i’m really glad i skated."

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