Bay Area native Alysa Liu, a two-time United States national figure skating champion and 2022 Winter Olympian, announced her retirement at age 16 on Saturday.
She finished seventh — best among Americans — in the Beijing Games’ women’s figure skating competition, which featured controversy centered around Russian Kamila Valieva’s doping tests. Then, she won bronze at last month’s world championships in her final competition on that stage.
In an Instagram post, Liu said she started skating when she was five years old, she “never thought I would have accomplished so much,” and “now that i’m finally done with my goals in skating I’m going to be moving on with my life.”
“This skating thing has taught me a lot more about life than I anticipated,” Liu said in her Instagram post. “I’m really glad I skated.”
Liu won the United States women’s singles championships in Detroit in 2019, becoming the youngest national champion ever at age 13. She repeated as champion in Greensboro, North Carolina in 2020 and took home a bronze medal at the 2020 women’s singles championship in Tallin, Estonia.
Liu missed the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang because she was too young to participate and was nearly unable to partake in the 2022 Games in Beijing due to a positive COVID-19 test at the U.S. Championships in Nashville in January.
The talented skater was forced to withdraw from the qualifying competition and petition to join the United States team. Her petition was successful and Liu became the youngest athlete to represent the country at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
After under-rotating her triple axel during her Olympic program, Liu finished seventh in the free skate and overall.
“I’m really glad I went for everything and didn’t fall,” Liu told reporters at the Olympics. “I’m still in shock at how well I did. I worked a lot on this and I’m glad I did two clean programs. I’m making a lot of memories here.”
Liu’s father later revealed that he and his daughter had been the targets of Chinese spying efforts in the leadup to the Games.
In her retirement post, Liu described her skating career as “a lot of good and a lot of bad but (you know) that’s just how it is.”
Born in Clovis, Liu attended the Oakland School for the Arts before she began homeschooling so she could travel to more competitions. She was homeschooled through California Connections Academy, an online program used by many elite skaters such as Palo Alto’s Vincent Zhou and Fremont’s Karen Chen.
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