Alysa Liu

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Alysa Liu
Personal information
Country represented United States
Born (2005-08-08) 8 August 2005 (age 14)
Clovis, California, U.S.
Height1.47 m (4 ft 10 in)[1]
CoachLaura Lipetsky
ChoreographerLori Nichol, Rohene Ward, Ilona Melnichenko
Former choreographerCindy Stuart[1]
Skating clubSt. Moritz FSC
Training locationsOakland, California
Began skating2010
ISU personal best scores
Combined total208.10
2019 JGP United States
Short program69.30
2019 JGP United States
Free skate138.80
2019 JGP United States
Alysa Liu
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Alysa Liu (born 8 August 2005) is an American figure skater. She is the 2019 U.S. national champion. On the junior level, she is the 2019 JGP United States champion, and the 2018 U.S. junior national champion. Liu currently has the fifth highest total score of any junior lady — 208.10 points.

Liu is the second female skater (and first American female) to land a quadruple Lutz at an ISU-sanctioned competition after Alexandra Trusova, and the first to land the jump with positive grade of execution[citation needed].

Early life[edit]

Liu was born on 8 August 2005, in Clovis, California, the oldest child of Arthur Liu, an attorney who immigrated to the U.S. from a small mountain village in the Sichuan Province, China in the 1990s at the age of 25, after earning degrees in China. He was further educated in California, earning an MBA and a law degree.[2][3] Liu is the oldest of five children; like her siblings (a sister and triplets—two boys and a girl), she was conceived through an anonymous egg donor and a surrogate mother.[4] She attended Chinese school for three years, then attended the Oakland School for the Arts, which, at the time, offered an emphasis in figure skating. When she started missing too much school due to traveling to competitions, she began homeschooling at her father's law office in between practices. She uses the same online program that other skaters, including fellow Bay Area skaters Karen Chen and Vincent Zhou, have used.[1]


Early career[edit]

Liu began skating at the age of five, when her father, a fan of Michelle Kwan, brought her to the Oakland Ice Center. She began taking group lessons with her coach, Laura Lipetsky, a former figure skater who had trained under Frank Carroll, and quickly moved to individual sessions.[3][1][4] Her coach, Laura Lipetsky, began teaching her at 5½ years old and her choreographer, Cindy Stuart, also started working with her when she was young.[1]

Liu's first skating competition was as a juvenile in 2015, when she came in 7th place at the Central Pacific Regionals.[5] At the 2016 U.S. Championships, she became the youngest woman to earn the intermediate gold medal, winning by less than a point.[6][7] She was first after the short program; her free skate included two triple salchows, the first completed in combination with a double toe loop and earning her a "program-high 7.00 points".[6]

Competing in the novice category, Liu placed fourth at the 2017 U.S. Championships.[8] She was in first place after her short program, with a 1.22 point lead. Her short program included a split jump into a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination, which was ruled under-rotated, and a triple flip.[7] Liu fell to 4th place after the long program, where she landed two triple-triple combinations but did not earn sufficient program component scores to retain her narrow lead.[9]

2017–18 season[edit]

Liu opened her season with a silver medal at the 2017 Asian Open Trophy, where she finished second to Japan's Mana Kawabe.[10] She was the youngest skater to compete in the junior division at the 2018 U.S. Championships in San Jose, California. She won the competition, despite suffering from a cold and sore throat.[1][11] She scored a season's best in the short program with an almost seven-point lead going into the free skate. Her short program included three level-4 spins, a triple flip-triple toe loop combination combination, and a triple lutz, earning her 63.83 points.[12] She earned 120.33 points during her long program, after landing two double axels and seven triple jumps, which were all backloaded in the second half of the program. Liu was given extra points on all her jumps, except for the triple flip-single loop-triple salchow combination. She earned an overall score of 184.16 points, almost 18 more than silver medalist Pooja Kalyan and the second highest-ever score on the junior level.[11][13][14] Despite winning the gold, Liu was ineligible to compete at the 2018 World Junior Championships because she was not old enough. She was sent to the 2018 International Challenge Cup instead, where she won the advanced novice silver medal behind Hanna Yoshida of Japan.[15][16]

2018–19 season[edit]

In August 2018, Liu competed as a novice at the 2018 Asian Open Trophy in Bangkok, Thailand. She won the gold, outscoring the silver medalist, Japan's Sara Honda, by over ten points.[17] She landed a ratified triple Axel in the free skate, becoming the youngest skater in history to perform a clean triple Axel in an international competition and the fourth American lady to do so, following Tonya Harding, Kimmie Meisner, and Mirai Nagasu.[18]

Although Liu was too young to compete internationally at the senior or junior level, she qualified to compete in the senior ranks at the 2019 U.S. Championships in Detroit, Michigan.[19] On January 25, 2019, she broke Tara Lipinski's previous record and became the youngest skater to win the U.S. senior women's title, after placing second in the short to defending U.S. champion Bradie Tennell with a record score (which was broken minutes later by Tennell), and first in the free skate. She became the youngest female skater to land a triple axel at the U.S. Nationals, as well as the third woman to do so (after Harding and Meissner), and the first woman during a short program at Nationals.[20][21] She was also the first woman to complete three triple axels in U.S. competition. Liu scored 73.89 points in her short program, 2.71 points behind Tennell, the leader after the short program.[22][23] In the long program, Tennell and Mariah Bell, who took third place in the short program, both made errors, ""opening the door for Liu".[22] Her program component score "fell well short of Tennell's and Bell's",[22] but her technical scores made up the difference, and she posted an overall score of 217.51.[24] She completed two consecutive triple axels, the first one in combination, during her long program, and out of the other six triples she completed (one of which was also in combination), only the flip was downgraded.[22]

2019–20 season[edit]

Liu's first competition for the 2019–2020 season was at the inaugural Aurora Games, an international all-women competition held in August 2019. She earned perfect scores, led the U.S. team to first place overall, and was the first American woman to successfully complete a quadruple Lutz in competition, albeit in one not sanctioned by the ISU.[25]

Liu made her international competition debut at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Lake Placid in August 2019. Skating to "Don't Rain on My Parade" by Barbra Streisand in her short program, she scored 69.30 points, breaking her own personal best short program record by almost 20 points. She completed all her jumps, including three triples, completed three level-4 spins, and earned positive grades of execution for all seven elements.[26] During her long program, Liu became the first American women to complete a quadruple lutz in a competition. She also became the first female skater to complete a quadruple jump and a triple axel in the same program in a competition. Skating to pianist Jennifer Thomas’ version of “New World Symphony," which was choreographed by Lori Nichol, Liu started her long program with a triple axel-double toe loop combination, followed by her quadruple lutz, which she earned 13.80 points for. She fell on her second triple axel, but was able to successfully execute her following six triple jumps. She also earned level-4 scores for her three spins and top marks for her step sequence, earning a 59.66 program component score. She won the event by 21.52 points over the silver medalist, South Korean Park Yeon-jeong. It was the first in 20 Junior Grand Prix events that a non-Russian skater won and the first time an American won a Junior Grand Prix event since Polina Edmunds in 2013. [27][28]


Season Short program Free skating Exhibition

Records and achievements[edit]

  • Second lady to land a clean quadruple lutz at the 2019 JGP Unites States (goe +2.30), behind Alexandra Trusova.
  • First lady to land Triple Axel and quad jumps in one program (2019 JGP Unites States)

Competitive highlights[edit]

International: Junior
Event 17–18 18–19 19–20
JGP Poland TBD
JGP U.S. 1st
International: Novice
Asian Trophy 2nd 1st
Int. Challenge Cup 2nd
U.S. Champ. 1st J 1st
Pacific Coast 1st J 1st
Central Pacific 1st J 1st

2014–2015 to 2016–2017[edit]

Event 14–15 15–16 16–17
U.S. Championships 1st I 4th N
Pacific Coast Sectionals 1st I 2nd N
Central Pacific Regionals 6th V 2nd I 2nd N
Levels: N = Novice; I = Intermediate; V = Juvenile

Detailed results[edit]

2019–20 season
Date Event Level SP FS Total
18-21 September 2019 2019 JGP Poland Junior 4

28–31 August 2019 2019 JGP United States Junior 1
2018–19 season
Date Event Level SP FS Total
Jan. 19–27, 2019 2019 U.S. Championships Senior 2
1–5 August 2018 2018 Asian Figure Skating Trophy Adv. novice 1
2017–18 season
Date Event Level SP FS Total
22–25 February 2018 2018 International Challenge Cup Adv. novice 1
29 December 2017, to 8 January 2018 2018 U.S. Championships Junior 1
13–17 September 2017 2017 Novice and Junior Challenge Skate Junior 3
2–5 August 2017 2017 Asian Figure Skating Trophy Adv. novice 3
2016–17 season
Date Event Level SP FS Total
14–22 January 2017 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Championships Novice 1
14–18 September 2016 2016 Novice and Junior Challenge Skate Novice 5
2015–16 season
Date Event Level SP FS Total
15–24 January 2016 2016 U.S. Championships Intermediate 1


  1. ^ a b c d e f Almond, Elliot (28 December 2017). "Could this 12-year-old Richmond girl be figure skating's next big thing?". The Mercury News. San Jose, Calif. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  2. ^ Zhu, Lia (3 February 2018). "California skater, 12, a rising star". China Daily. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b Hersh, Philip (21 December 2018). "Skating prodigy Alysa Liu, a senior national competitor at 13, is using the present to avoid future shock". NBC Sports. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b Killion, Ann (31 January 2019). "Figure skater Alysa Liu returns home a champion, yet still a kid". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Juvenile Girls CR". 2015 Central Pacific Regional Championships. U.S. Figure Skating. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  6. ^ a b Whetstone, Mimi (17 January 2016). "Tkachenko and Kiliakov, Fendis repeat as champs". Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  7. ^ a b Rutherford, Lynn (16 January 2017). "Liu leads after impressive novice ladies short". Ice Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  8. ^ a b "2018–19 Figure Skating Roster: Alysa Liu". U.S. Figure Skating. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  9. ^ a b Rutherford, Lynn (17 January 2017). "Huang beats out tough novice ladies field for gold". Ice Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  10. ^ "2017 Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy Advanced Novice Girls Result". 8 May 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Almond, Elliot (2 January 2018). "Richmond's Alysa Liu pulls off another stunner". East Bay Times. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  12. ^ a b Rutherford, Lynn (1 January 2018). "Liu lands triple flip-triple toe, leads junior ladies". Ice Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  13. ^ a b Rutherford, Lynn (3 January 2018). "Precocious Liu storms her way to junior crown". Ice Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  14. ^ Lee, Vic (3 January 2018). "Young Richmond figure skater could get the gold". Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Challenge Cup Ladies Advanced Novice – Short Program Result Details". 25 February 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Challenge Cup Ladies Advanced Novice – Free Skating Result Details". 25 February 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  17. ^ "2018 Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy Advanced Novice Girls Result". International Skating Union. 3 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  18. ^ Almond, Elliott (2 August 2018). "This East Bay figure skater just landed an historic jump". The Mercury News. San Jose, Calif. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  19. ^ "Is this Bay Area teen about to redefine international figure skating?". The Mercury News. 2019-01-22. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  20. ^ Penny, Brandon (25 January 2019). "Bradie Tennell Sets New Score Record, 13-Year-Old Alysa Liu Lands Historic Triple Axel At Nationals". Team Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Alysa Liu, 13, youngest to win U.S. women's figure skating title". Associated Press. 26 January 2019.
  22. ^ a b c d Schwindt, p. 12
  23. ^ Walker, Elvin (April 2019). "Striking Detroit Gold". International Figure Skating. 24 (2): 22.
  24. ^ Schwindt, p. 13
  25. ^ Dougherty, Pete (24 August 2019). "Alysa Liu makes history in Aurora Games". Times Union. Albany, New York. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  26. ^ "Liu, Nguyen and Kolesnik Lead After Day Two at Junior Grand Prix Lake Placid". U.S. Figure 30 August 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  27. ^ "Alysa Liu Becomes First American Woman to Land Quadruple Lutz in Junior Grand Prix Win". U.S. Figure 31 August 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  28. ^ Rutherford, Lynn (31 August 2019). "Alysa Liu is first U.S. woman to land quad, wins Junior Grand Prix debut". NBC Retrieved 2 September 2019.

Works cited[edit]

External links[edit]