An East Bay figure skater has her eyes set on the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Alysa Liu of Richmond is 16 and has already accomplished so much, including two back-to-back national titles.
Liu started skating when she was 5 years old. At 13, she became the youngest ever U.S. women’s national champion. At 14, she won the title again.
Back then, she was 4 feet 8 inches tall. Now, she’s 5-foot-2.
“I had to change up my technique. I had to work more on height instead of just pure rotation,” Liu said. “I worked on it for like a good year, working on exercises. So, now that I’m doing axels and quads again, I can do them like normal.”
Liu’s coach, Massimo Scali, said he gets chills watching her skate with so much beauty and strength.
“One of the most beautiful comments that we always get from judges is that you can feel her joy when she does what she loves to do,” Scali said.
Off the ice, Liu gets joy from doing 16-year-old activities, like hanging out with friends and learning how to drive.
“I’ve driven a few times in parking lots,” she said. “No license, but in empty parking lots I did it a few times. I’m not that bad actually.”
Bay Area figure skater Alysa Liu discusses how competing in a post-pandemic world has changed.