US Olympic figure skater retiring: ‘Moving on with my life’

Sports

Alysa Liu, of the United States, competes in the women’s free skate program during the figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(NEXSTAR) – After taking the ice for the U.S. during the Beijing Winter Olympics just months ago, figure skater Alysa Liu is hanging up her skates at the age of 16.

Liu announced the decision on Instagram Saturday, saying she feels “so satisfied with how my skating career had gone.”

The Richmond, California, native was the youngest of Team USA’s individual skaters in Beijing. She finished eighth after the short program but reached seventh after her long program. Liu is also a world championship bronze medalist.

“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 wrote. “I honestly never thought I would’ve accomplished as much as I did … now that I’m finally done with my goals in skating I’m going to be moving on with my life.”

In 2019, Liu became the youngest American champion in history at the age of 13. She’s now a two-time U.S. champion – and she might have become a three-time champion if it weren’t for the COVID-19 pandemic. Liu tested positive for the virus at the U.S. championships in January and was forced to withdraw.

Still, Liu was named to the 2022 U.S. Olympic team.

“It doesn’t matter what happens in the Olympic games, and what she wants to do in her life, in the rest of her life. I’m super proud of her,” Liu’s father Arthur said before the Winter Games.

Liu and her father, a former political refugee, were among those targeted in a spying operation that the Justice Department alleges was ordered by the Chinese government, the elder Liu says.

Arthur Liu told The Associated Press he had been contacted by the FBI last October, and warned about the scheme just as his 16-year-old daughter was preparing for the Winter Olympics that took place in Beijing in February. The father said he did not tell his daughter about the issue so as not to scare her or distract her from the competition.

The Justice Department announced charges against five men accused of acting on behalf of the Chinese government in a series of brazen and wide-ranging schemes to stalk and harass Chinese dissidents in the United States.

Arthur Liu said he and his daughter were included in the criminal complaint as “Dissident 3” and “family member,” respectively.

The Associated Press and KSEE’s Andrew Marden contributed to this report.

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