By Kathy Chouteau
Richmond resident and two-time reigning U.S. women’s figure skating champ, Alysa Liu is set to make her senior international debut, according to an NBC Sports report. Following the International Skating Union’s announcement Tuesday of the Grand Prix assignments for the 2021-22 figure skating season, it’s been revealed that Liu, 15, will make her senior Grand Prix debut at Skate Canada, Oct. 29-31 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Although she blazed trails at an early age, Liu had to wait until she was age eligible to compete against the world’s best.
The Grand Prix Series includes six international competitions and a point-scoring series that awards prize money to eligible skaters, according to U.S. Figure Skating. At the end of the series, points are totaled and the top six ladies, men, pairs and ice dance teams will be eligible to compete at the 2021 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final set for Dec. 9-12 in Osaka, Japan.
At 13, Liu was the first U.S. woman to land both a triple axel in the short program and two triple axels in the free skate at nationals. A year later, she was the first U.S. woman to do a successful quadruple jump (a.k.a. the lutz) while in competition. Subsequently, she became the youngest women’s champion ever (at age 13 in 2019) and then the youngest ever to win two titles (14 in 2020).
Now, nearly 16, Liu’s time on the international stage competing against the world’s best has come.
Accompanying Liu at her first Grand Prix will be Karen Chen, in a competition that will include Russians Yelizaveta Tuktamysheva (2021 World silver medalist), Aliona Kostornaya (2019 Grand Prix Final victor) and Kamila Valiyeva, a first-year senior, per the report.
Liu will then head to Tokyo with Amber Glenn for NHK Trophy over Nov. 12-14 to compete against Russian 2021 World Bronze medalist Aleksandra Trusova and Japan’s Rika Kihira and Kaori Sakamoto according to NBC Sports.