The idea was to show Alysa Liu what her future might look like and for her to get comfortable seeing herself in that picture.
So Samuel Auxier, U.S. Figure Skating’s international committee chair, arranged for Liu and her coach, Laura Lipetsky, to attend the junior and senior Grand Prix Final competitions earlier this month in Vancouver.
“Having judged and watched the Junior Grand Prixes, it was clear our skaters competing their first time in them were often very intimidated by the Russian and Japanese ladies,” Auxier said.
He soon realized that Liu isn’t intimidated by much.
“At first, she was amazed by the Russian ladies, but then (she) wanted to get out there and show them her triple Axels,” Auxier said.
That’s right, triple Axels.
The triple Axels Liu, 13, plans to show in the senior competition at next month’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit.
The jumps that make 1998 Olympic champion Tara Lipinski think Liu is good enough to take the senior national title three seasons before she will be age eligible for senior international events.
Lipinski, who will be commentating at nationals for NBC, knows whereof she speaks on the subject of precocious success. She is the youngest Olympic champion in history (age 15) and the youngest world champion in history (14), and she finished 15th in the senior world championships at 13 (age eligibility rules then were different.)
“If Alysa does all her elements, she has a very real chance to win the event,” Lipinski said. “I think we will definitely see her on the podium unless something goes terribly wrong.”
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