Alysa Liu just made history!
The Northern California girl took home the gold during the U.S. Women’s Figure Skating Championship held in Detroit, Michigan, on Friday. At only 13 years old, Alysa’s win makes her the youngest U.S. women’s champion ever, according to People.
During her winning routine, the young teen managed to land two triple axels, an incredible feat in and of itself. Alysa is only the fourth American female who has managed to land even a single triple axel during a competition. Tonya Harding landed the first in 1991, Kimmie Meissner landed one in 2005, and most recently, Mirai Nagasu landed her own triple axel at the Winter Olympics in 2018. Alysa is the first female figure skater ever to successfully land two in a competition.
Alysa managed to beat out the 2018 champion, Bradie Tennell, who took silver this year. The bronze medal went to another star skater, 22-year-old Mariah Bell.
The young girl’s reaction to hearing her score of 217.51 — and realizing she’d taken first place — was adorably emotional and poignant. Even better, skating legend Tara Lipinski was on hand to congratulate the skating prodigy personally. Tara previously held the record as the youngest U.S. women’s champion after winning gold at age 14.
“Records are made to be broken […] It is quite an honor that she is the one to do it. What a phenomenal talent,” Tara said as a commentator during the event, according to ESPN.
Despite the fact that she won gold, Alysa is too young to compete in the upcoming world championships later this season. International events require a minimum age of 15, ESPN reports. This means that Alysa won’t be able to compete internationally until 2022 — which is, coincidentally, the year of the next Winter Olympics. But the 4-foot-7-inch Alysa is more than happy to wait for her moment in the spotlight.
“I’m not too worried about [waiting],” she told ESPN. “Because I get more time to work on my jumps, skating skills, spins, and just trying to learn more.”
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