Alysa Liu changes coaches less than three months before Olympics

Alysa Liu at the 2021 NHK Trophy on November 12, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/International Skating Union via Getty Images)

2020 World Junior bronze medalist and two-time U.S. national champion Alysa Liu officially announced a coaching change on Monday – merely over 70 days before the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The 16-year-old Californian has left Massimo Scali and Jeremy Abbott in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to train with Christy Krall, Drew Meekins, and Viktor Pfeifer in Colorado Springs. The coaching change was confirmed by Liu’s father, Arthur Liu, to NBC Sports.

According to journalist Philip Hersh, Liu’s father stated, “I felt Alysa needed more intensity in her training and the coaches and I were not on the same page as to how the training should be.”


Liu began working with Scali in the end of 2019 and added Abbott to her coaching team in late 2020.

After becoming the youngest ever U.S. women’s national champion, in January 2019, at the age of 13, Liu became the youngest two-time national champion the following year. In January 2021, she finished fourth at the U.S. Championships but looked to have returned to winning ways at the start of the 2021-2022 season – winning the Cranberry Cup International in August and two International Skating Union (ISU) Challenger Series competitions in September (the Lombardia Trophy and the Nebelhorn Trophy). At the Nebelhorn Trophy, Liu earned the U.S. a third spot in the women’s event for the upcoming Olympics.

In late October, Liu placed fifth at Skate Canada International – her debut in the ISU Grand Prix series. Two weeks later, she was fourth at the NHK Trophy.

The 2022 U.S. Championships, which will help determine the figure skaters who will be sent to take part at the Olympic Games in Beijing, kicks off on January 3.

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