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Teen figure skater Alysa Liu seeks Beijing Olympic spot on Team USA



Alysa Liu performs during the women's free skate at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Las Vegas.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In the weeks leading up to arguably the most important competition of her life, Alysa LiuAccording to her, she’s not been under too much pressure.

She claimed that she has felt more at home, if anything.

The 16-year old said, “I think that I’ve basically blocked all of my expectations,” during a conference call.

This feat is impressive, especially considering the expectations.

She is only 16 years old. LiuAlready won two senior U.S. national championships in 2019 and 2020. She is the benchmark for U.S. female athletes onThe Grand Prix circuit in winter. It is expected that she will win. spot on Team USAWith a strong performance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Figure Skating Championships.

“I don’t care anymore about the expectations.” Liu said. “… “…

The U.S. women aren’t expected to win a medal at the Winter Olympics next month, given the Russians’ recent dominance in the event. However, there is a competition for one of three spots. onThe U.S. Olympic team has been fierce – and this week is expected to be no different.

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A few U.S. women have been competing for podium appearances and domestic titles since the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Five different women have reached nationals: Bradie Tennell (Bradie Tennell), Karen Chen, Amber Glenn, Karen Chen and Mariah Bell. Liu. Bridgestone Arena will host all but Tennell, who pulled out due to injury.

Last year, for example, the women’s competition at nationals was so fierce that no more than two points separated second, third, and fourth.

“When I think about nationals, I am excited – but at the same time I get very, very nervous,” Chen said. “Because everyone of us is working towards the (same), goal, and only three out of us ladies get to be involved in it, onThe Olympic team. It’s quite difficult.”

Chen, 22, stated that she had leaned. on2018: The memories, when she emerged from a crowd to make the Olympic team. She said that if she does it once, it is possible to do it again.

LiuYou cannot draw, obviously. onSuch an experience. This is her first. Olympic chance. She tried to stop it all by trying a different approach.

“I don’t feel as much pressure.” “I’m not nervous at all.” Liu said. “Actually, it feels better than all of the other nationals that I’ve been to.”

Chen goes for six-peat

All the intrigue onThe women’s side of national championships is in strong hands, while the men’s are the clear favorites. OlympicNathan Chen, a gold-medal hopeful

Chen is already a lock Team USAFor the gold medal at The Olympics, Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan is expected to be matched-up with him. Beijing Games. He will also be trying to win his sixth consecutive national championship. He is the first man in America to win five consecutive U.S. championships since Dick Button (who won seven straight from 1946-1952).

Jason Brown and Vincent Zhou, who beat Chen earlier in the season at a Grand Prix, are favorites to win the two remaining spots. on Team USAAlthough Ilia Malinin and Jimmy Ma could be included, it is possible that they are not.

Chen is uncertain about which programs he will use in the future. Before making a decision, Chen will likely use two of his old programs from the 2019-20 season at nationals. onWhat he will bring to the table Beijing.

Chen said, “I believe that’s one of the great things about having a great dancer.” It gives you many options.

High hopes for ice dancing

Over the past four years, the U.S. has had multiple teams finish in the top six in three world championships and the most recent Winter Olympics.

Now the question is: “Can it?” Team USATwo teams onThe podium in Beijing?

The competition this week could provide a glimpse into the future. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue won three of the four U.S. titles in the past and are now the favorites. Madison Chock, Evan Bates and Evan Bates are close behind. Jean-Luc Baker and Kaitlin Baker are also expected to join the mix.

Skaters will also be competing in pairs. Olympic spots. Timothy LeDuc, Ashley CainGribble, and Brandon Frazier – who withdrew Wednesday following a positive test for COVID-19 – will be there to support them. 

Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or onTwitter @Tom_Schad