ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2020/21 Jun 20, 2020 19:18:10 GMT
Post by Admin on Jun 20, 2020 19:18:10 GMT
Liu, who will turn 15 in August, is too young to move up to the senior ranks internationally for the 2020-21 season, as are her Russian rivals Kamila Valieva and Daria Usacheva, who claimed Junior World gold and silver, respectively. Nevertheless, Liu actually doesn’t mind staying in juniors for another year.
“It’s more time to train before you go to a higher level internationally,” she pointed out. “I think it’s good that I’m still junior, because I’m one level lower than the very top and I have more time to train.”
At her rink in Oakland, Calif., Liu is currently the only high-level skater and she sees the disadvantages and the advantages of this situation.
“It’s not too competitive in my rink,” she offered, “but I like the competitiveness, because it gets me going more. I think some advantage is that there is more chill at my rink. No one is like speeding right past you.”
Competing internationally was a good experience for Liu and she hopes to build on that. She feels it is a bit more hectic, especially with the the competitive Russian skaters on the ice, as well as having more spectators than she is used to.
Currently, however, there is a big question mark on when any skater will be able to compete this upcoming season. Thus far, the first two JGP events of the season have already been canceled.
Liu, who is the oldest of four children of her family, comes across as a fun, smart kid that loves what she is doing. She does her school online and enjoys spending time with her two sisters and two brothers and her friends. Her sister Selina,12, actually even started skating as well, but not for long.
“She did skate for I think almost a year maybe, but then at her first competition she got second place and my cousin, who is a boy, beat her, so she got very mad and quit after her first competition,” Liu recalled. The youngest three siblings are triplets, aged 10, and like to skate just for fun.
The skater describes herself as “crazy” but not “annoying”.
“I’m kind of loud at home with friends,” Liu shared. “Some friends are quiet, I’m not. I talk a lot, almost too much sometimes. I like to perform in front of people. In my rink or at competitions, not many people come to watch, you don’t feel you’re at a competition. But when there are people watching you’re like, ‘this is a competition.'”
Liu not only likes to perform herself, but also enjoys watching other skaters perform. She explained that she likes being nervous for other skaters, that it’s the “worst feeling,” but also the best.
“When the person you’re supporting does really good, you’re really happy, almost like you did that program,” she said.
The skater feels a lot of support from her family, especially from her single dad Arthur, a lawyer. He normally attends her competitions.
“I know there’s a lot of skating moms, but he’s like skating dad,” the teenager shared with a laugh. “Sometimes he does (give me advice), but sometimes his suggestions are not so good. I trust myself more with that,” she said with a twinkle in her eyes. “My mom is always texting congratulations after a competition. Right after, I go on my phone and see a ‘congratulations’ text.”
Liu nurtures the hopes of figure skating fans in the U.S. for a new female skating star and there is a lot of attention on her with the Olympic Winter Games 2022 on the horizon. The American will be age eligible to compete in Beijing.
“I don’t actually feel too much pressure like being this and that,” said the athlete in regards to how she’s perceived. “I kind of just do it (skating) for myself and I always want to be my best and beat my personal best.”
“I’m definitely looking forward to it (Beijing),” Liu added. “I just hope I make it, but I do need to work on a few things. I’ve watched Sochi and then Pyeongchang and I can’t imagine the feeling of being there, it’s crazy. I feel it improved from Sochi to Pyeongchang. I think the Olympics are going to keep improving every four years. I dream about going there, but I don’t visualize what is going to happen.”
Skaters she looks up to are Michelle Kwan, the five-time World Champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist, and now, more recently, Russian Champion and European silver medalist Anna Shcherbakova.
“Michelle, because she of course she was really young when she was really good and she won a lot of championships,” Liu said. “She stayed in the sport for a long time and I admire her for work ethics. I admire Shcherbakova because of all her amazing quadruple jumps and her skating. She is like the whole package, basically.”