Alysa Liu retired in 2022 and is coming back in 2024

Trillian

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You are absolutely correct, for logical intelligent people! But…there is a man in every dance team. Ma & Pa Kettle want to see only the purty ballerini showing her purty face and legs. Even the amazingly charismatic multi-time champ Scott Hamilton lost his job at Ice Capades…why he had to create SOI.

I think that’s less true now, especially since marketing to Ma & Pa Kettle is a big part of what NBC/USFS is doing wrong. People have no problem being fans of the male pros on Dancing With the Stars. I don’t think skating needs to lean any harder into heteronormativity, but an attractive couple with some kind of long-term partnership (whether it’s romantic, off-ice exes, deep platonic or sibling bond, however you can spin it) should be even easier to sell.

It just kills me that any sentient adults could literally have Madison Hubbell and Madison Chock standing right in front of them and still be going, “Hmm, how on earth can we get more people to pay attention to figure skating.”
 

Yazmeen

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You are absolutely correct, for logical intelligent people! But…there is a man in every dance team. Ma & Pa Kettle want to see only the purty ballerini showing her purty face and legs. Even the amazingly charismatic multi-time champ Scott Hamilton lost his job at Ice Capades…why he had to create SOI. He wasn’t purty Peggy or Dorothy.
Exactly. Nathan Chen is the first US male skater in my lifetime that has generated a major level of excitement and capitalized on it with endorsements. And I'm a senior, kiddos.
 

maatTheViking

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While I’m glad she does what’s right for her, I do think this is sad for general reasons.

I don’t tend to watch US nationals or juniors, so I didn’t see her skate a lot of times. I think in that respect the retirement feels so early.

I also think it highlight issues with women skating in general - most competitors are so young. It feels strange with a sport where you compete and THEN go to college.

I also just generally find it strange how it’s not usually possible in the US to manage your own course load and stretch out your college. I wonder if allowing that would help you g US athletes to continue competing, I don’t know.
 

Karen-W

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I think that’s less true now, especially since marketing to Ma & Pa Kettle is a big part of what NBC/USFS is doing wrong. People have no problem being fans of the male pros on Dancing With the Stars. I don’t think skating needs to lean any harder into heteronormativity, but an attractive couple with some kind of long-term partnership (whether it’s romantic, off-ice exes, deep platonic or sibling bond, however you can spin it) should be even easier to sell.

It just kills me that any sentient adults could literally have Madison Hubbell and Madison Chock standing right in front of them and still be going, “Hmm, how on earth can we get more people to pay attention to figure skating.”
Exactly! My skating-every-four-years friends were totally asking me about the relationship statuses of our ice dance teams after the Team Event - just like Leslie Jones!

And I have one very straight, skating is NOT a sport co-worker who drooled over Madison Chock when I told him to Google her.

HELLOOOOOOO... These women (and their partners) could absolutely sell the hell out of the sport of it was being properly marketed.
 

Trillian

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Exactly! My skating-every-four-years friends were totally asking me about the relationship statuses of our ice dance teams after the Team Event - just like Leslie Jones!

I chat about sports sometimes with a guy at work a little older than me who comes from a family with NFL/NCAA football ties. He only watches skating during the Olympics. When I mentioned Worlds a month or so after the Olympics, the first thing he said was, “Oh! Chock and Bates?”
 

skatfan

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Unfortunately, they don’t have the mass-audience appeal. For crying out loud, not even Davis-White’s Olympic Gold medal could cause mass adulation among Joe & Jane Public as do the Dorothys and Michelles. Nope. It’s all about the Ladies/Women.
The men also have been obvious, but Nathan was going to school so not very available, Jason was up in Canada, and Vincent had his rollercoaster this quad.

The skaters of this generation have other life plans besides skating. I think that’s a good thing!
 

soogar

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Unfortunately, they don’t have the mass-audience appeal. For crying out loud, not even Davis-White’s Olympic Gold medal could cause mass adulation among Joe & Jane Public as do the Dorothys and Michelles. Nope. It’s all about the Ladies/Women.
Look how popular dancing with the stars is. It's a shame that Meryl and Charlie didn't get more of a general following after their show since it was built around them and Meryl and Maks were on fire. Madison Chock is another smoking dancer with real crossover appeal.
 

soogar

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Exactly. Nathan Chen is the first US male skater in my lifetime that has generated a major level of excitement and capitalized on it with endorsements. And I'm a senior, kiddos.
You must be pretty young because Brian Boitano had tons of specials and attention after the Olympic. Both he and Katarina and he made millions for years after his OGM. Nathan has a great future but they aren't extending SOI shows because he's on it in the US. Brian and Kat OTOH had their own tour.
 

MsZem

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I also just generally find it strange how it’s not usually possible in the US to manage your own course load and stretch out your college. I wonder if allowing that would help you g US athletes to continue competing, I don’t know.
That's odd to me as well. So many people balance college with work commitments, and skating is not a sport with an unusually intense competition schedule. Plenty of non-American skaters are able to skate and go to school, and then they're well set up for the future, too.

Alysa's decision seems very right for her, but as a fan it's sad for skating to lose someone who's talented, smart, and relatable. I hope she'll continue to shine in whatever she pursues next.
 

Trillian

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You must be pretty young because Brian Boitano had tons of specials and attention after the Olympic. Both he and Katarina and he made millions for years after his OGM. Nathan has a great future but they aren't extending SOI shows because he's on it in the US. Brian and Kat OTOH had their own tour.

To be fair, skating is different, TV is different, the whole nature of celebrity is different, etc. Broadcast TV is isn’t even a viable strategy; young people don’t watch it. Short streaming videos on social media platforms are going to have more potential than a two-hour ice show. And skaters are still getting too much pressure from the powers-that-be to be non-controversial, when interesting personalities are really what sell now.

I’ll miss Alysa partly because she did a great job of ignoring a lot of the conventional ideas of how skaters should market themselves. That k-pop gala program did more to make a public impression than any medal she ever won, and she seemed more interested in authenticity than people-pleasing in general. I’m glad she’s going out on her own terms, and I hope younger skaters learn from her approach.
 

overedge

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I’ll miss Alysa partly because she did a great job of ignoring a lot of the conventional ideas of how skaters should market themselves. That k-pop gala program did more to make a public impression than any medal she ever won, and she seemed more interested in authenticity than people-pleasing in general. I’m glad she’s going out on her own terms, and I hope younger skaters learn from her approach.

I agree, but I hope her retirement also causes the USFS to consider its strategy of pushing particular skaters to the moon, especially younger ones who may not grow into their potential. Alysa may have stuck around longer if she hadn't been subjected to "NEXT BIG THING" when she was barely into her teens.
 

MacMadame

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That's odd to me as well. So many people balance college with work commitments, and skating is not a sport with an unusually intense competition schedule. Plenty of non-American skaters are able to skate and go to school, and then they're well set up for the future, too.
Money. It's about money. Do you spend $45,000-100,000 a year on skating or do you spend it on college? For most kids, their parents can't afford both.
 

Trillian

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I agree, but I hope her retirement also causes the USFS to consider its strategy of pushing particular skaters to the moon, especially younger ones who may not grow into their potential. Alysa may have stuck around longer if she hadn't been subjected to "NEXT BIG THING" when she was barely into her teens.

Tbh, I’m not sure I can envision Alysa sticking around forever under any circumstances. She strikes me as a kid who was always going to do bigger and more interesting things with her life than this.

That said, on principle, I absolutely agree. We know “NEXT BIG THING” is too much pressure even when they really are the next big thing (Nathan) and doubly so when it’s not even a realistic expectation. USFS needs to look at the athletes who are currently winning medals and say, “How do we market this?” instead of, “Hey, remember that skater you liked decades ago? We’re pretty sure this one will be just like her… hang on, never mind, maybe that one instead…”
 

Frau Muller

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You must be pretty young because Brian Boitano had tons of specials and attention after the Olympic. Both he and Katarina and he made millions for years after his OGM. Nathan has a great future but they aren't extending SOI shows because he's on it in the US. Brian and Kat OTOH had their own tour.

Would Brian’s specials have succeeded without Katarina? Ma & Pa Kettle tuned in mostly to see her. And Madison Avenue tried really REALLY hard to make it appear as if they were a couple…hmmm…

As for whoever mentioned Dancing w/ the Stars’ success…

If Loena Hendrickx were American…she would be Henie-style One in a Million Gold. Ma & Pa Kettle’s type of glamour!
 
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overedge

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That's odd to me as well. So many people balance college with work commitments, and skating is not a sport with an unusually intense competition schedule. Plenty of non-American skaters are able to skate and go to school, and then they're well set up for the future, too.

You're right that skating doesn't have an intense competition schedule, but it requires a lot of training to keep in shape - and a lot of that is specific training, i.e. skating on an ice rink. That really can't be replicated in any other kind of facility - it's not like soccer where you can practice skills in lots of different kinds of open spaces or fields.

If the skater doesn't have easy access to an ice rink that has ice times that fit their schedule, and that ideally also fits their coach's or trainer's or choreographer's schedule, it can be very difficult to balance college and skating.

IME many skaters that say they are going to school and skating are taking the minimum number of classes they need to stay enrolled in their program/school. That can be one class per year depending on what they're taking. They're usually not trying to balance a full course load and full-time (or more) training and competing.
 
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Rob

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The best thing is she didn’t have to retire because some coach told her she had to get bone-thin to get her quads back. Or if anyone did, she didn’t listen. This is the kind of young retirement that feels good, if sad for those of us who liked to watch her.
Agree, I saw an interview before the free skate where she said she was going to try the 3A, but she doubted she'd ever try quads again because every time she tried them, she got injured. So much media hype on her from age 13 as a potential OGM and then it all came screeching to a halt with COVID, then the comparisons to the Russian quad ladies, and as soon as she got going again, she and her father are targeted for spying. That is just all too much.
 

soogar

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Would Brian’s specials have succeeded without Katarina? Ma & Pa Kettle tuned in mostly to see her. And Madison Avenue tried really REALLY hard to make it appear as if they were a couple…hmmm…

As for whoever mentioned Dancing w/ the Stars’ success…

If Loena Hendrickx were American…she would be Henie-style One in a Million Gold. Ma & Pa Kettle’s type of glamour!
South Park didn't make a song about "what would Katarina Witt do". Brian is still in the public eye with his cooking show.
 

Wyliefan

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Do they ever have teenagers on? If so, it might be something fun for her to do and help her earn a little college money.
 

Trillian

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Carrying the above discussion, now wondering if Alysa would do Dancing with The Stars?

Do they ever have teenagers on? If so, it might be something fun for her to do and help her earn a little college money.

I’ve never really watched DWTS, but I don’t get the impression it’s always that fun - I remember Suni Lee making comments about being bored in her hotel room and dancing with a much-older partner. Maybe Alysa would have a good time, but if she truly wants to be a normal teenager for a while, I suspect she’ll run in the opposite direction from something like that.
 

Allskate

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I also just generally find it strange how it’s not usually possible in the US to manage your own course load and stretch out your college. I wonder if allowing that would help you g US athletes to continue competing, I don’t know.
It is possible to do it, but you have to be willing to go to particular colleges and you (or your parents) have to be able to afford it. The college you want to attend has to be near a coach and training facility that works for you. The college you want to attend also has to either not be a very demanding school or be willing to let you have a reduced case load. There are a number of excellent ice dancers who have made it work with the University of Michigan because the school apparently allowed them to take a long time to get their degrees and because they had great coaching and training facilities in the area. But, colleges like Yale, Brown, and Cornell (Nathan, Karen, and Vincent) are very difficult. There aren't great coaches and training facilities there and the academics demand a lot of time. It's hard to do well at both for a sustained period of time. There are a ton of colleges in the United States and there is a wide range of time demands amongst them. Some of the skaters are choosing ones that are very demanding and are difficult to attend while training and competing at a high level. That includes some of the American skaters who medaled with Alysa as juniors.
Alysa herself appears to be looking to go to demanding colleges and doesn't want skating to dominate her life anymore. I'm not going to fault her for that, especially if she doesn't feel a passion for skating now.
 

skatfan

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Look how popular dancing with the stars is. It's a shame that Meryl and Charlie didn't get more of a general following after their show since it was built around them and Meryl and Maks were on fire. Madison Chock is another smoking dancer with real crossover appeal.
Dancing with the Stars had its heyday in 2011-2012. It's barely making it these days with all the streaming services competing with broadcast TV. And its a very old, very white demo (like skating!), so not something that will expand the fanbase.

Suni Lee had the male partner who's done a lot with gymnastic Olympians (Sasha Farber), so he was actually perfect for her, and she got along with him. Maybe Alysa would do it for college money.
 

Bouffantrex

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Look how popular dancing with the stars is.
Dancing with the Stars is only "popular" with the senior citizen set. I will admit the demographics might trend slightly younger than the Consumer Cellular calling, Prevagen popping fanbase figure skating has cornered.
 
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