I first met Alysa Liu through her coach Laura Lipetsky. I was so excited to see Laura, whom I skated with as a little girl in Torrance, Calif. Alysa was too shy to speak to me, but we posed for a picture. When I told my sister Karen about seeing Laura, she said, “She’s training Alysa Liu—the future of figure skating.” Boy, was she right! A few months later, at age 13, Alysa became the youngest U.S. ladies’ figure-skating champion in history. It made me think back to when I was 13, competing in the 1994 U.S. Championships. I finished second and was that bright-eyed little girl on the podium, not knowing I would be thrust onto the world’s stage. That’s where Alysa is now. Her quad Lutz is pushing the technical envelope, and there’s no slowing down. Alysa has a long and bright future. In a way, I will be living vicariously through her as I watch her life and skating mature. As my sister said, Alysa really is the future of figure skating.
Kwan is a two-time Olympic medalist and five-time world-champion figure skater