Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Perseverance pays off for U.S. champ Czisny

Alissa Czisny finally won the gold medal in senior ladies at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships in her eighth attempt. Although she won a bronze medal in 2007, the top of the podium had eluded her until last season. "I've grown into who I am today," Czisny said. "It was my first time on the top at nationals, and I was very excited." Czisny placed ninth at the 2009 Four Continents Championships. She had placed fifth in her last appearance at the event in 2007.

"It gave me a good idea of what to expect in the future, especially not to step out of combinations," she noted.

Ending the season, Czisny placed 11th at the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships, up four spots from her 15th place finish at the 2007 World Championships, her only previous time there. She finished eighth in the long program to make up for a 14th-place result in the short. "I [went] and tried to do my best," Czisny said. "I was a little bit disappointed with my short program, but I can take what I learned from this competition and continue to improve.

"I'm relieved that the season is over. It's been a long season for me. Worlds was my 10th competition."

Czisny competed at four competitions in the United States early in the season including the U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships, which she won for the second time. She opened her international season with a win at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, in September. That led to ISU Grand Prix assignments, and Czisny delivered with a bronze medal at Skate Canada and a fourth-place at Cup of Russia.

"I didn't get to compete a lot [in the 2007-08 season]," Czisny stated, "so I got a head start [last] season. I struggled [in 07-08] and never felt ready, then I broke my thumb before nationals. But everything happens for a reason, and this year every aspect of my skating has been better.

Full article.

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