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Alissa Czisny (born June 25, 1987) is an American former competitive figure skater. She is the 2010 Grand Prix Final champion, a two-time Skate Canada champion (2005, 2010), the 2011 Skate America champion, and a two-time U.S. national champion (2009, 2011).
Alissa Czisny Biography
Alissa Czisny was born June 25, 1987 in Sylvania, Ohio with a fraternal twin sister, Amber. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Bowling Green State University where she was on a full academic scholarship and majored in international studies, French and Russian. She took online classes due to her skating. She also expressed interest in learning Japanese. Czisny is a vegetarian and a Christian. She took ballet lessons from a young age to improve her flexibility and strength.
Czisny began skating at age 1½ when she and her sister, Amber, accompanied their mother to the ice skating rink because they did not want to stay at home with the babysitter. Julianne Berlin became her coach in 1998.Early in her career, Theresa McKendry was her main choreographer, assisted by Amber Czisny.
Czisny finished 4th in her Grand Prix debut at 2004 Skate America, to which she was invited after Michelle Kwan withdrew. She first gained international attention in 2005 when she won the gold medal at the 2005 Skate Canada International and silver at the 2005 Skate America where she received a standing ovation for her free program. She qualified for the 2005–2006 Grand Prix Final and placed sixth. Czisny went on to the 2006 U.S. Championships in St. Louis, where she finished seventh overall. She was one of four figure skaters featured on the 2006 TLC series, Ice Diaries.
Czisny began the 2006–07 season at the 2006 Skate Canada International where she placed fourth. She also competed at the 2006 Cup of Russia in November.
Czisny finished third at the 2008 Skate Canada International in the 2008–09 Grand Prix series behind Joannie Rochette and Fumie Suguri. At the 2009 U.S. Championships, she won the short program by over five points. She finished third in the long program but won the gold medal due to her lead from the short. Czisny won her first national title, ahead of Rachael Flatt and Caroline Zhang. She earned her second trip to the Four Continents and the World Championships, in which she finished ninth and eleventh, respectively.
In the 2009–10 Grand Prix season, Czisny placed fourth at the 2009 Rostelecom Cup and won the silver medal at the 2009 Skate Canada International.
In February 2010, she left coach Julianne Berlin, who had coached her for twelve years. In May, she said she would remain at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, with new coaches Yuka Sato and Jason Dungjen.
Czisny began the 2010–11 season by winning the 2010 Skate Canada International, her first gold medal on the Grand Prix series since winning 2005 Skate Canada. She also won Midwestern Sectionals, qualifying her to compete at US Nationals in 2011. She won bronze at her second Grand Prix event, 2010 Trophée Eric Bompard, which combined with her Skate Canada result qualified her for the Grand Prix Final.
In the 2011–12 season, Czisny was assigned to 2011 Skate America and 2011 Trophée Eric Bompard as her Grand Prix events. She won the gold medal at Skate America and bronze at Trophee Bompard. She was first in the free program at Bompard with 121.90 points, setting a new personal best international free skate score. Czisny qualified for the Grand Prix Final
Unlike most skaters, Czisny spins and jumps clockwise. She is known for her excellent spins. She said, “When I was younger, my sister and I always practiced our spins together. We would spin for hours, seeing who could hold their spin longer and/or who could spin faster. We also tried to come up with as many variations as possible.” Of the jumps, Czisny is least confident on the triple salchow.
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