Alissa Czisny: “U.S. Nationals is popular because of the depth of talent of American skaters”
By Vladislav Luchianov
Reigning U.S. National champion Alissa Czisny prepares for her eleventh main competitions of the country. In today’s preview, I would like to say a few words about her as a person. As a journalist, I have repeatedly communicated with Alissa and each time I’m impressed by her openness and sincerity.
Despite the fact that she is among top skaters of the world, she is still readily finds the time for an interview, regardless of her busyness. This is not so common in modern sports. I think that people are right, saying that a very good person is very good in every way. Alissa is the type of people who are the real role models not only in sport but also in everyday life.
Alissa, this US Nationals will be eleventh in your skating career. Everyone knows that Nationals is the main event for U.S. skaters, however what U.S. National Championships means for Alissa Czisny?
Alissa Czisny: The U.S. Nationals really are the main event for U.S. skaters. Growing up, the national championships were always my ultimate goal, and it was always thrilling to compete against the great American skaters.
As I became more experienced, the national championships meant even more to me: it was the competition that determined the rest of the year. Ultimately, now nationals is the qualifying competition for the World Championships.
You have won two national titles with breathtaking performances. How would you compare these two wins?
Alissa Czisny: The first time that I won nationals was special to me, because, up until then, I had doubted that I was ever capable of winning. Finally, becoming the champion was an amazing feeling.
The second time I won nationals, however, was even more special to me. It came after some extreme disappointments and major changes, and I felt that I had become a new skater and winning nationals was proof that I had made the right changes in my skating career.
Every year people from different countries watch the American championships. In your vision, what is the secret of such a high popularity of this skating event?
Alissa Czisny: The U.S. Nationals is a popular event, I think, in part, because of the depth of talent of the American skaters. More than just the top few senior-level skaters are talented. We have such an immense pool of talent, and the nationals are an incredible place to watch the up-and-coming, as well as the already established, skaters.
Tell us please about your preparation?
Alissa Czisny: My preparation for the competition has been going well. I am doing everything, in every way, to prepare myself to compete my best at the competition!
Have you changed or added something in your programs?
Alissa Czisny: My programs have changed only slightly since the Grand Prix season, and now I feel comfortable with the layout and with the contents of each program!
As is well know it’s always not easy to defend the champion’s title. How do you mentally prepare yourself for Nationals?
Alissa Czisny: The most important perspective for me to take into this competition is that I’m not defending a title: I’m going into the competition focused on my goals for the competition and focused on what I need to do to be able to achieve those goals.
Alissa, how could you evaluate the first part of this season?
Alissa Czisny: The first part of this season was not my best. There were some good parts and some not so good parts. Obviously, the injury at the Grand Prix Final made it difficult to compete my best there. However, I learned much from the first half of the season, and I’m heading into the second half of the season in a much better place, much better prepared.
And what could you tell us about your plans and goals for the second one?
Alissa Czisny: I just can say that my goals are to give my best in preparation and competition and to improve my personal best scores at each competition!
Your artistry, musical interpretation, choreography and other artistic parts of skating performance are always at the highest level. In this regard I have a question which I think young skaters and not only would like to ask you. Is it possible to ask Alissa Czisny about some skating classes, maybe in the summer time?
Alissa Czisny: Thank you! I really enjoy working with younger skaters, although I do not often have the time necessary to give lessons, at the moment, given my busy competitive and ice show schedule. However, in the future, I do hope to become more involved and to be able to give back to the sport and to the sport’s future stars!