2009 National champ Alissa Czisny is currently skating on the Stars on Ice tour, and she can relate to Rachael Flatt's education/skating decisions, according to the Denver Post. The article is actually pretty much all about Czisny and how she was quite serious about school while attending Bowling Green University in Ohio. She graduated summa cum laude last year.
"School's always been important for my family," Czisny said. "That's something they always said came first, so I grew up thinking that way. When I got offered a scholarship to Bowling Green, I took it because I couldn't afford school and skating."
She wasn't your basic public figure in class, either. In 2006 she won outstanding sophomore of the year award in international studies and the first-year Russian student award. Flatt can ask her all about college academics but not about all-campus keggers.
Czisny was as serious about school as skating. Her classmates didn't know she was a Grand Prix finalist at 18 until "Ice Diaries" followed her around school for a feature.
"It was a lot of work," she said. "I'd study at the rink during my break. I'd study in the car. I'd study at home after skating."
The 2009 national title showed she could balance, but with school out of the way this past year, she couldn't translate the extra time into an Olympic berth. At Nationals in Spokane, Wash., she finished 10th.
"The Olympics have always been my dream," Czisny said. "I wanted it too much, and I got scared."
Perhaps Czisny has a Michelle Kwan-esque future ahead of her with all of her international relations studies, who knows?
The article also mentions Czisny's coaching switch from Julie Berlin (whom she worked with for 12 years) to Yuka Sato and Jason Dungjen. We haven't discussed that change here yet - what do you think of it? Although I assume the change won't affect whatever problems Czisny has with her psyche, I don't think the switch can really hurt her. Perhaps it will be rejuvenating. And we all know Sato can choreograph a beautiful routine, so hopefully we will have some more gorgeous skates from Czisny. As much as I get disappointed when she falls or appears to lose focus, she is one of those skaters I always look forward to watching. Just beautiful.