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Christina Gao: A Fruitful Career for a Skating Legend

Christina Gao was born with skates laced on to her feet, it seems. From childhood to adulthood, aside from studying, skating was all that she knew. Her balancing act between skating and education—in Harvard, no less—was enough evidence that the girl was a brilliant, once-in-a-lifetime athlete that knew her priorities.

Currently, her priority is Harvard, which is why she chose to retire early from figure skating. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about this fantastic figure skater.

From the Beginning

Christina Gao was once a slender, doe-eyed girl excited to lace her skates. From her native Cincinnati, the girl had to juggle time between school and skating practice. In the end, her passion won; often missing classes for skating practice, she had to change schools when she reached secondary education. She moved to Toronto just so her passion wouldn’t suffer even if she had to study.

College beckons

Gao was a brilliant student. Despite missing classes during her elementary education, she managed to go all the way to college, managing to enter Harvard. By this time, however, skating had given her tons of awards and recognition, but she was still not satisfied; she had to make time for her training while attending classes in college.

Skating as a Passion

Between high school and college, her achievements in skating came in droves. When it rained, it really poured for the athlete. She has a fifth-place finish in 2010; a fifth at three U.S National Championships; an eighth at the 2014 National Championships; and an 11th place at the most recent National Championships. Not bad for someone who juggled her career and Harvard.

No Social Life

Being an excellent skater meant very little if she wanted a good run at Harvard. The life of an athlete is an unforgiving one, and the girl had to wake up early in the morning to train. For Gao, this meant that she had to miss out on the more interesting aspects of becoming a student in Harvard. While everyone was up in the wee hours of the morning, cramming, she had to sleep early to get up in the morning.

An Early Retirement

Eventually, scholastic life won over her Olympic dreams—at only 21 years old, Christina Gao decided to retire pursuing her skating career to pursue an education in Harvard. It’s not a bad trade-off, considering the level of education she’s sacrificing her skates for.

Christina Gao is only 21—that says a lot of things for the future of the once-competing figure skater. She can still lace up her skates if she so wanted, but for now, her education matters more.