Celebrity

Alysa Liu Capped Off Her Olympic Dream With A Viral K-Pop Performance

Her performance was Itzy-approved.

BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 20: Alysa Liu of Team United States skates during the Figure Skating Gala ...
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Bustle’s 2022 Winter Olympics Guide

The 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing officially came to a close on Sunday, Feb. 20, but not without a final viral moment. Ahead of the closing ceremony, Team USA member Alysa Liu performed in the figure skating gala and won over K-pop fans by bringing Itzy’s “Loco” to the ice. The 16-year-old skater (who uses she and they pronouns) trended on Twitter afterward and the group itself joined in to applaud her, even as footage from the performance was quickly disabled because of copyright claims. (The full gala can be found on Peacock.)

For Liu, the gala experience was a dream come true. They posted a story to their Instagram calling it just that, and then elaborated in a post on their grid. “MY FAVORITE GALA PROGRAM IVE EVER DONE AND I GOT TO SKATE TO ITZY?!!?!!” she wrote. “this is actually insane. this is such a great way to end the olympics!! i couldn’t be happier.”

The two-time U.S. champion also tagged Itzy in her post, and the group’s official social media accounts made it clear they loved the homage. “Thank you so much @alysaxliu for performing a great Gala with our song LOCO,” Itzy responded in an Instagram story. “You were soooooo stunning.”

Members of the Itzy fandom, aka Midzy, were also excited. “All hail Alysa Liu !!!” tweeted one. Another fan who adored it wrote, “this is beautiful beautiful itzy loco at Olympics, thank you alysa liu!”

Funnily enough, Liu’s exhibition program was a very last-minute project. Because only a limited number of skaters are invited to perform in the Olympic gala and she didn’t expect to chosen, the two-time U.S. champion didn’t come prepared with either choreography or a costume, as On Her Turf reported. However, all was obviously not lost. With the help of fellow athletes, the iconic “Loco” moment came to be.

“i got a lot of help LMAOO,” Liu wrote in an Instagram story that credited the unofficial team behind their exhibition, all of whom are ice dancers from the Ice Academy of Montreal who also competed in Beijing. Her choreography came from American Jean-Luc Baker, who helped her bring some of Itzy’s moves into the program. As for Liu’s gorgeous red dress, that was borrowed from Spain’s Olivia Smart, who wore it during the rhythm dance competition. Finally, two more members of Team USA, Madison Chock and Madison Hubbell, took care of hair and makeup, respectively.

The I.AM skaters continued to show their support for Liu afterward. Chock joked in her Instagram story that they are Liu’s “glam squad” and it’s “the reason we are all here,” while Baker wrote, “No gala, no problem” and “The I.AM fam has got you.”

The Olympics as a whole seemed like an all-around phenomenal time for Liu. In the women’s individual figure skating event, they were the top American finisher, landing in seventh place. Off the ice, she documented her experience on social media, from her adventures exploring the Olympic Village with other athletes to the times she managed to spot Bing Dwen Dwen, the Beijing Games’ beloved mascot. She provided some needed levity and joy, especially amid the doping scandal that cast a shadow over the competition.