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Christina Gao retires from figure skating

Christina Gao

GREENSBORO, NC - JANUARY 22: Christina Gao competes in the Championship Ladies Short Program Competition during day 1 of the 2015 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Greensboro Coliseum on January 22, 2015 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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Christina Gao, a six-time competitor at the U.S. Championships, has retired from figure skating to concentrate on her studies at Harvard, according to

Gao, 21, finished fifth at the U.S. Championships as a 15-year-old in 2010, and also fifth at the next three U.S. Championships. She fell to eighth at the 2014 U.S. Championships, where she entered as a threat to make the U.S. Olympic team, and 11th at this past season’s Nationals.

Gao took second at 2012 Skate America, which helped her qualify for that season’s Grand Prix Final, where she finished sixth.

Gao’s retirement follows that of Samantha Cesario, who succeeded Gao as the fifth-place finisher at the 2014 and 2015 U.S. Championships.

Russian Olympic champions left out of Grand Prix assignments

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