|Evan Lysacek celebrates after winning the gold medal in men's figure skating at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games on February 18, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.|
|Evan Lysacek holds a press conference on the final day of the 2013
U.S. Figure Skating Championships to give an update on his injury.
For Evan Lysacek, attending this year’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships was bittersweet. The 2010 Olympic gold medalist had planned to join his fellow figure skaters on the ice, but instead a grueling injury and recent surgery sidelined him from the competition.
“I wanted to nip this in the bud so I could get back and compete,” said Lysacek. “If [the Championships] were three weeks later I’d be competing.”Lysacek has suffered from two injuries over the past few months including a groin injury that forced him to withdraw from Skate America, followed by a sports hernia. “For the first time, I’m totally pain free. Surgery worked.” While recovering, Lysacek has used the experience he gained from competing on the hit TV show Dancing with the Stars to approach his programs and movements in a new way.
Lysacek will now focus on training with his eyes set on the ultimate prize of two medals in Sochi: one in the men’s competition, which – if he succeeds in capturing gold – would make him the first male skater to win back-to-back titles in the Olympic Winter Games since Dick Button in 1952; the other in the first-ever Olympic figure skating team event.
Similar to gymnastics, which includes both individual and team events in the summer Olympic Games, a team event for figure skating will make its debut in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The team event will consist of six skaters (one male, one female, one pair and one ice dance couple) from each country and the country with the highest number of aggregate points wins. The team event will begin one day prior to the Opening Ceremony in Sochi.
“Gymnastics is so popular in the summer,” Lysacek said. “To have a team event for figure skating will be great to kick things off in the winter to build camaraderie.”
With nearly one year until the start of the Games, the road to Sochi is not long for Evan Lysacek, and it’s one that he is now beginning with a fresh start. “I’m finally healthy… And I feel like Vancouver was yesterday,” he said. “I almost feel like there’s been no time.”
When the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships officially came to an end Sunday with the men’s event, athletes from all four disciplines had made it clear that the U.S. Figure Skating Team will be a force to be reckoned with at the world championships and ultimately in Sochi. For the men, Max Aaron and Ross Miner will represent Team USA at worlds. And while one of the biggest stars couldn’t be present on the ice at nationals, don’t expect Lysacek to be absent for much longer.