Evan Lysacek, the 2009 World Men’s Figure Skating Champion, will be one of the three male figure skaters representing the United States in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Ranked as one of the best male figure skaters in the world, Lysacek will be heading to Vancouver in an effort to bring home the Gold medal at the Olympics as well. The competition will be tough, but after a 4th place showing in the 2006 Olympics and a strong recent performance in the World Championship, Lysacek holds promise for a US medal win. Who is this world class skater and why should he post a medal winning performance in 2010?
Evan Lysacek grew up in Illinois, learning to skate as a young child. Although admitting that skating was not his natural talent, through hard work and training, Lysacek won his first major skating honor at the Juvenile Nationals at age 10. Qualifying and progressing through the rankings and competitions, Lysacek proceeded to win the Novice Nationals and the Juvenile Nationals by the age of 14. In fact his wins of the Novice Nationals in 1999 and Juvenile Nationals in 2000 placed him in the record books as he was the first man to accomplish those wins in back to back seasons since 1972. After graduating high school in 2003, Lysacek made some career changes. He left Illinois and his longtime skating coach for a move to Los Angeles where he began to train with well known Coach Frank Carroll.
Under Carroll, Lysacek would push forward posting strong competitive performances and earning a spot on the U.S. Men’s Figure Skating Team in the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics. Illness during the contest took a toll on Lysacek, yet he continued to compete and finished just out of medal position in 4th place. The years following the 2006 Olympics continued to show the consistency and strength of Lysacek as he posted high rankings in competition. He posted wins in 2009 in the Grand Prix Final, the 2009 Skate America, and in the World Championship. Additionally, he has placed 1st or 2nd in the US Championships since his 2007 win.
Winning the gold in Vancouver will certainly not be an easy task. Canadian Patrick Chan, the current Canadian Champion, who placed 2nd behind Lysacek in the World Championship, will certainly be a valid medal contender, as will France’s Brian Joubert, and, of course, the 2006 Olympic Gold Medalist-Evgeni Plushenko who officially returned to competition in 2009 after his 2006 retirement. Lysacek will need to be flawless to top the energy of Plushenko, the Canadian favorite Chan, and the skill of Joubert. However, Lysacek does possess a drive and determination that has pushed him along throughout his career and may just propel him to the gold medal in 2010.