Born on June 4, 1985, in Chicago, Illinois, figure skater Evan Lysacek moved to California after high school to train with coach Frank Carroll. He went on to win consecutive U.S. Figure Skating Championships and the 2009 World Championships before earning the gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics. After recovering from an injury, Lysacek began aiming for a repeat gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Early Years and Competitions
Evan Frank Lysacek was born on June 4, 1985, in Chicago, Illinois. Initially interested in hockey after learning to skate as an 8-year-old, Lysacek realized his figure skating potential after his rapid development in the sport.
Lysacek won the United States Figure Skating Championship's men's novice division in 1999 and the junior division the following year. He continued to regularly attend school between competitions, but the rigorous schedule and expenses proved a heavy burden for his family. After graduating from Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Illinois, in 2003, he moved to Southern California to train with esteemed coach Frank Carroll.
Rise to the Top
Lysacek wrapped up his junior career with a gold medal at the 2003-2004 International Skating Union Junior Grand Prix Final and a silver medal at the Junior World Championships. After the jump to the senior level, he rebounded from a quiet start to the season with a surprise win at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in February 2005, followed by an impressive third-place showing at the World Championships the next month.
A silver-medal finish at the 2006 U.S. Championships earned Lysacek a spot on the U.S. squad for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, but the grand showcase was a bittersweet affair for the 20-year-old. Weakened by the flu, Lysacek missed two jumps during his short program, and a strong performance in the free skate still left him just shy of a spot on the podium, in fourth place.
The tall, athletic American continued to make strides toward the sport's top rung by winning his first U.S. Championship and his second Four Continents Championship in 2007. After notching his second consecutive U.S. title in 2008, in 2009 he became the first American man in 13 years to win the World Championships.
Victories at 2009 Skate America and the 2009-2010 Grand Prix Final seemingly left Lysacek well positioned for Olympic glory, and he seized the opportunity at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. After an impressive short program that left him in a virtual tie with defending gold medalist Evgeni Plushenko, Lysacek delivered a technically superior performance in the free skate that was enough to nudge him past Plushenko for the gold.
The Road Back
Lysacek enjoyed the spoils of victory after his return from the Olympics, as he was honored with Evan Lysacek Day in his hometown of Naperville and was a guest on Oprah Winfrey's talk show. He became a contestant on that season's Dancing with the Stars and joined the Smucker's Stars on Ice Tour.
Lysacek aimed to return to competition for the start of the 2012 skating season. However, he was forced to withdraw from early competitions due to groin pain, and wound up missing the entire season after undergoing surgery in November.
Finally healthy the following summer, Lysacek announced plans to return to action in 2013. Despite three full years away from competition, he was hopeful of regaining his form for the chance to become the first men's repeat Olympic gold medalist in figure skating since Dick Button in 1952.
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