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Meet Team USA: Evan Lysacek

Evan Lysacek is the 2009 World Champion. At the 2010 U.S. Championships in Spokane, Wash., the two-time U.S. Champion (2007 and 2008) finished second, improving from his third place standing a year earlier. He has had an impressive season that included a win at Skate America and the Grand Prix Final. Here is what you need to know about Lysacek heading into the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada:

Name Evan Lysacek

Age 24

Birthday June 4, 1985

Birthplace Chicago, Ill.

Hometown Naperville, Ill.

Training Town El Segundo, Calif.

Coach Frank Carroll

Choreographer Lori Nichol

Getting his start Eight year old Lysacek was signed up for skating lessons after his grandma, who wanted to be in the Ice Capades, bought him skates for Christmas. At first, he wanted to play hockey, but later discovered his love for the thrill of figure skating, including the speed. “I loved being a dare devil,” Lysacek said.

International personal bests He set all three of his personal bests at the 2009 Grand Prix Final. He scored 249.45 points overall, which is the highest score ever recorded by an American man in international competition. His short program received 89.85 and his free skate was awarded 159.60.

Key results 2010 U.S. Championships, 2nd; 2009 Grand Prix Final, 1st; 2009 Skate America, 1st; 2009 Cup of China, 2nd; 2009 World Championships, 1st; 2009 Four Continents Championships, 2nd; 2009 U.S. Championships, 3rd; 2008 Skate Canada, 3rd; 2008 Skate America, 3rd; 2008 U.S. Championships, 1st; 2007 Grand Prix Final, 3rd; 2007 Four Continents Championships, 1st; 2007 U.S. Championships, 1st; 2006 Cup of China, 1st; 2006 World Championships, 3rd; 2006 Olympic Winter Games, 4th; 2006 U.S. Championships, 2nd; 2005 World Championships, 3rd

Fancy footwork The highlight of Lysacek’s programs are his electrifying step sequences. Skated full-out and building with the music’s crescendo, the element usually earns the highest score from the judges and brings the audience to its feet. But what could make or break his competition is the quad. He plans to perform it in his free skate in Vancouver even though he fell on it at the 2010 U.S. Championships.

Star on ice In the spring, Lysacek will join the Smucker’s Stars on Ice tour, which starts April 1 in Fort Myers, Fla., and ends May 30 in Portland, Ore. It will be his first full stint with Stars. In 2006, he was a full-time cast member with the Champions on Ice tour.

Model material Lysacek’s sense of style extends off the ice. In the summer of 2007, he began working with the Public Image Modeling Agency, and he is now represented by DNA Models. Lysacek is a model for Ralph Lauren, which is an official outfitter for the 2010 U.S. Olympic team.

Wang wardrobe Vera Wang designed Lysacek’s costumes for the Olympic season. “I really can’t say enough great things about her,” he said. “She has such great enthusiasm for design and skating. She got on the ice with me and watched me perform. Vera even did some of the movements herself to feel what it feels like skating my programs. She was a skater so she is very in tune to what skaters need.”

Check out the six-pack Coca-Cola picked Lysacek as one of the Coca-Cola “Six-Pack” of Athletes for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. In addition to appearing on packaging and promotional items, he will also serve as a Coca-Cola “Ambassador of Active Living” to help encourage and inspire people to lead active, balanced lives. “Sometimes the best thing after being on the ice all day is just an ice cold Coke,” Lysacek said.

Comeback kid At the 2006 Olympics, Lysacek was embarrassed by his 10th place short program, which he skated shortly after coming down with the flu. But he put on a show in the free skate, finishing third in that portion of the event, and fourth overall. “It’s hard because I dreamed about the Olympics for upwards of a decade,” he said. “And that dream didn’t include getting sick with a stomach flu, getting stuck with IVs, having my veins collapse and falling in the short program. It became about something different—courage.”

Lucky number After graduating from high school in 2003, Lysacek moved from Naperville to Southern California to work with Carroll. But he never changed his cell phone number because the last four digits are 2006, a lucky number for him. Among his accomplishments in 2006 were finishing fourth at the Olympic Winter Games, third at the World Championships and first at Cup of China.

It’s in the genes Lysacek’s older sister Laura played travel softball before heading to college. His younger sister Christina received volleyball scholarship toCharleston Southern University. But the Lysacek trio are not the only athletes in the family. Their cousin Cole Chason played football for Clemson University.

Uncle Evan Lysacek’s older sister Laura has one son. “Mason is just the coolest kid already,” he said.

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