Evan Lysacek

Evan Lysacek unsure when he will return to competition

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NEW YORK — Evan Lysacek is back on the ice doing light training but said he couldn’t speculate on a return from a hip injury.

Lysacek, 28, hasn’t competed since his 2010 Olympic title, his comeback delayed and delayed and delayed by injuries. The latest, a torn labrum in his left hip, forced him to withdraw from last week’s Skate America.

He fell on a quadruple toe loop at Champs Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Aug. 21 and stayed off the ice for about a month with what he thought was a torn abdominal muscle. On Sept. 26, an MRI revealed the torn labrum.

Now Lysacek is in a race against time. He must post a minimum score in an international competition before the U.S. Championships (Jan. 9-12) to be eligible for the Sochi Olympics. The two-man U.S. team will be named after the U.S. Championships in Boston.

Lysacek said he has a list of possible events in November and December to enter and achieve that score, but he doesn’t know when he will be in competition shape.

“I’m back to training, light training, so I’m happy to be back on the ice,” Lysacek said at a Citibank in Union Square on Saturday as dozens of children from the Figure Skating in Harlem program gathered for a meet-and-greet event. “It’s pretty diverse at this point, a lot of physical therapy, some off ice, a little bit of on ice. Just kind of getting back slowly into training, trying my best to obey doctors’ orders.”

He’ll spend the next few days in New York for events surrounding 100 days out from the Olympics and shooting a commercial for Citi through Wednesday before flying back to his training base in California.

On Sept. 30, Lysacek said at the U.S. Olympic Media Summit that he had specific goals and a timetable he’d like to hit that he made known to doctors. On Saturday, he said the healing process is out of his control.

“It’s just going to be dependent on the rate I can heal,” Lysacek said while wearing his 2010 Olympic gold medal as Katy Perry‘s “Roar” played over a sound system. “No one, including doctors, can really predict healing. … Patience has never been a virtue that I’ve possessed.”

Lysacek’s coach, Frank Carroll, told Icenetwork.com at Skate Canada that Lysacek had medical treatment Monday and, about his recovery, “I don’t know about Evan at all.”

Lysacek remains hopeful that he will heal quickly. But just how quick is the answer he can’t provide yet.

“I can’t speculate,” he said, “though I wish I could. I’m just trying to obey doctors’ orders because I’d like to nip this in the bud now instead of having it be a lingering injury.”

Patrick Chan stars at Skate Canada; U.S. men not so much

Franz Klammer stars in commercial with Alpine skiing champions, Sasquatch

Franz Klammer
Head Ski Facebook
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The 1976 Olympic downhill champion Franz Klammer. Shirtless Aksel Lund Svindal waving a wurst. Sasquatch.

This Head skis commercial has it all.

The skier cameos include some of the most decorated active skiers:

Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway) — 2010 Olympic super-G champion
Kjetil Jansrud (Norway) — 2014 Olympic super-G champion
Anna Veith (Austria) — 2014 Olympic super-G champion
Lara Gut (Switzerland) — 2016 World Cup overall champion

VIDEO: High-speed crash at World Cup downhill in Lake Louise

Eyes of Spain on Javier Fernandez as he builds for last Olympic chance

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 01:  Javier Fernandez of Spain skates in the Men's Free Skate program during Day 5 of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2016 at TD Garden on April 1, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Before Javier Fernandez became a two-time world champion, he was the fourth-place finisher in Sochi, missing Spain’s first Winter Olympic medal in 22 years by a mere 1.18 points.

He remembers leaving the Iceberg Skating Palace after competition ended on Feb. 14, 2014, surrounded by the president of Spain’s figure skating federation, his parents and Spanish Olympic Committee officials.

“They were telling me how great I skated,” Fernandez recalled while cupping a hot drink and waiting to christen New York City’s Bryant Park ice rink last Thursday night. “I wanted to skate again. I wanted to do it again, because I knew I could even do it better.”

Fernandez, who was third after the Sochi short program, had one free skate jump invalidated because he performed one too many triple Salchows. Scoring is much more complex than one jump, but many say that zero-point Salchow cost Fernandez a bronze.

Even Fernandez.

“It was just a stupid mistake that took away my Olympic medal,” he says now. “It kind of sucks, I have to say, that you were not on the podium, but it was such a cool experience.”

Today, Fernandez might be the least likely skater to make a stupid mistake. Nobody has been more consistent the last two seasons. A pair of world championships. Two Grand Prix Final silver medals. Five straight Grand Prix series wins.

“But I don’t see being fourth at the Olympics as such a negative thing,” Fernandez continued. “And that’s something what the people don’t understand. … Fourth, it was not that bad of a position. In figure skating … we never had that before. So I also got congratulated by so many people.”

Sochi is far from Fernandez’s mind as he heads into this week’s Grand Prix Final as the only unbeaten man this fall.

As great as Fernandez has been the last two years, what’s coming in 14 months is the last opportunity to fulfill his goal of capturing an Olympic medal.

Fernandez does not plan on skating in a fourth Olympics in 2022. He expects to decide after the Pyeongchang Winter Games just how much longer he will keep competing.

It has been a remarkable ascent. Fernandez, from a nation with maybe 20 ice rinks, made his world championships debut in 2007 and finished 35th out of 42 skaters.

“I’ve been in figure skating for so long,” said Fernandez, who is 25, second-oldest of the six-man Grand Prix Final field. “I’m quite tired, a little bit. I just want to, like, do the last seasons that I have left and then go to the next thing.”

Shortly after the Sochi Olympics, Alejandro Blanco, the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, essentially guaranteed a Spaniard would win a medal in 2018. Maybe Blanco knew then that Fernandez was the only Spanish competitor in any sport to finish better than seventh.

The support for Fernandez in Spain transcends the nation’s Winter Olympic history. After every competition — win or lose — Fernandez says the royal family sends a letter to his home in Spain. After he repeated as world champion in April, the correspondence included an invitation.

“They said they wanted to meet me in person,” Fernandez said. “I was like, really?”

So he put on a suit and visited King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia at Zarzuela Palace in Madrid on April 22.

Fernandez would love to prove Blanco a prophet and to fill the royals with more pride. But the skater is also keeping expectations in check.

Any medal will do in Pyeongchang.

“Of course, I’m going to work and I’m going to train to be the Olympic champion,” Fernandez said. “But then at the competition, I cannot put a goal that I don’t know if I’m going to reach. Because at that competition anything can happen. So I would rather set up a medium goal that I know I can get. … If you say, I want to be Olympic champion. What if I don’t get it? You’re going to be sad the rest of your life because you didn’t reach your goal?”

MORE: Grand Prix Final broadcast schedule