Evan Lysacek

Evan Lysacek

Evan Lysacek enjoys new line of work, misses figure skating

Leave a comment

Evan Lysacek showed up at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships with a smart phone in each hand.

“But I have three,” he said. “I answer them at any time, day or night.”

The calls aren’t about skating competitions anymore.

Lysacek, the last U.S. skater to earn individual World Championships and Olympic medals (gold at each in 2009 and 2010), prematurely ended his career in 2014 due to injuries that kept him from trying to make the Sochi Olympic team.

When he left the sport, he first took a real estate job in New York. For the last 10 months, he’s worked for friend and fashion designer Vera Wang‘s company.

“Skating and competing was really the first love of my life,” Lysacek, 30, said at the U.S. Championships in St. Paul on Saturday, after being inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame. “When it ended for me, it was like a very long relationship that meant a lot to me ending. I was heartbroken by it, especially because it wasn’t really on my terms. It was my body that had failed. Throughout my career, I never really thought that’s how my career would end.

“It’s taken time for me to heal, but I felt like moving, at least for now, a little bit away from the sport and giving myself some space and breathing room would help me to gain clarity. What it did, really, was show me how fast the career of an athlete is.”

Lysacek’s new responsibilities include helping rebrand Wang’s company.

He said he’s been promoted twice and is now the head of licensed product development, while also taking on digital and social media and visual displays roles.

“It fills my need to work all the time,” he said. “I miss and I love skating. I want to get back involved in some way, but right now I’m enjoying doing new things every day.”

He prefers it to the route most elite skaters take at the conclusion of competitive careers.

“There’s a lot of skaters that they love show skating,” Lysacek said. “That was never me, unfortunately.”

He called being inducted into the Hall of Fame, sitting between 2006 Olympic teammates Sasha Cohen and Tanith White and Ben Agosto, a “punctuation for the end of a career and what has been my entire life.”

“It’s incredible to get that recognition, but I hope it’s not the end of my involvement in skating,” Lysacek said.

VIDEO: Gracie, Carly Gold profile on TODAY

Evan Lysacek, more Olympic medalists make U.S. Figure Skating HOF

Evan Lysacek
Getty Images
Leave a comment

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Olympic champion Evan Lysacek and contemporaries Sasha Cohen, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto have made the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

Lysacek won the men’s gold medal in 2010 in Vancouver. Cohen was a silver medalist at the Torino 2006 Winter Games, when Belbin and Agosto made a breakthrough in ice dance to also take silver.

The fourth member of the Class of 2016 is Gustave Lussi, who coached four U.S. Olympic champions.

Inductions will be held Jan. 22 at the U.S. Championships in St. Paul, Minn.

Lysacek became the first American men’s Olympic champion since Brian Boitano in 1988. In all, he won 11 major titles, including a World championship (2009) and two U.S. championships (2007, ’08). He will join his coach, Frank Carroll, and choreographer, Lori Nichol, in the Hall of Fame.

Cohen was the 2006 U.S. champion and is the last American woman to medal at an Olympics.

Belbin and Agosto are four-time World medalists (silver 2004, ’09; bronze 2006, ’07), and won five consecutive U.S. titles.

Lussi’s most noted student was Dick Button, the only U.S. figure skater to win two Olympic titles (1948, ’52). Lussi went on to coach U.S. Olympic champions Hayes Jenkins, David Jenkins and Dorothy Hamill at various stages of their careers.

MORE FIGURE SKATING: Lysacek finds challenges away from skating in new life