Winter Games Athletes
Lysacek won the U.S. junior title at the age of 14 in 2000, then took silver at the World Juniors in three of the next four years. He arrived on the international stage in 2005 with a gold at the Four Continents championships and won bronze at the ’05 and ’06 Worlds before placing fourth at the Turin Olympics. Four years later - and with a gold at the 2009 Worlds in tow - Lysacek won gold at the Vancouver Games, turning in an outstanding free skate to narrowly edge Evgeni Plushenko and become the first American to win the men’s singles title at the Olympics since Brian Boitano in 1988. The odds, however, seem to be stacked against Lysacek repeating in Sochi. He hasn’t skated competitively since Vancouver, leading many to initially assume he was retired. He was set to return to competition at the 2012 Skate America but withdrew due to a groin injury, and later that year missed time after having surgery to repair a sports hernia. It once again looked like Lysacek would return at the 2013 Skate America, but a left hip injury caused him to withdraw and left in doubt his potential qualification for Sochi. In order to be eligible, Lysacek must compete in an international event, get a minimum qualifying score and then still make the team at the U.S. championships in January. Lysacek says he isn’t worried that his numerous injuries since Vancouver are a sign that he’s past his prime, claiming he feels stronger than ever in many ways. Still, it will be an uphill climb for Lysacek to get back on the medal stand come February, though one he certainly has the pedigree to pull off.