LONDON – For the second time in a year, reigning Olympic champion Evan Lysacek has announced his return to competitive skating with the intention of qualifying for a third straight Winter Games.
The difference is this time Lysacek resolved his differences with U.S. Figure Skating before the announcement, which the skating federation confirmed in a release.
“Everything is worked out,” he told the Tribune an hour after going on the Today Show in London Friday to reveal what essentially had been a foregone conclusion since he switched agents last spring. “They are big supporters of my comeback.”
Lysacek left Creative Artists Agency, which knew nothing and cared less about skating, to team up with Michelle Kwan’s agent, Shep Goldberg, a figure skating insider for more than two decades.
The Naperville native’s first competition since the 2010 Winter Olympics is to be Skate America Oct. 19-21 in Kent, Wash. He intended to compete at least at the U.S. Championships last season but could not come to an agreement with USFS about financial and sponsorship terms of its athlete contract.
Lysacek, who turned 27 in June, said he will be working with both his longtime coach, Frank Carroll, two or three days a week at a rink in Ontario, Calif., and with Kwan’s sister, Karen, the rest of the time. He has been training with Carroll in Lake Arrowhead this summer.
“I think the most positive thing of delaying a year is I have had a whole year to train before jumping back into competition,” he said. “I feel much more prepared than I was a year ago.”
He has been performing parts of a planned long program to music from Saint-Saens’ “Samson and Delilah” in shows for several months. His short program will be to Flamenco music.
Lysacek said his efforts to add a quadruple toe loop jump are going well. Evgeny Plushenko of Russia, runner-up to Lysacek in Vancouver, was outspoken in decrying the idea of a man winning the gold medal without a quad.
Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic champion, had taken three years off before returning for the 2010 Olympics.
“It was very impressive what he did in a year,” Lysacek said of Plushenko. “I need the extra year to get my world ranking points up so I can do the World Team Trophy this season. There will be a team event in the 2014 Olympics, and I would like to be part of that.”
The other reigning Olympic champion, Kim Yuna of South Korea, announced a couple months ago she also was coming back for 2014. Kim competed at the 2011 world championships, winning a silver medal, but took last season off.
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