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Olympic champ Evan Lysacek talks real estate, brutality of skating
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2015-03-18

This article shared 8919 times since Wed Mar 18, 2015
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Evan Lysacek had a stellar competitive figure-skating career, capping it with a 2010 Winter Olympics gold-medal-winning performance in men's singles.

He is also taking part in the "Stars on Ice" tour that is stopping in Chicagoland this weekend. Lysacek—who was born and raised in Illinois—talked with Windy City Times ( in the early morning ) about several topics, including his current career track and the brutal reality of skating.

Windy City Times: This is the earliest interview I've ever done in my life. [Laughs]

Evan Lyscacek: Oh, shoot! Well, I really appreciate it.

WCT: So, it's 6:45 a.m. right now. Have you already squeezed in a workout?

Evan Lyscacek: Well, I'm actually traveling right now. I'm usually up at this hour because I commute from Manhattan to Connecticut. I'm working in an office in Westport, Connecticut.

WCT: Do you still live in Chicago?

Evan Lyscacek: Well, I haven't lived there since 2003. I was living in L.A. and training there, but I do have a condo downtown so I try to get to [the area] as much as possible, and my parents live there. A little over six months ago, I moved to New York to take this position with Charter Realty, working commercial real estate. But the tour will allow me to get back into a world I once knew so well. [Laughs]

WCT: Just curious: Do you see any similarities between real estate and skating?

Evan Lyscacek: There's any connection with a field that involves being competitive in a high-performance lifestyle. Prerequisites are to have discipline, dedication and foresight. You also have to strategize a plan that will have you get [to the top]. There are definite parallels between the world of sport and the world of business. So I use a lot of tools that I use in training—and so far it's working. I enjoy it and I can honestly say I'm excelling.

WCT: As many top-level athletes have done, you've gone through a series of physical hurdles. How do you feel at this point?

Evan Lyscacek: Well, I don't really skate a lot anymore. I do work out, and most days I try to run and lift some weights because an active lifestyle has been such a crucial part of my life and development. But, without skating, my body feels a lot better; it's just the torque and pounding of the sport after all those years. The injuries and subsequent surgeries felt like a chain reaction.

I think that people see commentators talking or they hear music, and think the sport is different than what it is. It is immense pounding and torque. It's a brutal sport—I've seen people break bones in a split second. Injuries are very prevalent, and they've wiped out an entire generation of athletes; people can have double-hip replacements by the time they're 23 or 24. So, at times, I wish people understood how difficult the sport is.

WCT: I do believe that's one of the biggest misconceptions about the sport. Skaters look light as a feather out there and, to some, it doesn't look brutal at all. Some think of football or rugby as brutal sports.

Evan Lyscacek: Yeah; skating is intense and very difficult. If any of my friends make a joke about the sport, I say, "Try to go around the rink just one time and try not to fall and don't hold on to the boards. Tell me how easy it is, then." Then they prove my point.

WCT: Tell me what people will see at "Stars on Ice."

Evan Lyscacek: For a while, I was doing skating shows—and "Stars on Ice" is a cut above the rest. It's a dignified show; there's a class to it, and it's been on for more than 25 years. We've seen, more or less, every great champion from the United States take part. This is my sixth time with the tour, I believe; I took some time away. I'm skating a lot better and I'm glad to be back.

I do believe this is one of the better shows that I've been a part of. The cast is great. Meryl Davis and Charlie White are part of the show; obviously, they just won the Olympics in Sochi, and they were part of Dancing with the Stars. [Editor's note: Lysacek has also competed on the show.] Also, [2006 Olympic silver medalists] Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto will be there. And it's in Chicago, so I'm looking forward to that show the most.

WCT: What do you like most and least about touring?

Evan Lyscacek: What I like most is, obviously, the opportunity to be on the ice. As my career winds out, I don't know how many opportunities I'll have to be out on the ice. I appreciate each time, and I get excited just before I go out—I'll miss that when I don't skate any more.

The hardest thing for me is the group skating because I'm so much taller than the other skaters. [Lysacek is 6'2".] I just try to remember all the steps and not try to kick anyone. [Interviewer laughs.]

The 2015 Stars on Ice "Dancing for Joy" Tour will stop by Rosemont, Illinois, on Saturday, March 21, for a 7:30 p.m. performance at the Allstate Arena. Tickets start at $25; they are available via www.starsonice.com, www.ticketmaster.com, the Allstate Arena Box Office, select retail locations, and at 800-745-3000.


This article shared 8919 times since Wed Mar 18, 2015
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