Evan Lysacek missed out yet another competition when he withdrew from the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships earlier this month, but that doesn't mean the 27-year-old skater has moved beyond figure skating.
Far from it, in fact. Lysacek, who is the defending gold medalist in the men's competition, has big plans for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
There, Lysacek hopes to capture two Olympic gold medals. First, he plans to defend his Olympic title in the men's competition. Should Lysacek defend his gold medal, he will become the first man to win back-to-back gold medals since Dick Button did so in 1952.
A second gold medal would be possible for Lysacek in the team competition, as the 2014 Olympic Games will feature the first team competition in figure skating. The team event will feature one male, one female, one pair and one ice dance couple, and the teams with the highest combined scores at the end will be awarded medals.
In order to be a part of that team, Lysacek will have to stay healthy and earn a spot on the 2014 Olympic team. Currently, Lysacek is recovering from the surgery he had in November to correct a sports hernia. Before that, he was dealing with a groin injury.
But he's past his injuries now, Lysacek said during a press conference, and he's ready to compete again.
"(Missing the U.S. Championships is) disappointing, because health-wise I'm fine," Lysacek said during the press conference. "Due to the long layoff from the surgery I still need about three more weeks to get back into competition form. The good news is I am finally healthy, back to a full training schedule and already working hard to be ready for next season to defend my Olympic title at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi."
Lysacek has not skated during a competition since he won his Olympic gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Instead, he took some time away from the sport, during which he was a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars." He finished in second place during his season.
Lysacek's break from the sport offered an opportunity for another American male to breakout and emerge as the next superstar, but no one has done so. Instead, his absence has been felt throughout the skating community. Before his break, Lysacek was known for his consistent ability to place highly in international competitions. Since he's been away from the sport, though, not one American male has stepped onto the podium in a major international competition.
During her career, Sandra Johnson has covered three Olympic Games. In addition, she also spent time working for the United States Olympic Committee, where she had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement while learning about each Olympic sport. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46
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