Lysacek wins men's title on one good foot
Stress fracture puts participation in ISU team event in doubt
|Evan Lysacek is the first American man to win the world title since Todd Eldredge did it in 1996. (Getty Images)|
By Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com
(03/27/2009) - Evan Lysacek did a perfect quad toe at the ISU Four Continents Championships last month, but he left the jump out of his repertoire last night. As things turned out, he didn't need it. Competing in his adopted hometown, the Chicagoan hit eight clean triples -- including two triple Axels -- and won the free skate by 4.5 points, becoming the first U.S. man since Todd Eldredge in 1996 to win world gold. After it was over, the newly crowned world champ revealed why he'd left the four-revolution jump in his skate bag: he's spent the last few weeks training with a stress fracture in his left foot. "I knew I wasn't going to [be able to] do a quad," he said. "The doctor told me it wasn't going to happen." Before the event, Lysacek and his coach, Frank Carroll, downplayed the injury, owning up only to a sore left foot. Afterwards, the skater admitted it has been troubling him for much of the season. "I've sort of been dealing with it for the last five-and-a-half months, but we just found out two weeks ago that it was a stress fracture," he told reporters. "I'll have to get it in a cast at some point for four weeks." Depending upon the timing of that cast, the injury has put Lysacek's participation in the inaugural ISU World Team Trophy, to be held in Tokyo April 16-19, in doubt. U.S. Figure Skating is scheduled to send two men, two ladies, a pair and an ice dance team to that event. Lysacek said the injury was almost a blessing in disguise. "It sort of limited me in practice, which was kind of good, because I tend to over train," he said, adding that shorter sessions forced him to be more concentrated and workmanlike on the ice. One thing is for sure: he wasn't feeling any pain standing on the top of the podium. "This whole event, I knew it was going to be special because I always loved skating in this building. It's such an electric building, and the people of L.A. have been so supportive. "I couldn't have asked for a better crowd today. That's why I was so thrilled. I will never forget this performance for the rest of my life."