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American figure skater – Evan Lysacek
Evan Lysacek, born June 4, 1985, in Chicago, Illinois, raised in Naperville, Illinois, is an American figure skater who is the 2007 US National Champion and a two-time World bronze medalist (2005–2006), currently ranked fifth in the world (as of 2007).
Lysacek began skating at the age of eight. His grandmother had always wanted to be in the Ice Capades, so she bought him skates for Christmas. He originally wanted to play hockey so his mother enrolled him and his sister Laura in figure skating lessons so he would learn how to skate. Lysacek became hooked and was soon competing as a figure skater.
In 1996, he won the U.S. national title at the Juvenile level. After failing to qualify for Nationals on the novice level in 1998, Lysacek won the U.S. Novice title in 1999 at the age of thirteen and then immediately followed it with the U.S. Junior title in 2000 at the age of fourteen. He was the first male skater since Terry Kubicka to win back-to-back Novice and Junior Men’s titles in the United States.
In the 2004–2005 season, having aged out of juniors, Lysacek made his senior international debut. Skating through a hip injury, Lysacek placed fifth at the 2004 Skate America, his first Grand Prix event of his career.
At the 2006 U.S. Championships, Lysacek was third after the short program, but pulled up to win the free skate, finishing second overall and winning the silver medal. He was named to compete at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
In the 2006–2007 season, Lysacek placed second at Skate America. Two weeks later, Lysacek won the gold medal at Cup of China by a 20-point margin.
Off the ice, Lysacek studies acting on his own and has also taken method acting classes at the Professional Arts School in Beverly Hills. He appeared in the independent film Skate Great!, playing a Russian Olympic gold medalist.
Lysacek has used his fame to support in a number of charities. He participated in Target – A Time for Heroes, a celebrity charity event benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. He also supports the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Jimmy Fund).