Lysascek will take time to greet his fans and sign autographs. The rink opened up a year ago.
Evan at John Hancock Observatory Ice Rink
WHERE: John Hancock Observatory, 94th floor, 875 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago
WHEN: 12:30-2:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Smuckers Stars on Ice Tour
WHERE: Allstate Arena, Chicago
WHEN: Saturday, March 12, 2011
A key element of confidence is standing tall and proud, and no one in the sport of figure skating embodies that characteristic more than 2010 Olympic Champion and 2009 World Champion Evan Lysacek. Standing at 6-2, he towers over many of his competitors, and thanks to choreographer Lori Nichol he has learned to flaunt and capitalize on his unique qualities.
"Lori has been instrumental in the growth of my career, because she is able to see a skater's strength, bring it out and highlight that strength," says Evan, a two-time U.S. Champion. "For so long, because I'm so much taller than the other skaters, I tried to camouflage that and do things that made me look like I wasn't so long and tall. She was one of the first people that said, 'That's what sets you apart and makes you different.' She brought out a creativity and a confidence in my skating."
The first program Nichol choreographed for Evan was a modern interpretation of music from the opera "Carmen," which highlighted his height and angles. This season, his short program will be preformed to "Bolero" by Maurice Ravel and his long program is to "Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin.
Nichol says she encourages Evan to be proud of his long lines and utilize that asset along with his musicality, intensity and ability to focus. "I feel he could do any style," she says.
In addition to his two U.S. Men's titles, Evan has been the top U.S. man and most consistent medal winner on the international scene for the past three years. He has posted the best finishes at the World Championships every year since 2005. Evan is also the only U.S. man to consistently land quadruple jumps-setting him up to be a serious gold medal contender heading into the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
A ferocious competitor, he lives by the philosophy that each day is a fresh start. "Go and fight every day, no matter what's happened the day before or what might happen," he says. "Don't think about the past or the future-stay in the present."
Nichol says often Olympic gold goes to the skater "who is able to work the smartest, the hardest and the most consistently-Evan has those traits."
Evan also appreciates the artistic elegance of skating, and he chooses to wear costumes that show off his sense of style. For the 2006-07 season, Christian Dior designed his short program costume and his long program costume was done by Gianfranco Ferre. Cutting edge designer Alexander McQueen has created both the short and long program costumes for 2007-08.
"My personal style is simple and modern," says Evan. "I want to feel confident and feel that I'm wearing something that enhances my performance and does not take attention away from the skating." His sense of style extends off the ice, and in the summer of 2007 he began working with the Public Image Modeling Agency. He has also been a sought-after spokesman for the sport of figure skating, and has made numerous personal appearances.
The person that Evan thanks most for his success is Coach Frank Carroll, with whom he's been training since 2003. Making the 2006 Winter Olympic team is one of his most satisfying achievements, and he feels he could not have done it without Carroll. Although Evan had wanted to train with Carroll for several years, his mother wisely insisted he stay at home in the Chicago suburb of Naperville until he graduated from high school, so that he had a strong foundation in life. With that accomplished, he made the move to Los Angeles.
But it was with Carroll, who is perhaps best known for guiding Michelle Kwan throughout much of her gilded career, that Evan made his biggest strides. Not only did Carroll help Evan improve in the standings, but also he helped improve his confidence.
"Frank was the coach that said he believed I could make the 2006 Olympic team," Evan says. "The traits I really appreciate and respect in him are his loyalty, honesty and down to earth quality. To this day, I'm still learning from him. He has so much experience in life and so much knowledge about the sport." Goal setting has always been a big part of Evan's life, and he says that daily, weekly and monthly goals help him to feel confident going into competitions. As his career has progressed he's had to learn how to refocus the goal-setting process from being strictly results-oriented to encompassing both results and training. After becoming U.S. Novice Champion at 13, U.S. Junior Champion at 14 and World bronze medalist at 19, he establishes both his short- and long-term goals.
"My goals are about training," says Evan, who is confident in his technique. "It's great to win competitions and I feel really good about winning, but I also feel a sense of pride every day now from going into the rink and working hard. It feels good to give it everything you have every day. That's just as rewarding to me as winning. As far as long-term goals, obviously winning the Olympic gold medal in 2010 is a huge goal I've been working towards my entire life. I've realized what the process is to accomplish it. I'm looking forward to it, but I am realistic. It takes a lot of confidence and determination. Those are hopefully things I'm building mentally each day."
Although Evan fully understands the importance of performing all the elements-especially essential under the sport's international judging system-he also revels in making a connection with an audience. Appearances in shows, such as Fashion on Ice, and tours, such as Champions on Ice, have helped build on his natural charisma. "Whatever choreography I'm doing, even when I'm competing and I have to be so focused, there are certain spots in the program that I try to remember to establish a connection, because that is what makes our sport unique," he notes. "The audience is able to see our faces and see our emotions. It is important for them to see, because it draws people closer to the skater and they feel a real connection."