Local ice rink roots for Olympic figure skater

February 16, 2010 4:44:11 PM PST
The men's figure skating competition begins at the Olympics Tuesday night in Vancouver and one of the favorites is Naperville native Evan Lysacek.Lysacek graduated from Neuqua Valley High School in 2003.

Evan Lysacek, 24, placed first in the 2007 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. During high school, the figure skater trained at Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge.

"He is a wonderful young man. He has worked very, very hard to be at the level he is at in this sport it is a huge commitment," said JoAnne Zalewski, competitive skating coach.

Coach Zalewski recognized that even as a young skater Lysacek had what it takes to be an Olympian.

"He had a lot of natural talents. But talent will only take you so far. Then you have to put in the time," said Zalweski.

Lysacek moved to LA to train with the very best.

Tuesday night Lysacek will be performing the short program and its many requirements.

"You can't win the whole competition with the short program, but you can lose if you are too far down," said Zalewski.

Everyone at the skating arena will be rooting for the skater Tuesday night.

"He has won a national championship. Last time in the Olympics the short program did not go as well. His long program is fantastic," said Zalewski. "He is a wonderful young man and comes from a wonderful family. You want good things to happen to good people."

"I think Evan is a really good skater. I am definitely hoping that he does really good," said Joslyn Dostal, skater.

"He is one of my favorite skaters," said Katarina Pearson, skater.