Naperville to celebrate Evan Lysacek Day

March 26, 2010 4:43:01 AM PDT
Naperville will celebrate Olympic gold medal winner Evan Lysacek Friday.

The west suburban town has declared March 26 'Evan Lysacek Day' to welcome home the star.

At Neuqua Valley High School students will welcome Lysachek Friday morning with a rally for students. Lysacek graduated from the school in 2003. His former teachers remember how hard he worked then balancing schoolwork with skating.

"He was a great student, his diligence with practice. I think one of things that came out of the Olympics is that he loves to practice and prepare. I saw the same thing in his classroom work," said Lance Fuhrer, Neuqua Valley H.S. assistant principal.

Lysachek is an inspiration to other young skaters and students like Lauren Nieman. She has been balancing skating and school for 14 years.

"It's really cool to say I go to a school where an Olympic champion went and I know an Olympic champion. It's a really cool thing to say. And it's cool it happened to him. He really deserves it," said Nieman.

Now Lysacek is taking his moves onto the dance floor, although he has found that figure skating isn't the same as "Dancing with the Stars."

"It's definitely been a challenge for me. Not just learning the steps on the dance floor, but trying to forget a lot of the skating technique that I've had for 16 years," said Lysachek.

Friday Naperville will remind Lysachek that it is that skating technique that will lead to him receiving an Olympic commemorative ring personalized with his name and sport.

Naperville's mayor George Pradel signed the Evan Lysacek Day proclamation and the key to the suburban city has been polished to a shine.

"Evan's a role model to our young people and we need more of that," said Mayor Pradel.

Perhaps the best place for Lysachek's fans to see him will be at Naperville's Millennium Carillon Friday afternoon at 4. They'll gather there to celebrate the hometown boy who made it big.

"I get so excited for people when they excel or succeed and especially when it's for Naperville and he let everyone know it was for Naperville," said Pradel.

Lysacek will be live on ABC7 news Friday morning beginning at 5 a.m.