Since winning the Olympic gold medal in Vancouver, figure skater Evan Lysacek has had little time to savor his victory over Russia's Evgeni Plushenko. It's like he's been in one continuous combination spin, going from fundraisers to appearances to Dancing With the Stars rehearsals to performances with Smucker's Stars on Ice.
The skating tour stops at the BankAtlantic Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and Lysacek will be joined by fellow Olympians Joannie Rochette, Mirai Nagasu, Jeremy Abbott, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto and Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett. Former Olympians Sasha Cohen and Todd Eldredge are also in the cast.
Lysacek's schedule often requires him to spend six hours practicing for Dancing With the Stars during the day and three hours honing his skating routines from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
"I was a little apprehensive doing both at the same time," said Lysacek, who hopes to continue the tradition of Olympians' success on the hit show, like that of Kristi Yamaguchi and Apolo Anton Ohno. "I hope I don't mix it up and start doing my jive on the ice and throw in a triple salchow on the floor."
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Lysacek has long been praised as an elegant skater but he's never possessed a fluid style. He hopes the dancing experience will eliminate any remnants of stiffness on the ice.
"I have been criticized for not being graceful or lyrical or musical," he said. "People have recommended I get dance training. That's why this show is so exciting. You can learn about movement from the best of the best - a professional dancer. Hopefully that will transfer over and help my skating in the long run."
Lysacek reflected on his detail-packed winning long program at the Olympics, in which his all-around skating skills edged Plushenko's jumping ability by 1.31 points on judges' scorecards. Lysacek's finesse beat Plushenko's flirtatiousness. Plushenko chose to do only one quadruple jump and it wasn't enough, even though he said afterward he was "sure" that he deserved the gold.
"I suppose Evan needs a medal more than I do," said Plushenko, 2006 champion.
Plushenko's coach huffed that men's figure skating had reverted to women's figure skating.
"I think for Plushenko he was under such immense pressure from his federation because he was plotting to win the gold that he needed to defend himself to his own country," Lysacek said. "I tried not to take it personally. He should be proud of winning that third Olympic medal. We all looked up to him.
"I hope my performance will be remembered as a great one and so will Plushenko's."
Lysacek was especially happy for his coach, Frank Carroll, who had taken skaters to 10 Winter Olympics but none won gold until Lysacek.
"He took a chance accepting me as a student and turned down others," Lysacek said. "I got to put the medal around his neck and say, 'Thank you for teaching me.'"
Lysacek, who performs to a Michael Jackson song on tour, said he's undecided about whether he will be back for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. "I would have to go back to sacrificing everything to training," he said. "I would want to go back to win and not to just be a participant."