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Evan Lysacek ( 1985 - )  Category ( Sports_Figures ) [suggest a correction]

Evan LysacekOlympic skating champion Evan Lysacek's grandmother harbored a fantasy of becoming a star in the Ice Capades. It was a goal she never realized and so she focused her dreams on her grandson. When he was eight years old she bought him a pair of skates and enrolled him and his sister in figure-skating classes. Before long, Lysacek was competing as a figure skater.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, to a building contractor father and a substitute teacher mother, Lysacek has two sisters, Laura and Christina. He is the middle child of the three. His family is of Italian and Czech descendant and is a Greek Orthodox Christian. According to Lysacek, one of his most prized possessions is an Orthodox cross. His cousin, Cole Chason, plays for the Clemson Tigers. During Lysacek's high school years, he placed high emphasis on academics and received awards for his efforts, including the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence in 1999. His name regularly appeared on the honor roll as well.

He first won a United States national title at the juvenile level in 1996, but just one year later he moved to the Intermediate level and placed fourth in the Junior Olympics. In 1999, at the age of thirteen, he won the U.S. Novice title. That same year he won the Junior title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Upon high school graduation in 2003, Lysacek acquired a new set of coaches and relocated to Segundo, California. He continued to compete and place highly in national and international skating competitions. He has also undertaken ballet study, working with ballerina Galina Barinova, as well as a number of choreographers. He recently added the discipline of yoga to his training activities.

Lysacek is also involved in philanthropic efforts, including raising funds for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Figure Skating in Harlem. Some of his more prominent sponsors include Coca-Cola, AT&T, and Ralph Lauren. Lysacek loves to spend free time running on the beach, playing golf, and watching movies. His Blackberry device is an almost constant companion, he says. He enjoys the travel that comes with being an international athlete, but his favorite vacation destination is Paris.

He is a fan of pickup trucks, citing his own truck as one of his favorite possessions, along with the Orthodox cross and a favorite Rogan hoodie. He has stated he would like to attend college after his skating career, and that one of the most rewarding aspects of his life has been the opportunity to work with children who have life-threatening diseases.

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