- Figure Skating
Lysacek's coach: 'A little worried'
Olympic figure skating champion Evan Lysacek is running out of time to start his competitive comeback.
“I’m a little worried because the clock is ticking,” Lysacek’s coach, Frank Carroll, told the Chicago Tribune‘s Phil Hersh. “He has to go somewhere and do something to get qualifying score.”
Lysacek, 28, pulled out of last week’s U.S. International Classic with a “slight abdominal tear,” according to U.S. Figure Skating. That was scheduled to be his first competition since winning gold at the 2010 Olympics. The comeback has also been delayed by a groin injury and sports hernia surgery over the last year.
Now, Lysacek looks to Skate America in Detroit, Oct. 18-20. It’s his only Grand Prix assignment of the season. U.S. Figure Skating said Monday the Lysacek is still scheduled to compete at Skate America.
Carroll’s quote mentioned a “qualifying score.” Lysacek must post a minimum score in the short and long programs in an international competition before Jan. 27 to be eligible for the Olympics.
The U.S. Championships, from which the Olympic team will be named, are Jan. 5-12 in Boston. Of course, that is not an international competition.
Carroll said Lysacek’s return to practice is uncertain, according to Hersh.
Meanwhile, American Gracie Gold could be working with Carroll as early as this week - on a full-time basis.
Gold will leave Michigan for a tryout with Carroll in California on Wednesday, also according to the Chicago Tribune.
Gold, 18, is coming off a disappointing performance at the U.S. International Classic in Salt Lake City last week. She fell in her short program and missed on four jumps in her free skate, finishing second to Courtney Hicks. Gold is the reigning U.S. silver medalist and sixth-place finisher from the World Championships.
It surfaced over the weekend that Gold, a Springfield, Ill., native, split from Chicago-area coach Alex Ouriashev. That split happened late last month, according to the newspaper. She has since been training in Michigan with her choreographer. She may stay in Michigan or be based in California with Carroll.
It’s a concern that one of the best skaters in the world is without a coach five months before the Games, but it’s not unprecedented.
“(Shizuka) Arakawa left her coach two months before the Olympics, and that worked out for her,” Gold told the newspaper. “I don’t feel nervous at all, just excited about the opportunities this season holds.”
Japan’s Arakawa was the surprise 2006 Olympic gold medalist, coming out ahead of Sasha Cohen and Irina Slutskaya.
Gold said she didn’t think she would completely shift to Los Angeles if she joins with Carroll, saying she would travel between California and Michigan.
“She needs to listen to a voice, not many voices,” Carroll said. “I think having many coaches is a mistake. I think she does have to be settled, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be with me.”
Gold wasn’t assigned a spot at Skate America, Oct. 18-20, but she is scheduled for Skate Canada, Oct. 25-27. The biggest pre-Olympic competition is, of course, nationals in Boston in January.
Three U.S. women will be chosen for the U.S. Olympic team after nationals — likely the top three finishers. Two-time reigning U.S. champion Ashley Wagner must be considered the top contender now.
Gold was right behind her after a breakthrough season, but she was beaten at the U.S. International Classic by Hicks, who was fourth at last season’s nationals, behind Wagner, Gold and Agnes Zawadzki. The fifth-place finisher at nationals, Christina Gao, is also a threat to make it to Sochi.
It appears the next few days will go a long way in determining the next few months for Gold.
More on the NBC OlympicTalk blog.