PARK CITY, Utah - More bad news for 2010 Olympic champion Evan Lysacek of Naperville, whose hopes of defending that title in Sochi next February are rapidly disappearing.
Speaking to a U.S. Olympic Committee media gathering Monday, Lysacek revealed he has a torn labrum in the left hip that has forced him to withdraw from Skate America Oct. 18-20 in Detroit.
Jason Brown of Highland Parl will replace Lysacek at Skate America. It will be the first senior Grand Prix event for Brown.
Lysacek, 28, has not competed since the 2010 Olympics. He withdrew from Skate America and the U.S. Championships last season with a groin injury and then a hernia that required extensive surgery. He pulled out of the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic with an abdominal tear.
The hip injury occurred at the same time as the abdominal tear but was not diagnosed until persistent pain sent Lysacek back to doctors, and he had further tests about a week later.
Lysacek must compete in at least one international competition before the end of January to get the short and long program Olympic qualifying scores. There are several "B" level competitions in the fall and early winter that he could enter.
In a Trbune interview following the general media session, Lysacek answered the question of how realistic his 2014 Olympic chances are by saying, “I’m not giving up. I’m disappointed, devastated at times, but not defeated. That has been the struggle, to remain optimistic, but I am.
“I said I was coming back to competition. I have done it for all the right reasons. I love to skate and to compete.”
Lysacek flatly rejected any suggestion he was keeping his Olympic hopes alive to please personal sponsors – including Coke, Ralph Lauren, Citi, Deloitte – who know his name will stay in the news as long as he remains in contention for the 2014 U.S. Olympic team.
“That did not play into my thought process at all,” he said. “It is too difficult every single day to train. It is way too difficult of a path or journey to take because sponsors want you to do it.
“That being said, I love my sponsors, I appreciate them, I recognize what they are. We are one of very few nations whose Olympic program is not federally funded, and we rely on corporate sponsorship very much to get our athletes on the podium."
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