Olympic figure skaters Evan Lysacek and Mirai Nagasu were honored during a ceremony Tuesday at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo. The rink was home to Evan as he trained for his World Championship and Olympic Championship seasons, and after eight years Evan only one goal in mind, giving back to the fans.
"It's kind of a celebration for myself coming home from the Olympics and also a chance for me to say thank you to this facility and to just interact with the fans who have been so supportive and and important to me," Evan Lysacek, Gold Medal Winner in Men's Figure Skating said at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.
"In my career I've had such positive role models. Not just skaters but athletes from different sports that I look up to and have had real impact in my life. I kind of feel that maybe that's my goal is to be a good role model and to interact with all these kids at this rink that I see everyday," said Evan Lysacek. "They saw me go away to Vancouver and come back with a gold medal, and they kind of know now that their dream is possible and their goal is possible."
Lysacek had nothing but praise for the Toyota Sports Center rink.
"This has been literally my home for the last eight years and I'm here more than I'm at my house because I'm just training all day and they've been like a family to me. I'm really proud to have my name at such a prestigious building here in L.A."
When asked about his next goal Evan had one thing on his mind. Dancing with the Stars.
"Well, my gold medal is awful lonely sitting in my house and it could use a place to be displayed, so I think around the neck of a mirror-ball trophy might be the perfect place," said Evan Lysacek, Olympic Gold Medal Winner. "It's hard. I'm about eight days into training now and just starting to get a little comfortable with dancing, but it's very different than skating."
"It's different. My training in skating was so grueling physically and the movement was second nature to me, and being on the ice was second nature, but it was just training strength and stamina and it was really physical training. With this I have to be so present with each step and there is a certain amount of precision that you have when your with a partner versus doing it alone."
When asked about his love life Lysacek's answer was brief.
"What about it? Nonexistent. My life has been so hectic and and obviously now changing quite a bit."
Then he went on to comment about media reports linking Lysacek with U.S. Olympic gymnast Nadia Lukin.
"Nadia is a good friend of mine. We're really close and she's had a very important role in my life, especially over the last year, but she lives in Dallas and I live here in L.A."
Despite such probing questions, Lysacek said many unusual things have happened to him since winning the gold.
"Over the course of this Oscar weekend I've been at several parties with celebrities and actors, directors and producers that have created movies that have inspired me. Movies that I've used at a tool to get pumped up for competitions or musicians who's music has inspired me on a daily basis in training, and just being able to say thank you to them and tell them how their work has impacted me."
But when those celebrities thanked Evan instead of the other way around?
"That threw me off. It definitely threw me off."
For more information on the Toyota Sports Center check out their website: http://www.toyotasportscenter.com/
Toyota Sports Center
555 North Nash Street
El Segundo, CA 90245-2818