El Segundo Rink Rats Cheer for Lysacek

American figure skater Evan Lysacek trains in El Segundo at the same facility where the Lakers and Kings work out.

In fact, Lysacek uses the Lakers' weight room. And he won his World Championship last year at Staples Center, where the Lakers play. Now he'd like to take that shared success to the Vancouver Olympics.

A lot of young skaters who work out in El Segundo are hoping for the same result. 

"We're really excited and we're all really proud of him," said Mary Grace Baldo. "He makes this place special and we miss him. But we're glad he's doing what he's doing. It'll be really exciting but I'll be really nervous. I get really nervous when I watch friends skate."

Mary Grace Baldo says Lysacek is a great guy, and he was on the ice in El Segundo just last week, tuning up for his chance of a lifetime at the Olympic Games.

"He was here last Thursday, and he was skating really well when he left, so we're all excited to see what he does. He'll be amazing I know."

His Los Angeles skating buddies and supporters say they planned to watch Lysacek skate together this week, which is part of their joy.


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"It'll be especially fun for everybody who works out here because we all know where the jumps go," said Kristina Montaperdo. "We know where the spins are, all the footwork, everything."

Last time around in Torino, Lysacek fell just short of the podium thanks in part to a bout of stomach flu. This time, he's determined to get a medal. And his young fans are hoping he'll win it all. And maybe blaze a trail they can follow someday.

"I'm really excited. It's so cool to be around here with all the Olympians," says Sami McCain. "It's really fun."   

"I think he's so strong and consistent," says Cheryl Douglas. "He's really fast at learning and he's just so fun to watch because he's so aggressive and just really good."

At 6'2" he's also the biggest skater who regularly works out in El Segundo. And some of his diminutive young fans are aware of that, as well.

"Usually when he's doing his program I just go over to the corner to watch him," says Vicky Artaza.

They're all hoping the other skaters in Vancouver will step aside, as well, and Southern California's most accomplished active figure skater will take his place in history.

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