Olympic champion Evan Lysacek to return to skating in Kent

Let the hype begin about ice skater Evan Lysacek coming to Kent.

Evan Lysacek

Evan Lysacek

Let the hype begin about ice skater Evan Lysacek coming to Kent.

Lysacek, the 2010 Olympic champion, announced Friday on NBC's Today Show from the London Olympics his plan to return to competitive skating after a two-season layoff.

U.S. Figure Skating confirmed in a media release that Lysacek will make his return at the 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America Oct. 19-21 at the ShoWare Center in Kent. That is the opening event of the International Skating Union's Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series.

“I am returning to competitive skating with the ultimate goal of representing the U.S. at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi and successfully defending my Olympic title,” Lysacek said. “I'm excited that my first competition back will be at 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America. Kicking off my return on home soil will make it even sweeter.”

Lysacek, 27, from the Chicago area, will compete for the first time since winning the 2010 Olympic gold in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is training with coach Frank Carroll.

The return of Lysacek was expected after he changed agents in the spring, according to the Chicago Tribune. Lysacek left Creative Artists Agency and now is represented by Shep Goldberg, also the agent for Michelle Kwan.

Lysacek intended to return to competition last season but could not come to an agreement with USFS about financial and sponsorship terms of its athlete contract, according to the Tribune.

The runner-up on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010, Lysacek brings a celebrity status rarely seen in Kent. He was a hot topic last month on E! News and other celebrity news agencies that reported rumors of Lysacek dating Vera Wang, 63, who designed all of his costumes for his gold-medal performance and will design his outfits for Skate America.

Wang, a wedding-gown designer, was in the audience to watch Lysacek compete on “Dancing with the Stars” and she took him to Kim Kardashian's wedding last fall. E! News reported that a source close to the skater said the two are simply “really good friends.”

Lysacek will be part of the Grand Prix Series, entering its 18th season. The series incorporates six international figure skating competitions as a unified point-scoring series that awards prize money to eligible skaters.

At the conclusion of the series, points are totaled, and the top six ladies, men, pairs and ice dancing teams are invited to compete at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final Dec. 5-9 in Sochi, Russia, site of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

The other Grand Prix events include Skate Canada International - Windsor, Ontario, Oct. 26-28; Cup of China- Shanghai, Nov. 2-4; Rostelecom Cup - Moscow, Nov. 9-11; Trophee Eric Bompard - Paris, Nov. 16-18; and NHK Trophy - Miyagi, Japan, Nov. 23-25.

Single-session tickets for Skate America in Kent went on sale Friday. Starting at $10 tickets are available at www.2012skateamerica.com/tickets, the ShoWare ticket office or by calling 253-856-6999. All-event ticket packages also are available.

NBC will broadcast live coverage of Skate America on Sunday, Oct. 21.

For more information about the 2012 Grand Prix Series, including the complete list of events and skater selections, go to www.isu.org.

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