The USOC announced its athletes of the year on Tuesday morning, not surprisingly tapping stars from the Vancouver Olympics as honorees. Figure skater Evan Lysacek was named Sportsman of the Year, outlasting snowboarder Shaun White, history-making speed skater Apolo Ohno and rejuvenated alpine whiz Bode Miller. Lysacek won a nail-biting men's title in Vancouver against Russia's Evgeny Plushenko in a battle of contrasting styles.
Last night Nicole Scherzinger was the 10th star to claim the mirrored ball on "Dancing with the Stars." The lead Pussycat Doll went up against Olympic figure skater Evan Lysacek and ESPN anchor Erin Andrews and came out victorious. Many predicted that Scherzinger would win from the start based on her spectacular performances and stage presence, not to mention her extensive dance history as a member of the Pussycat Dolls. But Lysacek and Andrews gave her a good run for her money, bringing an enjoyable end to a season of controversy.
Make some more room in the Phinney family trophy case. Nineteen-year-old Taylor Phinney took home two medals at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Denmark this weekend. Phinney won the pursuit event and also captured a bronze in the omnium. His teammate Sarah Hammer won the women's pursuit earlier in the week, adding to the golds she won in 2006 and 2007.
"I wrote myself a message on a note card and taped it to my wall: 'Mind your own business and just worry about what you have to do.' That mission was accomplished."â¢ Evan Lysacek reacts to becoming the first U.S. man in 22 years to win Olympic gold for figure skating - his plan all along!
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- In the end, the artistic skater didn't win because of his artistry. Evan Lysacek, without a quadruple jump, became the first American man to take home Olympic gold in figure skating since Brian Boitano in 1988, laying down a passionate, difficult, nearly perfect program to pass Russia's Evgeni Plushenko, he of the quad-triple jump.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Wasn't it romantic? Long ago, in a world before American Idol, judges with fickle hearts and talents with wow factors gripped and enchanted audiences on ice stages. All it took was that one moment in a skater's program to change everything -- like the money spiral from Michelle Kwan. She would gain speed in a sequined blur, then suddenly throw her arms out wide, burst into a flirty smile and glide elegantly on one skate blade across the rink in a curving line as if she were drawing hearts.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The men's short program put into focus what had been a wide-open field Tuesday night, as three very different skaters separated from the pack and put themselves in position to take the gold.
The must-see event of these Olympics in figure skating, for a change, is the men, which begins Tuesday night. The field is wide open: competing are four world champions, seven world medalists, the defending Olympic champion. There is also a potential judging brouhaha that is a lit fuse waiting to explode. Tonya and Nancy, it's not, but for these days on the snore-me figure skating beat, it's a pretty rich brew. I see ten skaters who have a reasonable shot at a medal, and four men who could possibly win. Let's break them down by categories.
Despite all the hue and cry surrounding figure skating's new scoring system, the one thing no one seemed to be worried about was whether it would lead to too many ties. After all, each of fourteen elements is marked to the hundredth decimal point. But on Sunday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, the least likely happened. Defending champion Evan Lysacek and former three-time champion Johnny Weir did the near impossible: they finished the competition with exactly 244.77 points each.