Can Evan Lysacek Make Male Figure Skating Cool?

He's the less-flamboyant, highly-technical side of skating's big feud

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 27, 2010 2:29 PM CST

(Newser) – There’s a battle going on for the future of male figure skating, and the powers-that-be really hope Evan Lysacek wins it. In one corner there’s Johnny Weir, the flamboyant performer who once posed for BlackBook in a sarong and high heels. In the other, there’s Lysacek, a skater so technical he’s almost robotic. He’s “a little less Nutcracker, a lot more Tony Hawk,” writes Emma Rosenblum in New York.

Weir once quipped that if Lysacek “doesn’t want to skate to music that’s pretty and wear a pretty costume, then go Rollerblade or skateboard.” But figure skating’s power brokers think they can bring in better endorsement deals if Lysacek can make the sport seem more masculine. But they also like the drama of the Weir-Lysacek feud. “They’ve sort of pitted me and Evan against each other like Britney and Christina,” says Weir. “I’m Christina, of course.”

Evan Lysacek acknowledges the crowd.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Evan Lysacek performs his short program during the men's singles competition at the U.S. figure skating championships in Spokane, Wash., Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
In this Jan. 17, 2010, file photo, Johnny Weir competes during the men's free skate at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Johnny Weir shows off his medal for third place during the men's free skate at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
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My costumes are an evolution of what I’d wear everyday. Maybe I’m trying to play a character, like a mystical creature, but I bring a little bit of myself to the picture,
as well. - Evan Lysacek

People are wanting me to fake things, be more outlandish than I actually am. They know they can’t tone me down, so now they’re trying to get me to be even more out there. - Johnny Weir

Evan’s skating is a lot about fireworks. That last minute of the program he brings people to their feet because he’s flailing his arms around, running and spinning fast and doing things that
are exciting. - Johnny Weir

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