Evan Lysacek: Are you ready for some skating?
I was sitting on a patio when I realized that fall is here. That means it's time for Angelenos to pull out their coats and scarves to brave the brisk L.A. evenings, but it also signals the start of the skating season.
Fall has special relevance this year because Los Angeles is set to host the World Championships in March at Staples Center. And, with just 16 months until the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, the excitement in the sport is building.
The 2009 season will kick off this weekend in Everett, Wash., with Skate America, the first of a six-event Grand Prix series. Skate America is always the most watched event of the Grand Prix series because everyone is debuting their new routines.
I always try to stay busy before a big competition, as it keeps me from "over-thinking" my skating. One of the side projects I've been working on is scoping out a new designer to create an outfit for me to wear at the Olympics. Lucky for me, it's Fashion Week here, and I got a backstage look at what top designers have to offer.
I was really impressed with the Lauren Conrad collection. Her designs have an ease about them that easily could transfer to skating. Some designers that I've worn in the past include Gianfranco Ferre, Heatherette, Hedi Slimane, Issey Miyake and Alexander McQueen. I've appreciated each of their styles and learned a little bit about fashion from all of them.
On Sunday night, I cheered on the Lakers (my training mates). Their win over Toronto was great motivation for me to start off this week with a really positive attitude. Training went really well on Monday as last-minute preparations and adjustments were made to my routine and my technique. On to my friend Hannah Knowlton at John Frieda Salon for a haircut. ...
I feel like a million bucks, ready to take on the world's best this weekend. I will travel to Everett on Wednesday. Thursday will be spent practicing and getting used to the ice rink size and condition.
Friday night is the short program, a two-minute, 45-second sprint to incorporate eight required elements, set to the music of our choice. Saturday is the free skate, a grueling four-minute, 45-second routine that incorporates eight jump elements, three combination jumps, three spins and two footwork step sequences.
What to watch for: the quad jump. This risky four-rotation jump is usually a make-or-break in the men's event.
-- Evan Lysacek
Evan Lysacek, winner of the last two U.S. men's figure skating titles and twice a world bronze medalist, is blogging for The Fabulous Forum. Lysacek took time off from training in El Segundo to share his thoughts on the first major event of the season.
Photo: Evan Lysacek is shown in a March 31 file photo. Credit: Jason DeCrow / Associated Press