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updated: 2/5/2010 10:59 AM

Naperville's Evan Lysacek chats with Leno

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  • Evan Lysacek

    Evan Lysacek


Naperville's Evan Lysacek, the reigning World Champion in men's figure skating, took time out from his training for the Vancouver Olympics for a six-minute interview Thursday night on "The Jay Leno Show."

Lysacek talked with Leno about his start in the sport, his schedule for the Olympics, and his habit of playing Scrabble every morning on his phone before he starts the day.

Representing the United States men's figure skating team in Vancouver will be Jeremy Abbott, the 24-year-old Lysacek, and Johnny Weir, a trio that has been called the strongest U.S. team since Brian Boitano won in 1988.

Abbott enters the Olympics off his second straight national title, and each has won the U.S. title multiple times. Lysacek became the 2009 world champion, and Weir was the bronze medalist at the 2008 worlds.

Lysacek, who trains in California and began his skating career at age 8 in Naperville, has made significant upgrades to his programs since winning the 2009 Grand Prix final in Tokyo. Unfortunately at the nationals, he fell on his quadruple toe, one of the jumps he just added. He also struggled on the landing of his triple axel-double toe combination.

"What happened here is absolutely no reflection of what I'm going to be like at the Olympics," he told reporters at the nationals.

"I think the three of us will represent the United States extremely well," Abbott said, "and I think it's going to be very, very exciting."

The Russians have dominated Olympic men's figure skating in the last decade and the 2006 gold medalist, Yevgeny Plushenko, is returning to compete in Vancouver. Lysacek finished fourth in Italy in 2006, but his outstanding free skate performance wasn't enough after his short program put him in 10th place in Torino.

History, however, will not be on his side. No male skater since Scott Hamilton in 1984, in Sarajevo, has won Olympic gold as the current world champion.