LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- After taking last season off and performing only in less-rigorous ice shows, Olympic figure skaing champion Evan Lysacek is taking the first steps back toward competitive skaing.
Lysacek is officially back on the Grand Prix schedule. The gold medalist from Naperville drew Skate America and Trophee Bompard on the list of Grand Prix assignments released Monday by the International Skating Union. He has not competed since Vancouver, where he became the first American man to win the Olympic gold medal since Brian Boitano in 1988.
Lysacek skipped last season because of a heavy schedule of promotions and appearances, including touring with the "Stars on Ice" 25th anniversary tour. But he did not rule out a return to competition, saying in January he was still doing run-throughs of his Olympic programs and working on quadruple jumps.
Lysacek's return would be a huge boost to the U.S. men, who will have only two spots at the world championships for the first time since 2001. Lysacek was the 2009 world champion, and bronze medalist in 2005 and 2006.
According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, Lysacek's publist says the skate does not want to make a formal announcement of his intentions until later this summer. Lysacek has, however, resumed training with coach Frank Carroll, according to several reports.
Evgeni Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic champion, was not assigned to any of the six Grand Prixs. The Russian's eligibility was restored earlier this month by the ISU, and he has said he hopes to compete at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
Also skipping the Grand Prix season this year are world champion Miki Ando and Olympic champion Kim Yu-na. Ando said she did not have enough time to prepare programs for the new season while Kim is busy promoting Pyeongchang's bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The International Olympic Committee will pick a 2018 host July 6 in Durban, South Africa.
The Grand Prix season begins Oct. 21-23 with Skate America in Ontario, Calif. Skate Canada is next, followed by Cup of China, NHK Trophy in Japan, Trophee Eric Bompard in Paris and the Cup of Russia. The Grand Prix final will be Dec. 8-11 in Quebec.