Behind the Scenes of Backstage With Evan Lysacek

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On a lunch break from "Smuckers Stars on Ice," Evan Lysacek tells how another gold medalist helped keep him calm as he moved from the Olympic medal stand to "Dancing With the Stars" to his current tour.

One of the best things about the "Lunch" segments is sitting down with national sports figures when they travel through Washington.

It can also be one of the most challenging aspects about the segments, because with most of those athletes, it's a first-time meeting.

It’s a meaty challenge because you’re breaking bread with someone that doesn’t know you from Adam while at the same time trying to make them feel comfortable enough to share personal answers.

Under those circumstances, like meeting gold medal figure skater Evan Lysacek, research is key, as is using as much of the setup time as possible to chat with the athlete before the cameras start rolling.

Lysacek made it easy. As he was preparing for a “Smuckers Stars on Ice” tour performance that night, he had just finished resting and the crew set up to do the "Lunch" shoot in the makeshift cafeteria all the skaters were using at the Verizon Center.

Lysacek was immediately warm. He gets requests all the time, but he was very personable and businesslike at the same time. He went right through the buffet line, and when one of the staffers accidentally tripped and fell on a chair in the middle of taping, he stopped to make sure she was OK.

Some cool things that hit the cutting room floor because of timing included:

  • Lysacek flew straight from Vancouver to L.A. to begin work for “Dancing With the Stars”
  • He has become very good friends with fellow "Dancing" competitor Erin Andrews.
  • He made the decision that he wanted balance in his life as an athlete/young adult but had a hard time finding it so he had to give up a lot -- outings with friends, birthdays, etc. -- to train as he needed for Olympic competition.
  • Olympic skier Picabo Street gave advice once to write down a saying of something important to motivate you before the Olympic games, so Lysacek wrote on a piece of paper “mind your own business” and posted it to his wall in Vancouver. It helped him worry only about himself as he prepared for competition
  • He was so mentally tough when it came time for his Olympic competition that he felt he had prepared to the max. Whatever was to happen, he could look back and say he more than gave it his all.

Evan doesn’t know when he’ll decide if he’s going to compete in the 2014 Olympics in Russia, but until then, he’s got the world at his fingertips. He can basically choose his own path, so stay tuned!

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