VANCOUVER, British Columbia – A reoccurring foot problem will prevent Evan Lysacek from trying the hardest jump in figure skating this week at the Olympics.
The defending world champion has ruled out the quadruple toe loop, a four-rotation jump that’s typically worth big points given its high risk and high level of difficulty, because of lingering pain from a stress fracture he suffered last year in his left foot.
Lysacek, 24, of Chicago, didn’t need the quad in 2009 to become the first American man in 13 years to win a world title, and he kept it off the table last month in placing second at the U.S. Championships in Spokane, with two pretty clean programs featuring a slew of triple jumps.
Most think Lysacek must throw the quad to stay close to a stacked international field, led by Russian Evgeni Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic gold medalist and a three-time world champion. U.S. teammate Jeremy Abbott likely will attempt the quad, and 2008 world bronze medalist Johnny Weir is debating it.
“I’m not planning on it,” said Lysacek, who will compete in the short program today. “I’ve been doing just a couple triple toes every day. … My plan right now is to do what I can do well and what doesn’t cause me any pain.”