Lysacek, Belbin and Agosto named USOC Athletes of the Month
|Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto helped propel the U.S. into the lead with their win in the original dance Thursday in Tokyo. (Getty Images)|
(04/07/2009) - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced today Evan Lysacek as its male Athlete of the Month and ice dancers Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto as its Team of the Month for March 2009. A two-time U.S. champion (2007-08) and two-time world bronze medalist (2005-06), Lysacek brought home gold from the 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif. In winning the men's title, Lysacek became the first American man to win world gold since Todd Eldredge in 1996. Sitting in second following the short program, Lysacek was able to overtake six-time French and three-time European champion Brian Joubert with a career-best free skate. Lysacek previously won Athlete of the Month honors in November 2006. Five-time U.S. ice dancing champions Belbin and Agosto captured the world silver medal in their return to competition. The team had been sidelined since an injury to Agosto's back forced their withdrawal from the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Competing in their ninth straight world championships, Belbin and Agosto claimed their fourth world medal, and their second silver. Belbin and Agosto earned this same honor from the USOC in January and February 2006. Lysacek, Belbin and Agosto have been selected to compete in the inaugural 2009 ISU World Team Trophy, taking place April 16-19 at the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. The U.S. team will also include U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott, two-time U.S. silver medalist Rachael Flatt, U.S. bronze medalist Caroline Zhang, and U.S. pairs silver medalists Caydee Denny and Jeremy Barrett.