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Carroll: 'He felt like something was missing'

Lysacek's longtime coach says skater 'looks better than he ever did'

Frank Carroll will try to steer Evan Lysacek to another Olympic podium.
Frank Carroll will try to steer Evan Lysacek to another Olympic podium. (courtesy of U.S. Figure Skating)

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By Mickey Brown
(08/10/2012) - Evan Lysacek announced Friday his intentions to return to competition, but according to his coach, Frank Carroll, the skater was contemplating a comeback as early as 2010.

Carroll said that within six or seven months of winning the Olympic gold, Lysacek started to feel the tug.

"He said to me, 'I don't think I'm finished with this,'" Carroll told icenetwork.com in a phone interview Thursday. "I told him, 'If anybody can do this again, you can do it, because you have such great work ethic and such determination and such passion.'"

The idea of a comeback went against the plan Carroll and Lysacek had laid out leading up to the Vancouver Games.

"We decided together he was going to stop," Carroll said. "I told him, 'You've already done everything you can in skating. You've been national champion, you've been champion of the world, you've been Olympic champion. What else is there to gain? He agreed; he was going to move on.

"After a while, he felt like something was missing."

Carroll said Lysacek used a football analogy to justify his wanting to compete again.

"He said to me, 'Every year, when somebody wins the Super Bowl and gets a ring, do they say, "That's all there is."? I'm not going to play next year."?'"

It is Lysacek's well-documented affinity for toiling away at practice that has Carroll convinced that his student's comeback attempt will not be in vain.

"He totally loves training," Carroll said. "He loves the process of becoming the best."

Carroll knows this time around will be different, however.

"There are many more demands on him. It's not quite the same. He has more obligations on the outside. It's more complicated for him now," Carroll said. "I moved away from LA; I live in Palm Springs. It's more difficult for me and him to get together."

The two have been meeting at the Ice Castle International Training Center in Lake Arrowhead as well as in Ontario, Calif. -- a midway point between Palm Springs and Lysacek's home in Los Angeles -- but they have yet to sit down and iron out a permanent training arrangement.

As for how Lysacek has looked in training, Carroll said nothing has changed.

"He's been fabulous. He's running through his programs," Carroll said. "He looks better than he ever did."

Is a return to form possible for the next Olympics?

In short, Carroll believes it is.

He said, "If can stay healthy, keep his body in one piece. God willing that happens, he'll be fine."