Evan Lysacek Evan Lysacek

The last time an American man won Olympic figure skating gold, Evan Lysacek was a toddler. That was in 1988 when Brian Boitano edged Canadian Brian Orser in the Battle of the Brians on Orser's home turf in Calgary. Twenty-two years later, the Winter Olympics are back in Canada, and Lysacek, the defending world champion, is seen as the one who can end the U.S. drought. "Scott Hamilton is a good friend of mine, and he keeps telling me that most U.S. world champions have won the Olympics," Lysacek, 24, tells TVGuide.com. "But I'm just going to do my best. I'm the type of competitor that just goes about my business and handles things when I get there." Lysacek, who finished second at nationals behind Jeremy Abbott and ahead of Johnny Weir, has his work cut out for him with a loaded international field that includes defending champion Evgeni Plushenko. See what he has to say about his competition, whether he will throw a high-scoring quadruple jump and why the men's team is "going to take on the world."

Catch the men's short program Tuesday at 8/7c and the long program Thursday at 8/7c on NBC.

TVGuide.com: I'm sure you know this, but more often than not, the national champ doesn't perform well at the Olympics, so is this a blessing in disguise?
Evan Lysacek:
[Laughs] Yeah, for whatever reason that's the way it's been in the past. I mean, I would've loved to have a great performance, but it's been a great season. I used nationals to try that quad and try some jumping passes that were a little more difficult. I'm going to have to make that decision come the Olympics on which elements to put in. It obviously wasn't perfect there, but at the same time I'm a little relieved I didn't have my Olympic performance at nationals. Maybe it is a blessing. It takes off the pressure and I can just slip in there and put on my Olympic performance when it really counts.

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