To the winner go the spoils, and Evan Lysacek is no exception.
A cast on his fractured left foot forced the skater off the ice for five weeks but didn't slow him down. Photo shoots, commercials and personal appearances -- including presenting the game ball at an L.A. Laker game -- have kept the 24-year-old world champion hopping.
"I feel really lucky to have these opportunities. With the Olympics coming up, I guess the timing this year was just really good," a tanned and relaxed Lysacek said on a break during U.S. Figure Skating's "Champs Camp" last weekend.
"I think there's going to be a lot of attention on all the skaters going into Vancouver, [considering] the success companies had using athletes from the Beijing Olympics [to promote] their products. Especially in this economy, they'll be looking to [capitalize] on the kind of attention athletes are going to get."
The two-time U.S. champion (2007 and 2008) is making the most of both his world title and training break. The Naperville, Ill. native, who moved to Los Angeles in 2003 to train under Frank Carroll, has given no thought to a vacation; work with sponsors and charities takes up all his down time.
"I'm a workaholic anyway, there's nothing I'd rather be doing," he admitted. "I haven't been home for four out of the five weeks.
"I got to reconnect with friends in Chicago, because I was there for a doctor's appointment. DuPage Figure Skating Club has been my club since day one, they've been so supportive, so I surprised them and went to their brunch. I'm doing [scholarship] grants right now for the Stephanie Joseph Memorial Fund [founded in memory of a friend]. I've kept so busy, I haven't had enough time to sit and get bored."
There have also been more glamorous commitments.