The winner of the gold medal in men's singles figure skating at the 2010 Winter Olympics will not defend his crown, as Evan Lysacek announced on Tuesday morning that a torn labrum in his left hip will keep him from competing in the 2014 Sochi Games.
After two months of treatment, Lysacek told Nancy Armour of the Associated Press that doctors advised him to pull out of the games to avoid risking permanent damage:
"This has been my entire life, training and representing my country," Lysacek told The Associated Press, pausing to fight back tears. "So it's just kind of difficult. As much as I knew it could go either way, I never accepted it wouldn't. I always thought it would work out. I was crushed. I am crushed."
Lysacek, 28, was the 2009 World Champion before winning gold in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, but has not competed since. While he attempted comebacks for the 2012 and 2013 U.S. Championships, Lysacek suffered injuries, including a torn abdominal muscle that forced him to withdraw from the events.
In his absence, no American man has finished better than fifth in the world championships since he he won the title in 2009 and for the third time in four years, no American men qualified for the Grand Prix Final.
The 2014 U.S. Fire Skating Championships will be held in Boston in January and serve as the de facto Olympic trials.