Figure skater Evan Lysacek shares his favorite Chicago memories
The Olympic gold-medalist figure skater remembers hitting the ice at Skate on State.
Aspiring Olympic athletes don’t have normal childhoods. But Naperville native Lysacek, 25, found time for fun in between grueling training sessions at ice rinks throughout the West and Northwest Suburbs. He credits his Chicago-area training with providing him the discipline to win the gold—which he did at last year’s Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver—as well as his lasting love of cheesecake. Now an L.A. resident, Lysacek is on tour with Smucker’s Stars on Ice.
Any places you remember skating, other than for training?
I remember going to Skate on State [now Block 37], across the street from the Marshall Field’s windows. That’s a great family memory. And then going to Ed Debevic’s or to Rosebud.
Any other food memories?
We always loved Eli’s [the Place for Steak]. I still love the cheesecake. The [owners] are good friends of mine, so they send me cheesecakes when I’m on the road. It’s a nice surprise to get a cheesecake every once in a while.
What’s the best thing about growing up in the Chicago area?
Number one, Chicago gave me the resources I needed to develop my skills. There are lots of ice rinks and amazing training facilities. And Chicago has a lot of great skating clubs. I still skate for the DuPage Figure Skating Club.