Reigning Olympic champion Evan Lysacek will not skate in the Grand Prix this year. He was scheduled to compete at Skate America and Trophee Eric Bompard. According to Lysacek’s website, his withdrawal is the result of a dispute with the USFSA:
“I regret to inform that I am withdrawing from the 2011 Grand Prix Series. I am extremely trained and eager to compete at Skate America, but a suitable agreement could not be reached between US Figure Skating and myself by the event entry deadline. I’m extremely disappointed in this turn of events, but I hope to be back on competitive ice this season.”
Quite honestly, I was not surprised by his withdrawal, but was surprised by the reason given. Lysacek has set his sights on Sochi. On the one hand, his missing the Grand Prix two seasons before the Olympic season is probably no big deal. On the other hand, it may impede his preparation for this year’s US Nationals; it is not absolutely crucial that he has a good showing at Nationals in 2012, but I’m sure he would like to show the competitive world that he is back, and there is no substitute for real competition in front of real judges.
Lysacek supposedly must let the USFSA know if he intends to compete at US Nationals 60 days before the event. (NB–He eventually decided not to compete in San Jose).