A lot of kids in high school are involved with sports; even Kevin Jonas owned up to his days as a pole vaulter. But very few teen athletes go on to the Olympics or end up competing on “Dancing With the Stars.” That’s the kind of glory Evan Lysacek was preparing for when he was 17.
“I was just starting to come into my own and find my way,” the world-class figure skater says on this week’s “When I Was 17,” also featuring Kimberly Caldwell and Gabe Saporta. “I was just looking for the balance between the normalcy of high school life and the intensity of training to be a competitive athlete.”
Evan’s mom, Tanya, said her son was great at leading a double life. “He did a really good about keeping his skating life separate from his high school life,” she says on the show.
Although Lysacek is a household name, back in the day, his friends didn’t even realize he was training for Olympic glory. “For a long time, a lot of my friends didn’t even know I was a skater, and the ones that did know didn’t really understand the magnitude of it — that I was traveling all around the world to compete,” he says.
Then there was one fateful day when his school principal decided to expose his secret to the entire student body. “My junior year was the first time that I competed in a competition that was televised,” Evan recalls. “My principal broadcast my skating competition for the whole school. I didn’t know ahead of time, so I kind of was surprised.”
“When I Was 17″ — this week featuring Lysacek, Kimberly Caldwell and Gabe Saporta — airs Saturday at 11 a.m. on MTV.