Winter Olympics 2010

5 Things to Know About Olympic Skater Evan Lysacek

UPDATED 02/19/2010 at 08:00 AM EST Originally published 02/18/2010 at 04:20 PM EST

5 Things to Know About Olympic Skater Evan Lysacek
David J. Phillip/AP
Evan Lysacek has turned into one of the stars of the Vancouver Olympics. On Thursday, the 2009 World Champion took the gold in men's figure skating. Here are five things you don't know about the athlete:

1. Lysacek, 24, has always been a self-described "daredevil." He says, "I loved to go fast" – and he always has. At about age 6, he sped on his bike down a hill near his home in Naperville, Ill., fell and needed stitches to the head. He started skating at 8.

2. He used to date Tanith Belbin, part of the U.S. Olympic ice dancing team. She's rooming in Vancouver with Lysacek's rival Johnny Weir. When rooms were chosen, "it came down to me, Evan and Johnny," says Belbin with a laugh. "Do the math – Johnny and I got the suite.”

3. He loves clubbing in L.A. with pals like Nicole Richie and Rachel Zoe.

4. His mom, Tanya, is in Vancouver but gets too nervous to watch her son in person. Instead, she cheers from in front of a TV back at the Procter & Gamble house set up for athletes' family members.

5. For fun, Lysacek worships the sun – check out that tan – and likes to surf. As for his post-skating career? He's taking acting classes. "I've always been obsessed with movies," he says.

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