Injured Lysacek out of Sochi Games
(AP) -- Evan Lysacek woke up every morning praying this would be the day the excruciating pain in his left hip - "like you're being electrocuted" - would subside. And every day when he stepped on the ice, the searing throb of pain reminded him that passion alone can't fuel a dream.
The reigning Olympic figure skating champion announced Tuesday that a torn labrum in his left hip will keep him from competing in Sochi. After two months of aggressive treatment, doctors told Lysacek last week the injury was not going to improve and he was risking permanent damage if he kept training.
"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."
On Sept. 29, the flame for the Sochi Games was lit in Olympia, Greece, where it began a record-breaking journey that ultimately takes it 40,000 miles around the host country of Russia. That trek - the longest in Winter Games history - will include memorable stops along the way, including a trip to the North Pole, the highest mountain peak in Europe and the deepest lake in the world. Chart the day-by-day journey of the flame, learn about its rich Olympic tradition and take a look at the specifications of the Sochi torch as it heads toward Fisht Stadium, where, on Feb. 7, it will set the XXII Winter Games underway.
There will be 11 venues used at the Sochi Games, most of which were newly built for these Olympics. The venues are divided into two clusters - coastal and mountain - with each having its own Olympic Village. The coastal cluster will host indoor events and is highlighted by Olympic Park, which will serve as a hub connecting all competition areas. Thirty miles northeast sits the mountain cluster, which will host outdoor events and is a quick stop away thanks to a new railway system created for these Games. Find out where the venues are located, what sports they're hosting and gain insight into their unique designs.
Though the Summer Games got a 28-year head start, the Winter Olympics have grown significantly since their 1924 debut and continue to appeal to a younger demographic with the addition of extreme-type events. Yet it's the sport of figure skating which has long been these Games' standard-bearer, from the majesty of Hennie and Button to the drama of Kerrigan and Harding. Thanks to a broad program of skiing events, however, Europe has emerged as winter's dominant force over 22 Olympiads. Discover the continent's preeminence on the medal stand, explore the Games' host cities and unveil its top moments and athletes.
|View Full Leaderboard|