- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - Evan Lysacek will travel from the Sochi Olympics to St. Petersburg on Saturday as part of the U.S. State Department envoy program.

The 2010 gold medalist, who has been working as a TV analyst at the Sochi Games, will be accompanied by 2010 Olympian Rachael Flatt for a four-day stay.

Lysacek and Flatt will celebrate the 140th anniversary of modern figure skating being introduced in Russia by American skater and ballet dancer Jackson Haines. Lysacek served as a sports envoy on behalf of the United States in Belarus and Sweden in 2012.

Lysacek and Flatt will conduct clinics with local young athletes of all skill levels, and speak to university audiences on healthy living, the spirit of the Olympics, and the ability of sports to bring people together regardless of culture or background. They are following a path recently traveled by five-time world champion Michelle Kwan.

“Michelle has been a really positive force in the sports diplomacy movement,” Lysacek said. “I have seen the positive impact that type of awareness has; it is very non-threatening. For the most part these trips are really about healthy living and living that active lifestyle and promoting the positive influence of sports and the athletes’ ability to unite.”

Since 2003, the State Department has invited nearly 1,000 athletes from more than 60 countries to the United States to participate in sports visitor programs. The government also has sent more than 220 U.S. athletes to more than 50 countries on sports envoy programs.

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