- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - Defending men’s figure skating champion Evan Lysacek says speed will decide who succeeds him as Olympic gold medalist.

Lysacek is in Sochi working for NBC’s”Today Show” after injuries curtailed his attempt to make the U.S. team. At a men’s practice session Thursday, he rattled off the elements needed to contend for Olympic gold.

“The skaters with the best speed are the ones to watch,” he said shortly after Canada’s Patrick Chan and Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu showed plenty of velocity in their training sessions. “You need the jumps and the spins and to be anxious and even a little nervous. But you can’t be afraid.

“Guys like Patrick and Hanyu, they have looked good and they have looked fast. That’s what will make the difference for the men, who has that speed all through (the Olympics).”

- Barry Wilner - Twitter https://twitter.com/wilner88


Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: https://apne.ws/1c3WMiu

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