U.S. figure skater and Olympic champion Evan Lysacek said his gold-winning performance in Vancouver was a dream come true.
The Naperville, Illinois native won the gold medal in men’s figure skating at the Pacific Coliseum Thursday evening, edging Russian favorite Evgeni Plushenko by just 1.3 points.
Lysacek scored a total of 257.67 points, overturning the negligible 0.55-point lead Plushenko held after Tuesday's short program. Daisuke Takahashi of Japan won the bronze medal with a score of 247.23.
Lysacek is the first American to win the men’s gold since Brian Boitano at the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games.
"I couldn't have asked for much more than that. To get a personal best in the most important moment of my life—you dream about it.
"Worlds rejuvenated my love for skating, but it also confirmed to me that the most important thing about figure skating is the daily training that goes on at home. This year I've worked harder than I ever have before to prepare for this competition.
"The whole season has been building toward this and waiting for that clean skate the whole season and to get it in most important moment is pretty special."
Flamboyant Johnny Weir finished sixth with a score of 238.87. Jeremy Abbott, who was 15th after the short program, jumped to ninth place with a final score of 218.96.
But Thursday was all about Lysacek, who turned in the performance of a lifetime in the late-night figure skating final to win gold.
He landed a beautiful triple axel, triple lutz and triple axel-double toe, and his footwork sequences were stunning.
He knew with Plushenko throwing down quadruple toe loops, his own routine, especially the transitions and footwork, would need to be inch perfect. Last night, they almost were.
In his full black outfit, Lysacek pumped both fists into the air to the shouts of “Yes! Yes! Yes!" Then all he could do was sit back and watch.
"It was a tough day. I wasn't sure how I would feel when I got here," Lysacek added.
"My coach [Frank Carroll] was by my side the whole day, telling me what to think. I was nervous, but about two hours before the competition, I thought, 'What am I nervous for? I just have to do what I've done every day.’
“My thought process was just basically mind your own business, and I wrote it on a little card when I got here and taped it up in my room
“I wasn’t even tired at the end. The crowd and everything kept me going. I tried to stay calm in the beginning, but I think my face gave it away. It was definitely was my best, and it was what I came here to do.”
For a review of the best and worse of Team USA's performances on Day 7, click here.