by Ralph Routon
Ryan Bradley, the Colorado Springs figure skater who just missed out on the U.S. men's team for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver despite landing two quadruple jumps at the recent U.S. championships, has earned a belated consolation prize.
Bradley, who had to continue training as the top men's alternate for the Olympics, has just learned he will be able to join the U.S. team for the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships next month in Torino, Italy.
The spot opened up because Olympic men's champion Evan Lysacek announced he is withdrawing from the Worlds. Lysacek also is the defending world champion.
In a statement released by the U.S. Figure Skating Association, Lysacek said his decision did not mean he's retiring from competitive skating.
“I’m not afraid to lose,” Lysacek said. “Regardless of medals, I still have so much to thrive on in the sport. I’m not ready to say goodbye.”
Bradley, a 26-year-old student at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, had indicated to his longtime coach Tom Zakrajsek that he might be retiring. But that might depend now on how well he fares at Worlds.
Zakrajsek confirms by e-mail that Bradley definitely will compete next month at Torino. This will be his second Worlds, having also gone in 2007 after finishing second at Nationals. Zakrajsek also coaches U.S. ladies champion and Olympian Rachael Flatt, who will be going to her third Worlds.
Also withdrawing from the Torino event were ice dancers Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, the former U.S. champions who won the Olympic silver medal in 2006 but were fourth at Vancouver.