Max Aaron wishes Evan Lysacek could have skated as scheduled this week, even if the Olympic champion may have made Aaron's defense of the men's title in the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic much more difficult.
"I'm competing against myself as always, but having Evan here would have been for me kind of a dream come true, because I always wanted to compete with Evan and have my name called along with his name," Aaron said Thursday night. "He's been an idol for a long time."
Lysacek withdrew from his intended return to skating with an abdominal injury. His absence leaves Aaron, the reigning U.S. champion, as the favorite to repeat as the winner of an event that leads into the Grand Prix schedule. Aaron's short program score of 81.49 gave him the lead over American skater Stephen Carrier (77.48) going into Friday night's finals at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex.