Gold medalists have been seeing each other secretly since last summer.
OMG, sports fans, it's true: Vancouver figure skating gold medalist Evan Lysacek and Beijing gymnastics gold medalist Nastia Liukin have been dating since last summer! We are so overwrought by this news and the fourteen hours of ice dancing we watched since Friday that we need to go have a lie down.
The pair met in October 2008 while performing in the NBC "Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular" in Rapid City, South Dakota, which is totally a real thing. Back then he was still dating 2004 ice dancing silver medalist Tanith Belbin and Nastia had just won her hardware at the Beijing Games. "We've gotten to know each other really well and [are] able to connect because there's nothing like the Olympics," Nastia said. "We both know what it takes to try for the ultimate dream of being an Olympic champion." 7 Love Lessons From Winter Olympian.
Tanith and Evan broke up in early 2009, just as their training for Vancouver was ramping up—she lives and trains in Pennsylvania, and he's in L.A. Evan and Nastia's relationship heated up during the year; together they attended last summer's ESPY Awards, where Nastia won Best Female Athlete, and he was in Dallas in August to watch her compete at U.S. Nationals. Last week she was in Vancouver to watch Evan become the first American man since Brian Boitano in 1988 to win figure skating gold. "To see his dreams come true was amazing," she told People. "It was nice to be on other side of things and be the support system, but I was nervous." The Secrets Of Olympic Figure Skating Couples
So, you know, this is awesome. Aside from poor Tanith, who with her partner Ben Agosto got shut out of the medals last night (but she rooms with Johnny Weir in the athletes' village, so we're pretty sure he had a pitcher of margaritas and a Lady Gaga dance party ready to cheer her up when she got home), this is the best news ever. We love when athletes hook up. We're going to try not to jump the gun and start naming all the excellent little ice-skating gymnasts they'd produce, because for heaven's sake they're only 24 and 20, but for now we will just say that it's great that they can share glitter makeup and their mutual affection for leotards. It's important to have things in common other than your taste in jewelry, after all.
Via People magazine. Photos via Bauer-Griffin and USOC.