updated 12/10/2013 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 12/10/2013 AT 8:00 PM ET
“It’s very difficult for me to say that, but my road to Sochi ends here,” the figure skater told Matt Lauer.
The 28-year-old has been dogged by injuries since winning gold in Vancouver in 2010, and has been undergoing rehab and physical therapy since tearing a labrum in his left hip earlier this year.
“The pain has become in recent weeks unmanageable,” he admitted, adding that his doctor warned him that the pain would only get worse and he could be doing permanent damage if he continued training.
“This has been my whole life,” he said, his voice breaking. “It’s been a difficult decision for sure. Right now my focus has to shift from training and preparing for Sochi … to getting healthy and trying to heal this injury once and for all.”
But he plans to return to figure skating once he’s back in top shape.
“The last several weeks have been so painful for me that I don’t want those to be my last moments on the ice after such a great career,” the two-time U.S. champ says. “I’m determined to be healthy and skate again and really to be the one that decides when it’s over.”
lindsey vonn (@lindseyvonn) December 10, 2013
Johnny Weir-Voronov (@JohnnyGWeir) December 10, 2013
Scott Hamilton (@ScottHamilton84) December 10, 2013
@EvanLysacek take care of yourself my friend. I’m thinking of you and sending big hugs! You’re the best : )
Michelle Kwan (@MichelleWKwan) December 10, 2013
@EvanLysacek U r an inspiration always, whether u are winning a gold medal for your country or showing grace & strength thru difficult times
Tara Lipinski (@Tara_Lipinski) December 10, 2013