Friday, February 19, 2010
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Carroll finally coaches an Olympic gold medalist

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[February 19, 2010]  VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Frank Carroll is 71 and has been coaching for four decades, his skaters winning seven world titles and four Olympic medals. Before Thursday, none of his pupils had ever brought home an Olympic gold.

Evan Lysacek changed all that after upsetting defending champion Evgeni Plushenko with a near-flawless performance in the men's final.

"This is just frosting on the cake for me," Carroll said. "It's not something I coveted after a while. It was something I thought maybe would never happen."

Working with Carroll, Linda Fratianne won silver in 1980, Timothy Goebel earned bronze in 2002 and a favored Michelle Kwan took silver in 1998.

"He made me believe that I could skate perfectly in the Olympics," Lysacek said. "When I first heard the results, he was the first person I thought about."


Upon arriving in Vancouver, Lysacek wrote himself a note and posted it in his room. It said, "Mind your own business." That's the philosophy Carroll taught him, and it carried Lysacek through the pressures of the games.

Carroll said he planned to celebrate with a big glass of wine.

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"It's been a great career," he said. "I'm thankful to God that he's given me the talent because there are many talented coaches in the world and some more talented than I. But I've always seemed to come up with the vehicle to do it, the talent -- they just sort of drift toward me. I don't really audition or seek out really talented people. They just seem to come to me."

Another Carroll student, Mirai Nagasu, will skate in the women's competition here, though the 16-year-old is not considered a medal contender.

Fratianne watched the finals on television Thursday and when she heard that Lysacek had won, she was overjoyed for Carroll.

"This is such a fulfillment for him with all his hard work, through Michelle's success and with me and with all his students," Fratianne said in a phone interview. "To see him working all the hours, I don't know how he does it."

[Associated Press; By RACHEL COHEN]

AP National Writer Nancy Armour contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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