Credit: Photos Courtesy of Figure Skating in Harlem

The impact an Olympic gold medalist can have on a child is immeasurable and can be indelible. That was the case on Friday, Feb. 20 at Avery Fisher Hall, where figure skating legend and Olympian Evan Lysacek teamed up with the Citi Every Step of the Way program to bring awareness and financial support to Figure Skating in Harlem. 

The pioneering not-for-profit organization provides 200-plus girls ages 6-18 with vital educational and skating opportunities that build self-worth and promote physical well-being and academic achievement.

Six girls from Figure Skating in Harlem publicly displayed a special performance for Lysacek along with friends and family from Citi.

“Through my work with Figure Skating in Harlem, I’ve witnessed first-hand [how] the trajectory of these girls’ lives have changed,” said Lysacek, who is a 2010 Olympic champion, 2009 World champion, a two-time Four Continents champion, the 2009 Grand Prix Final champion and a two-time U.S. national champion. “I attribute that to both the valuable life lessons they learn through skating and the emphasis on academics.

“Because of Figure Skating in Harlem, their lives are shaped by opportunities and experiences that they may never have had otherwise.”

Sharon Cohen, founder and executive director of Figure Skating in Harlem, stated, “All of us at Figure Skating in Harlem are thrilled to be working with Citi and Evan Lysacek on the Every Step of the Way campaign.”

Cohen stressed the importance of an Olympian being on-hand with the girls from Figure Skating in Harlem.

“Every chance our girls get to meet Evan, they are so inspired by his dedication, excited to see his gold medal and thankful for his generous support of their skating and educational goals,” said Cohen.

Citi’s Every Step of the Way program, first introduced for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, is an initiative that helps future athletes reach their full potential through U.S. Olympic, Paralympic and community programs that inspired Team Citi on their journey.