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Evan Lysacek Calls Kate Gosselin the 'Sweetest Woman in the World'

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Picture Perfect/Rex; Tony DiMaio/Startraks

It’s only been three weeks since Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek placed second behind winner Nicole Scherzinger on Dancing with the Stars, but the skater says he’s still dancing in his dreams.

“I dream that I have to go out and dance but I forgot to learn the routine,” Lysacek told PEOPLE at his 24 Hour Fitness and Coke Workout Sweepstakes event in New York recently. “I’ve had that dream two or three times … The music starts and I’m like, ‘Oh no! We didn’t have time to learn it.’ Then I would wake up and realize it was a dream.”

Despite the occasional nightmare, Lysacek, 25, looks back fondly on his DWTS experience, calling it “remarkable.” He’s cherishing the memories as much as the new friends he made on the show. “I’ve kept in really close touch with the entire cast,” he says. “The I met were the best thing I took from being on the show. We all walked away with a new family.”

And that includes Kate Gosselin, with whom he says he’s in constant communication. “Kate is in New York right now. We’ve been texting each other back and forth and we’re trying to get together,” he says. “We are very close. She is the sweetest woman in the world. We were instantly friends and everyone really loved her on the show. We missed her so much when she left. She’s hilarious and she’s always joking around. I don’t think she ever said a serious sentence.”

Before the show, Lysacek says he didn’t know much about the Kate Plus 8 star. “I’m not a big tabloid reader and I was so focused on the Olympics and I never watched TV,” he says. “She’s got a lot to deal with. If I had eight kids, I can’t imagine. I’m sure it’s pretty tough and sometimes that’s misconstrued with Kate. But she’s an amazing mom and a tough lady. She was constantly showing pictures and videos of her kids and missing them.”

When asked if he would consider babysitting Gosselin’s eight children, he says he doesn’t have skills to do so.

“She wouldn’t want me to,” says Lysacek with a laugh. “Maybe one of them – and that would be a challenge. I have a 16-month-old nephew and I couldn’t baby sit him alone. He’s mischievous, so I don’t think I could handle eight. But Kate is a pro.” –Paul Chi