Dating since April, she says of him, "At any event where we're together, I'm the happiest"

By Lorenzo Benet
Updated February 03, 2007 06:00 AM

They may not skate together, but Evan Lysacek and girlfriend Tanith Belbin are suddenly the hottest couple on ice.

“We started dating on tour last April,” Lysacek, 21, tells PEOPLE. “We’ve been keeping it quiet.”

Olympic silver medalist ice dancer Belbin, 22, adds: “It’s really nice having someone there on a day-to-day basis who knows what [skating] means to you. At any event where we’re together, I’m the happiest.”

Belbin and Lysacek also have good reason to be happy professionally. On Jan. 27, he won his first national title, beating out Johnny Weir for the top spot at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash. “It’s hard to put into words how much I wanted to win this title,” he told the Associated Press after the event.

Meanwhile, Belbin and her skating partner, Ben Agosto, won heir fourth straight national ice-dancing title at the same competition. The wins mean that both Belbin and Lysacek will compete in the World Championships in Tokyo next month.

To celebrate their success last week, “We ordered chicken fingers, milkshakes and chocolate cake and all that fun stuff,” says Belbin.

Adds Lysacek: “We both had a good week. We spent most of the time concentrating on events but we went out every night.”

The romance between the two skaters first started to percolate last summer. “We have been good friends, but last year on tour something clicked,” says Lysacek. “We get along and never fight.”

He’s even introduced Belbin to his family, “and they love her like she’s one of their own. We give each other a lot of support.”

Belbin tells PEOPLE that Lysacek’s sense of humor and their shared aspirations make them a perfect team – off the ice. “He’s hilarious and he can cheer me up at the drop of a hat,” she says. “And our goals are similar; we both want to win the World Championships, and we have hopes of gold at the next Olympics.”

But first, they will both compete at the Four Continents championship, which begins Monday in Colorado Springs. The event pits the world’s top figure skaters from North America, Asia, Australia and Africa. In all, there will be 90 athletes representing 14 countries.