Figure Skater Evan Lysacek Is Engaged — All About His Birthday Proposal in Miami! 'I'm the Luckiest Man Alive'
"I cannot express enough how lucky I feel to have found my perfect match in this incredible girl," he tells PEOPLE
Figure skater Evan Lysacek has a new reason to celebrate: He’s getting married!
The 2010 Olympic men’s gold medalist, 33, announced on Friday he was engaged to girlfriend Duangpatra “Dang” Bodiratnangkura, a residential real estate developer.
He said in a statement to PEOPLE that he popped the question on April 1 — her birthday — in Miami.
“I cannot express enough how lucky I feel to have found my perfect match in this incredible girl,” Lysacek says. “She’s extraordinary in every way and she makes me a better man. We spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in Chicago with my family, and afterwards they said unanimously … ‘Marry her!’ ”
On Instagram last week he shared a sweet shot of them with her ring front and center and wrote, “I’m the luckiest man alive.” Fellow former Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi wrote, “Wow congratulations to you both,” and Olympic gymanst Nastia Liukin commented, “Congrats E!!!!!!”
In a post the next day, Lysacek thanked everyone “for the kind messages and well wishes!!”
“Dang and I are really excited!! And so happy to have support from you all, our family & friends,” he wrote.
He and Bodiratnangkura plan to wed on Dec. 14 at the Nai Lert Park Heritage Home (part of her family’s estate) in Bangkok, Thailand.
Of his new fiancée Lysacek gushed in his statement, “Everyone who meets her falls in love with her. She’s not only brilliant and charming but gorgeous inside and out.”
Lysacek’s Journey on the Ice and to Love
Lysacek, “the most decorated U.S. male skater of the past decade,” as the Washington Post described him in 2013, reached the pinnacle of his sport at the 2010 Winter Olympics a year after emerging victorious at the skating world championships.
In Canada he placed at the top of the podium in the men’s singles event, the first American to do so in more than two decades. (No American man has made it back in the two games since.)
But a hip injury prevented another Olympic appearance.
“This has been my whole life,” he said in 2013, according to the Post. “This has meant everything to me: representing my country, representing America, competing and training on the level I have. It has been sacrifice and discipline that I don’t think most people understand.”
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Lysacek moved to New York City in September 2014 for a real estate job but had not competed since Vancouver, telling NBC at the time, “I don’t know that I would want that to define my entire life, that moment. But I am very proud of the small, tiny, little part that my moment in Vancouver played in the Olympic movement.”
Lysacek and Bodiratnangkura met in 2011 through friends and “immediately connected,” he said in his statement to PEOPLE. They stayed close over the years “but really reconnected last summer” and have been splitting time between New York City and Los Angeles.
He told Team USA in January that he wasn’t done skating — not for good.
“Inspired by my close friend Michelle Kwan, in 2018 I set a New Year’s resolution to start skating again, after nearly a year off the ice,” he said. “Like most resolutions, it lasted about 10 days. I set the same resolution for 2019, and am really hoping to find more time to skate this year, as I still love so much about the sport.”