Veteran coach Carroll finally lands gold

VANCOUVER: Evan Lysacek paid tribute to Frank Carroll, the man behind his men''s figure skating title and who finally achieved an Olympic gold after four decades coaching skaters.

Former coach of US women''s star Michelle Kwan, the 71-year-old Carroll has won seven world titles and four Olympic medals with his skaters.

But Lysacek''s title was the first Olympic gold.

Linda Fratianne won silver in 1980, Timothy Goebel bronze in 2002 and Kwan took silver with him in 1998.

"He kept me sane," said Lysacek.

"The words he says are what drives me, they''re what keep me composed.

"I never let myself think about winning it for me, but I did let myself think about winning it for him."

And reigning world champion Lysacek added: "He has a real understanding of psychology, he always tells me: ''You can''t win until you''ve learned to win, you can''t be a champion until you''ve learned to be a champion''."

It was also the first Winter Games in which Carroll marched in the opening ceremony, alongside US skater Mirai Nagasu, who will compete in the women''s event with another of his students, Carolina Kostner of Italy.

Carroll was elected to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2007.