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After considering withdrawing, he decided to skate the next day and went on to skate a career-best free skate.He finished his free skate with eight triple jumps and was ranked third of the night.He placed second at the 2005 Skate America, but it was clear that his Grease free skate was not working. Championships, the de facto Olympic qualifier, Lysacek was third after the short program, but pulled up to win the free skate, finishing second overall.
During high school, Lysacek was a member of the honor roll, where he earned a number of academic achievement awards, including the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence in 1999.
He was also named to the 2003 Junior Worlds team; following the withdrawal of Parker Pennington, the higher-ranked man on the two-man team, Lysacek was the only United States men's skater at the competition. At the 2004 Four Continents he won the bronze medal, his first senior-level international medal.
He landed his first clean triple axel jump of his career in the qualifying round of this competition and his second clean one in the free skate. He then went on to compete at the 2004 World Junior Championships, where he won a third silver medal.
At the Olympics, following a 10th-place finish in the short program, Lysacek became sick with the stomach flu.
Unable to practice, he stayed in bed at the Olympic village, receiving fluids from IVs.