Jeremy Abbott retires from figure skating
Jeremy Abbott, a four-time U.S. champion and two-time Olympian, has ended his competitive figure skating career.
The 32-year-old Abbott will not come out of a two-year break from competition in a bid to make a third straight Olympic team next year.
“It took a lot of time. It took a lot of conversations with a lot of people. It took a lot of tears and a lot of red wine, to be honest,” Abbott said on the Ice Talk podcast, adding that he will continue to perform in ice shows. “Most of my reasoning for wanting to come back was very superficial. The goals that I was kind of setting for myself, I could still accomplish as a professional. So it was silly for me to come back. My goals weren’t substantial enough, and they weren’t necessary for me to accomplish what I want to accomplish as a skater moving forward.”
Abbott excelled at the U.S. Championships, matching Olympic champions Scott Hamilton and Brian Boitano with four crowns. He beat Evan Lysacek in 2009 and 2010, seasons where Lysacek won world and Olympic gold medals.
Abbott struggled at the Olympics. He was ninth in Vancouver and 12th in Sochi after entering both Winter Games as the national champion. He grabbed a bronze medal in the first Olympic team event in Sochi, but only after erring on all three jumping passes and crashing into the boards.
Abbott originally planned to retire after the 2014 Olympic season, but a career-best-tying fifth-place finish at the 2014 World Championships motivated him to skate on.
He also finished fifth in his last three competitions -- Skate America, NHK Trophy and the U.S. Championships (two weeks after his father’s death) in the 2014-15 season -- and did not make that world team.
Making the 2018 Olympic team would have been a tall ask.
Even in his heyday, Abbott did not have the technical firepower to compete with current U.S. teen phenoms Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou, who can land six and three quadruple jumps in their respective free skates.
The U.S. Olympic team of three men will be chosen after nationals in January. Past U.S. champions Adam Rippon and Jason Brown are also in contention.
“After watching nationals this year, it became very clear I’m not going to win a fifth title, and second is even reaching for the stars,” Abbott said. “But we have three spots ... and I really felt like I could be a contender for a third spot for a third Olympic team.”
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