Posted February 14, 2014

Team USA figure skater Jeremy Abbott lays into critics

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Jeremy Abbott (Brian Cassella/Getty Images)

Jeremy Abbott is a four-time national champion but has struggled internationally. (Brian Cassella/Getty Images)

Jeremy Abbott has been labeled a choker because of his various falls in international competition, including one in his short program on Thursday.

But the 28-year-old skated through pain on Friday in his free skate, earning a personal-best score in international competition of 160.12. He finished in 12th place.

After his skate, Abbott shouted “yes,” and then proceeded to respond to his critics.

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He first apologized for what he was about to say to Barb Reichert of U.S. Figure Skating public relations — who told him to “bring it” — and then he unleashed.

“I would just hold my middle finger in the air and say a big ‘F you’ to everyone who has ever said that to me because they have never stood in my shoes,” he told Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports.

“They’ve never had to do what I had to do. Nobody has to stand center ice before a million people and put an entire career on the line for eight minutes of their life when they’ve been doing it for 20 some years. And if you don’t think that that’s not hard, you’re a damn idiot.

“So some people can handle it better than others, but everyone has that mental struggle, everyone goes through the same doubts. I am not alone. They just come at different times and different moments. Some people have their moment at the Olympics and some have theirs at the national championships.

“I’m proud to be standing here. I’m a four-time national champion and a two-time Olympian, and no one can take that away from me. So whatever people have to say about me, that’s their own problem because I’m freaking proud of what I’ve done, and I’m not going to apologize for any of it.”

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6 comments
tfaw
tfaw

actually not too many people give a hoot about these men skaters.  he should just calm down, it is not like he is a real sports celebrity.  and for the record, people are allowed be to critical.  no one asked this little dude to "apologize".  i wish him well as a disney on ice charactor.

MrArlington
MrArlington

He really seemed upset. Did someone accuse him of being straight?

sosideirish
sosideirish

Also, I would like to share my thoughts with regard to the skating fans in Sochi.  Your compassion for and support of Jeremy in his moments of pain and heartbreak was extraordinary!  You encouraged him to rise up, despite the pain, and complete his program with a flourish.  Thank you, thank you, thank you from an American (and fan of figure skaters everywhere).  It was a heartfelt gesture and showed the world that the true Olympic spirit is alive and well in Sochi!!  God bless.

sosideirish
sosideirish

Good for you, Jeremy!!  You don't need to apologize to anyone!

ramsey17
ramsey17

@sosideirish  I second what you said to Jeremy and actually, he doesn't need to explain to anyone...Most of these so-called critics have NEVER exerienced ALL the practice/ rough moments a figure skater has so what gives them the expertise to criticize!  Jeremy has done a remarkable job, hear that Jeremy.......Best to walk away from these ill mannered critics and go forward.  You will do just fine and have already proven that by the titles you've won previously.  How many have they won?