Foul-mouthed skater Abbott lashes out after Winter Olympics flop

Agence France-Presse
US champion Jeremy Abbott lashed out at his critics in a foul-mouthed rant after his and teammate Jason Brown's spectacular slump at the Sochi Olympics.

THIN ICE. Jeremy Abbott of USA performs during the Men's Free Skating of the Figure Skating event at the Iceberg Palace during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games. Photo by Barbara Walton/EPA

SOCHI, Russia – US champion Jeremy Abbott lashed out at his critics in a foul-mouthed rant after his and teammate Jason Brown’s spectacular slump at the Sochi Olympics.

Olympic champion Evan Lysacek did not defend his title and Abbott and pony-tailed teen Brown failed to sparkle in the Iceberg Skating Palace, to leave the United States off the men’s podium for the first time since the 1998 Nagano Games.

Yuzuru Hanyu, 19, took a first men’s title for Japan ahead of three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada with Kazakh Denis Ten taking bronze in a disappointing men’s free skating final where the challengers all failed to skate clean.

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Brown, 19, finish ninth and 28-year-old Abbott 12th, although both got bronze with the USA in the new team event.

“I just want to put my middle finger in the air and say a big ‘F-you’ to everyone who has ever said that to me because they’ve never stood in my shoes and they’ve never had to do what I’ve had to do,” said Abbott, who will be remembered more for spectacular tumbles in Sochi.

Abbott opened the team challenge on the first day of competition with an error-strewn short program.

Brown skated the free program of the team event and the US went on to win bronze behind Russia and Canada.

Things didn’t get better for Abbott in the individual event.

The skater from Aspen, Colorado suffered a nasty fall attempting a quad jump in the short program.

He lay in pain for ten seconds as the music continued to play, before pulling himself up, rubbing his hip and gliding back into the centre of the ice to finish and qualify in 15h place for the free skate final.

“Nobody has to stand center ice in front of 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,” he said, after placing eighth in the free skate for an overall 12th position between the two programs.

“And if you think that that’s not hard, then you’re a damn idiot.

“I’m proud to be standing here. I’m a four-time national champion. I’m a two-time Olympian and no one can take that away from me.

“So whatever other 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 anything.”

Teammate Brown missed a chance of a podium spot, as he dropped from sixth in the short program to 11th in the free skate for an overall ninth-place finish.

“I was hoping for a top 10, and I did that, and I got a bronze in the team event. Hopefully in the future, I’ll get one in the (men’s).”

Meanwhile, world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White are favorites to claim a first ice dancing gold for the United States in their event which starts on Sunday and concludes Monday.

Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner are carrying US hopes in the women’s event starting from Wednesday. –