NEW YORK — Jeremy Abbott isn’t ready to retire just yet.
The four-time U.S. champion is reconsidering a plan to walk away from competitive figure skating after the recently finished season. He cited his performance at the World Championships two weeks ago, where he finished fifth, as a motivator.
“Going through the whole week of worlds, I really felt like I could potentially compete another year,” said Abbott, smiling and wearing a colorful bow tie at a Figure Skating in Harlem event in Central Park on Monday night. “I’m kind of on the fence at the moment. I really need to take some time away from the sport and really meditate over it and mull things over inside. If I continue, what I would want to do it for and why.”
Abbott, 28, matched his best career World Championships finish in Saitama, Japan, in his fifth World Championships appearance. He was coming off a second straight disappointing Olympic showing, taking 12th in Sochi after placing ninth in Vancouver in 2010. Abbott did win a bronze medal in the Olympic team event.
“I learned so much about myself this season, as a skater, as a competitor, more than I have in my entire career,” Abbott said in between autographing pictures and skates indoors, sheltered from plodding rain. “I really felt like I gained a lot of momentum. I kind of want to put that to use.”
Abbott was in eighth place after the short program at the World Championships but had the fourth best free skate, trailing only the gold, silver and bronze medalists.
“If that was my finale, what a way to go,” Abbott said. “If not, hopefully I have more to give.”
Abbott will continue skating no matter what. If it’s not in competitions, it will be in shows such as the ongoing Stars on Ice tour. He gained perspective on his career listening to his introduction at the first show last week.
“Olympic bronze medalist, four-time national champion” preceded his name.
“Have I really been at this that long?” he said.
Abbott has won more U.S. titles than Evan Lysacek or Johnny Weir and the same number as Scott Hamilton and Brian Boitano.
“I’ve always wanted to skate,” Abbott said. “If and when I decide to retire … I want to perform. I want to be on the ice. I want to continue contributing to the sport. I feel like I still have a lot to offer.”