Jeremy Abbott

Jeremy Abbott ‘kind of on the fence’ about retiring

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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.”

Mirai Nagasu talks about missing Olympics

Rio Olympic equestrian may be moved outside Brazil

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The head of the Brazilian Equestrian Confederation has warned that equestrian events at next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics might have to take place outside Brazil.

Luiz Roberto Giugni blasted the country’s Agriculture Ministry for delays in issuing documentation needed to allow horses brought into Brazil from Europe, the United States and Canada to leave the country.

He warned that if the ministry doesn’t act before the end of the month, “we run the risk of not having the event in Brazil.”

Regulations for bringing horses to and from Brazil are strict. The country is still subject to diseases affecting horses, including glanders, a lethal bacterial infection recently diagnosed in several horses here.

Guigni was speaking on Wednesday at an event in Sao Paulo.

Shaun White talks Olympic skateboarding, Air & Style at Forbes summit

Shaun White
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What do the next five years look like for Shaun White the businessman?

“I heard they just accepted skateboarding at the Olympics, so if I wasn’t busy enough,” White joked, rubbing his right ear while gripping an Aquafina water bottle, sitting in a white chair on a stage across from Forbes senior editor Kurt Badenhausen.

“I don’t know. Maybe there’s a summer medal in my future. Maybe another Winter Olympics. I’m hoping to go to [Pyeongchang, South] Korea [for the 2018 Winter Games], which would be great. I’ve still got to do the qualifying and everything. I’m going to grow Air & Style into the next big thing. Music, you’ll see me on the road. Record a new single. I think that’s what’s so great is the unknown.”

White took questions from Badenhausen for 28 minutes at the Forbes Under 30 Summit on Tuesday, discussing his business ventures and his snowboarding.

White mentioned skateboarding, which is among five sports that are finalists to be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic program. It’s not in the Olympics yet, but the International Olympic Committee will decide in August. White, a two-time Olympic snowboard halfpipe champion, won Summer X Games skateboard vert as recently as 2011.

Since finishing fourth in the 2014 Olympic halfpipe, White has said he’s hoping to be at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, which would be his fourth Winter Games.

White, now 29, was the oldest U.S. Olympic men’s halfpipe snowboarder at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics and, in 2018, would be older than any previous U.S. Olympic men’s halfpipe snowboarder. The sport debuted at the Olympics in 1998.

He’s barely competed since Sochi, also finishing fourth at last January’s Winter X Games halfpipe. He has said he will spend part of October training in New Zealand and plans to compete at this season’s Winter X Games, but it’s not locked in.

White’s relationship with the X Games changed when, before the Sochi Olympics, he purchased a majority share in Air & Style, a touring big air ski and snowboard event that also includes music. Air & Style events have been held in Europe, Beijing and, debuting last February, Los Angeles.

White laughed when Badenhausen said he had read that White put up $5 million to put on the Los Angeles event.

“I wish it was just five,” White responded.

White expanded on Air & Style on Tuesday, saying his acquisition came after his conversations with X Games organizers for a similar plan fell apart (part of his answer in a video here):

“That was a huge turning point to do this event,” White said. “I mean, it was like, wow, OK, you guys don’t want to do this. Then I’m going to have to run with this idea, do it myself.”

The Winter X Games made their European debut in 2010 with events in Tignes, France, for four straight years, as well as having Summer X Games events in Brazil and Europe. It all stopped after 2013, but an Oslo event is scheduled for this February.

“They [X Games] actually expanded globally, it was a huge failure [laughs], to be honest, a couple things happened, I think,” White said. “They didn’t really change their marketing platform. They used the same announcers, the same people, the same competitors, all the things every time around the world, which didn’t exactly translate in the foreign markets. And then again, it did another thing where it diluted the brand in the U.S. because X Games was on TV every day. It’s kind of like, oh wow, I get to see this all the time, what’s so special about it?”

White announced Air & Style’s debut in Los Angeles in late 2014, after he said agents and accountants advised against it.

“It’s something I felt like I had to do, win or lose,” White said.

White said Air & Style’s event in Los Angeles was boosted by the X Games’ decision in 2013 to shift its summer event from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas.

“That left a really nice opening in the market for people that like to attend this type of event — families, younger-aged kids that would attend and then, obviously, a huge market for music-goers,” White said. “So it was kind of that win-win of people that we would get at that event. Not just the hardcore music-goers.”

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