In today’s men’s figure skating short program – an event that began with the withdrawal of Russian star Yevgeny Plushenko – U.S. skater Jeremy Abbott took a hard fall on his opening quad toe jump that left him down on the ice and against the boards for several seconds.
The four-time and reigning U.S. national champion got up off the ice, his face marked with pain and his hand holding his side. But as the music continued on, he chose to keep going.
As the crowd at Iceberg Skating Palace clapped along to the beat, Abbott showed Olympic-sized determination as he finished out his program clean.
Upon completion, the crowd gave him what Nick McCarvel of NBCOlympics.com called on Twitter “maybe the loudest cheering we’ve heard for a non-Russian” during these Sochi Olympics.
“The second I stood up and the crowd just started screaming – I had to finish,” he said. “In my mind, I was like, ‘Do I go to the referee? Where do I go?’ I was kind of in a big jumble and in a lot of pain.
“So when I heard the crowd [cheering] behind me, I was like, ‘I have to finish this for them and I have to do this for them.'”