Jeremy Abbott, rebuilt and motivated, begins 10th season

Jeremy Abbott

source: Getty ImagesJeremy Abbott said he spent the weekend rewatching videos of his career, one that’s included four U.S. Championships, two Olympics and a bronze medal from Sochi.

He wanted to get back into a competitive mode — and its associated tension and nerves — going into his debut event of his 10th senior figure skating season at Skate America in Hoffman Estates, Ill., next week.

His takeaway?

“I’ve had a pretty good career,” he said on a teleconference Monday. “Certainly there are still more things that I want to do.”

Abbott went into last season believing it would be his finale as a competitive skater.

He won the U.S. Championships in January then had a disastrous performance in the Olympic team event short program (seventh overall), though he still took home a bronze medal. Abbott later also fell in his singles short program, considered dropping out due to pain, but gutted out a 12th-place finish overall.

Abbott went to the World Championships a month later and finished fifth, matching his best performance ever at a Worlds or Olympics. That motivated him to reconsider retirement.

“I am missing one thing in my competitive career that I want,” he told in May. “I want a World medal. I feel like there is such a void.”

He still feels that way.

“It is a strong motivating factor,” Abbott said Monday. “It’s not the only one.”

Abbott will begin working toward that goal competitively at Skate America next week. There, he’s slated to face 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten of Kazakhstan, fifth-place finisher Tatsuki Machida of Japan and countryman Jason Brown, who was ninth in Sochi and won his season debut in Germany three weeks ago.

Confidence will rise if he can top a field of that caliber, but which Abbott will show up?

The man who knocked off Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir at back-to-back U.S. Championships in 2009 and 2010, or the one who underperformed at so many international competitions before that Worlds awakening in Japan in March?

Abbott finished fifth in his only Skate America appearance in 2012. He hasn’t won a Grand Prix series event since 2011. He still has at least a little of that fire, ignited with that “middle finger” rant in Sochi.

“When I comepted against Evan and Johnny, I was always constantly fighting for that attention, because I was always that third one,” Abbott said. “I was always brushed aside by the media because they garnered the attention. Now, Jason Brown is garnering that attention as well. That’s great for figure skating, and that’s great for the U.S., but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to win.”

Abbott said this season “is for me.” He said he’s rebuilt himself as a skater, right down to the “biomechanics,” not a term often used in the sport. Less dancing movement. More classic figure skating.

“We kind of wanted to throw it back and be very traditional,” said Abbott, who said his body feels better than it has in years with less hip and back pain.

He’s grown facial hair and added a short program to Sam Smith‘s “Lay Me Down.”

“Since this is the first year we get to do lyrics,” Abbott said of a new rule allowing skaters to perform to music with words, “I was super excited to get the chance to do that.”

Abbott said he’s loving his skating right now but cautioned to let time and competitions play out.

“Every season is long,” he said. “We get to start the whole marathon next week.”

Video: Wrong anthem played at World Gymnastics Championships

Ryan Crouser breaks world record in shot put at Los Angeles Grand Prix


Two-time Olympic champion Ryan Crouser registered one of the greatest performances in track and field history, breaking his world record and throwing three of the six farthest shot puts of all time at the Los Angeles Grand Prix on Saturday.

Crouser unleashed throws of 23.56 meters, 23.31 and 23.23 at UCLA’s Drake Stadium. His previous world record from the Tokyo Olympic Trials was 23.37. He now owns the top four throws in history, and the 23.23 is tied for the fifth-best throw in history.

“The best thing is I’m still on high volume [training], heavy throws in the ring and heavy weights in the weight room, so we’re just starting to work in some speed,” the 6-foot-7 Crouser, who is perfecting a new technique coined the “Crouser slide,” told Lewis Johnson on NBC.

Sha’Carri Richardson won her 100m heat in 10.90 seconds into a slight headwind, then did not start the final about 90 minutes later due to cramping, Johnson said. Richardson is ranked No. 1 in the world in the 100m in 2023 (10.76) and No. 2 in the 200m (22.07).

Jamaican Ackeem Blake won the men’s 100m in a personal best 9.89 seconds. He now ranks third in the world this year behind Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala and American Fred Kerley, who meet in the Diamond League in Rabat, Morocco on Sunday (2-4 p.m. ET, CNBC,, the NBC Sports app and Peacock).

The next major meet is the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in early July, when the top three in most individual events qualify for August’s world championships.

Richardson will bid to make her first global championships team, two years after having her Olympic Trials win stripped for testing positive for marijuana and one year after being eliminated in the first round of the 100m at USATF Outdoors.

LA GRAND PRIX: Full Results

Also Saturday, Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico won the 100m hurdles in 12.31, the fastest time ever this early in a year. Nigerian Tobi Amusan, who at last July’s worlds lowered the world record to 12.12, was eighth in the eight-woman field in 12.69.

Maggie Ewen upset world champion Chase Ealey in the shot put by throwing 20.45 meters, upping her personal best by more than three feet. Ewen went from 12th-best in American history to third behind 2016 Olympic champion Michelle Carter and Ealey.

Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic ran the fastest women’s 400m since the Tokyo Olympics, clocking 48.98 seconds. Paulino is the Olympic and world silver medalist. Olympic and world champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas is on a maternity break.

Rio Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy won the 800m in 1:44.75, beating a field that included most of the top Americans in the event. Notably absent was 2019 World champion Donovan Brazier, who hasn’t raced since July 20 of last year amid foot problems.

CJ Allen won the 400m hurdles in a personal best 47.91, consolidating his argument as the second-best American in the event behind Olympic and world silver medalist Rai Benjamin, who withdrew from the meet earlier this week.

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Primoz Roglic set to win Giro d’Italia over Geraint Thomas

106th Giro d'Italia 2023 - Stage 20
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Primož Roglič all but secured the Giro d’Italia title on Saturday by overtaking leader Geraint Thomas on the penultimate stage despite having a mechanical problem on the mountain time trial.

Roglič started the stage 26 seconds behind Thomas — who was trying to become the oldest Giro champion in history — but finished the route 40 seconds quicker than the British cyclist after the demanding climb of the Monte Lussari.

That saw Roglič move into the leader’s pink jersey, 14 seconds ahead of Thomas going into the race’s mainly ceremonial final stage.

Roglič was cheered on all the way by thousands of fans from just across the border to his native Slovenia. They packed the slopes of the brutal ascent up Monte Lussari, which had an elevation of more than 3,000 feet and gradients of up to 22%.

The 33-year-old Roglič celebrated at the end with his wife and son, who was wearing a replica of the pink jersey.

“Just something amazing, eh? It’s not at the end about the win itself, but about the people, and the energy here, so incredible, really moments to live and to remember,” said Roglič, who had tears in his eyes during the post-stage television interview, which he did with his son in his arms.

It will be a fourth Grand Tour victory for Roglič, who won the Spanish Vuelta three years in a row from 2019-2021

Roglič also almost won the Tour de France in 2020, when he was leading going into another mountain time trial on the penultimate stage. But that time it was Roglič who lost time and the race to compatriot Tadej Pogačar in one of the most memorable upsets in a Grand Tour in recent years.

It appeared as if the Jumbo-Visma cyclist’s hopes were evaporating again when he rode over a pothole about halfway through the brutal climb up Monte Lussari and his chain came off, meaning he had to quickly change bicycles.

His teammates and staff had their hands over their heads in disbelief.

Despite that setback, Roglič — who had been 16 seconds ahead of Thomas at the previous intermediate time check — went on to increase his advantage.

“I dropped the chain, I mean it’s part of it,” he said. “But I got started again and I just went … I had the legs, the people gave me extra (energy).”

The 33-year-old Roglič won the stage ahead of Thomas. Joao Almeida was third, 42 seconds slower.

For Thomas, his bad luck at the Giro continued. In 2017, he was involved in a crash caused by a police motorbike, and three years later he fractured his hip after a drinks bottle became lodged under his wheel – being forced to abandon both times.

Thomas turned 37 on Thursday. The Ineos Grenadiers cyclist had seemed poised to become the oldest Giro winner in history — beating the record of Fiorenzo Magni, who was 34 when he won in 1955.

“I could feel my legs going about a kilometer and a half from the top. I just didn’t feel I had that real grunt,” Thomas said. “I guess it’s nice to lose by that much rather than a second or two, because that would be worse I think.

“At least he smashed me and to be honest Primoz deserves that. He had a mechanical as well, still put 40 seconds into me so chapeau to him. If you’d told me this back in (February), March, I would have bit your hand off but now I’m devastated.”

Thomas and Roglič exchanged fist bumps as they waited their turn to ride down the ramp at the start of the 11.6-mile time trial.

The Giro will finish in Rome on Sunday, with 10 laps of a seven-mile circuit through the streets of the capital, taking in many of its historic sites.

“One more day to go, one more focus, because I think the lap is quite hard, technical. So it’s not over til it’s finished,” Roglič said. “But looks good, voila.”

The route will pass by places such as the Altare della Patria, the Capitoline Hill, the Circus Maximus and finish at the Imperial Forums, in the shadow of the Colosseum.

The Tour de France starts July 1, airing on NBC Sports and Peacock.

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