Jeremy Abbott: I want to finish figure skating on my terms

Jeremy Abbott
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NEW YORK — Jeremy Abbott hasn’t decided if he will continue to skate competitively, but the four-time U.S. champion joked about what could be “the cherry on top” of his decorated career.

“I’ve tried to make a push for it,” Abbott said, “and I know that my fans are all about it.”

That ultimate dream would be to perform his short program from this past season, which was to Sam Smith‘s “Lay Me Down,” with the Grammy winner singing the song in person while Abbott skated.

“Getting the opportunity to perform to something that you’re so connected to, and it’s so emotional, with somebody whose talent and voice is just so beyond anything else,” Abbott said, then quipped, “I could stop. I could end after that and be like, I’ve done everything I want to do. I’ve reached the pinnacle and done all my goals.

“But I haven’t heard anything from him or his people,” Abbott said with a laugh. “With the tour, with Grammys and being super famous and blowing up, when you have like millions of Twitter followers, hearing from like a couple hundred people isn’t going to be on your radar.”

That dream may never become a reality, but Abbott isn’t putting his competitive career to rest, either.

The 29-year-old placed fifth at the U.S. Championships last month, his lowest finish in nine senior Nationals appearances. He missed making the World Championships team and with it his goal of earning his first individual medal at a Worlds or Olympics.

“I feel like I didn’t quite get to go out on my terms,” Abbott said after surprising three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner just before she performed at a frigid Rink at Rockefeller Center on TODAY on Friday morning. “I feel like I kind of want to vindicate myself a little bit, regardless of what happens. Just do it one more time and be like, all right, that was my terms, I get to put a period on this chapter of my life in the way that I wanted to, or even an exclamation point.”

Abbott will certainly stay with the sport even if not competing on the ice. There are shows, and there is also choreography. Two-time U.S. champion Alissa Czisny and former U.S. junior silver medalist Ashley Cain approached him to help them with an exhibition program and a short program, respectively, among other skaters.

“If that’s fulfilling enough, then I can step away,” Abbott said of choreography. “But I do want another opportunity to put an exclamation point on my career in my own terms.”

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