Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Figure Skater With 'Happy Feet' Hopes To Clinch Spot In Sochi

Jeremy Abbott performs during a figure skating competition in Paris in 2012.
Gonzalo Fuentes
Jeremy Abbott performs during a figure skating competition in Paris in 2012.

As the Olympic Games get closer, athletes like figure skater Jeremy Abbott are focusing on making Team USA. With only two slots on the U.S. men's figure skating team, the competition is tough. But the three-time U.S. champion — who has yet to deliver on the world stage — wants 2014 to be the year he takes a medal in Sochi, Russia.

Abbott, 28, has been in ice skates since he was 2 years old. He's already been to one Olympics, placing ninth at the 2010 games in Vancouver.

Starting Jan. 10, Abbott will compete in the U.S. championships in Boston, the Olympic qualifier. He'll be performing a routine set to a song by the band Muse.

Abbott will compete in the U.S. championships in Boston this month, in the hopes he'll make it on the Olympic team.
Lucas Jackson / Reuters/Landov
Abbott will compete in the U.S. championships in Boston this month, in the hopes he'll make it on the Olympic team.

"His quality of the skating is probably one of the best in the world," says Yuka Sato, Abbott's coach. "He is a very well-balanced skater; he's a great performer; and he's very artistic. I think that all-around skating skill is what makes him so good."

His former coach, Peggy Behr, was with him for seven years during the lead-up to the Vancouver games. "I always say Jeremy has happy feet. He has feet that just connect with the ice," she says.

Behr says she knew he was talented the first time she saw him skate. "We walked into the rink, my husband and I ... and Jeremy was out there skating. And even my husband, who doesn't have an eye ... for skating, but he could see the talent," she says.

Abbott says he knows he has what it takes to get to the Olympics, but he's still nervous.

"I can do the tricks, and I can skate; I have great skating skills and artistry and well-choreographed programs. For me, the biggest obstacle is just bringing it all together," he says.

During his routine, he says he tries to keep his thoughts simple and methodical. Unlike other sports, he doesn't have a team cheering him on, so his performance is personal.

"The goal for me is the Olympics [in Sochi] and doing my best there — and my best has the potential to be on the podium," he says.

If he makes it to the Olympics, he could perform three times — for his short and long programs — and for the team event, a new possibility. The new discipline combines scores from individual performances by the men's, women's, pairs and ice dancing teams from the top scoring countries.

Copyright 2021 Aspen Public Radio . To see more, visit Aspen Public Radio.

Originally from Montana, Marci grew up near the mountains and can't get enough of them. She began in broadcasting in Missoula, Montana where she anchored Montana Public Radio's local Evening Edition news program. She then picked up a camera and tripod and worked for Missoula's local CBS television station as a reporter. Shortly after that, she returned to radio and became the Assistant News Director at a radio station in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Marci began at Aspen Public Radio in 2007 as the station's morning host and reporter. Although you can occasionally hear Marci in the mornings, she is now quite content to be sleeping in and reporting all day. When not at the station, Marci is on her road bike, meeting people, or skiing.
Latest Stories