Ice Network

Abbott announces retirement from competition

Four-time U.S. champion breaks news on icenetwork podcast 'Ice Talk'
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With four U.S. titles and an Olympic bronze medal to his credit, Jeremy Abbott leaves the sport as one of the most accomplished American men's skaters in history. -Getty Images

One of the greatest American men's skaters of all time is calling it a career.

Jeremy Abbott, a four-time U.S. champion and two-time Olympian, announced his retirement Thursday on the icenetwork podcast "Ice Talk."

"I am officially retiring from competitive skating," Abbott told host Nick McCarvel. "I'm not going to be competing this upcoming season, and I am going to move on to other things.

"I will still be skating and performing everywhere as much as possible, so people don't have to miss my skating. I will still be around until I cannot stand."

Abbott's last competitive appearance came at the 2015 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, where he finished fifth. As recently as last September, Abbott said he was keeping the door open for a competitive return this season, but he ultimately decided that a comeback would not have been worth it.

"When it came down to it, I really felt like most of my reasoning for wanting to come back was very superficial, and the goals I was setting for myself I could still accomplish as a professional," Abbott said. "It was silly for me to come back because my goals weren't substantial enough and they weren't necessary for me to accomplish what I want to accomplish as a skater moving forward with my career. So, I said, 'All right, it's time.'"

Abbott captured his first U.S. title in 2009 and won the crown again in 2010, 2012 and 2014. In 2008, he claimed the gold medal at the Grand Prix Final, becoming the first U.S. man to accomplish that feat. His achievements also include a pair of bronze medals at the Four Continents Championships (2007, '11) and a bronze medal in the team competition at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

Abbott said that one of his big goals for the future is helping to grow the sport. He mentioned the possibility of starting a professional competition, a skating tour or even a stage show.

"I have so many ideas -- I just dont have money," Abbott joked. "I'd love to see the directions figure skating can go outside the competitive world."

In just the last few weeks, Abbott performed in shows in Japan, hosted a seminar in Australia and took part in "Skate for Hope" in Florida. Presently, he is in Colorado for the Aerial Figure Skating Challenge, for which he is one of the team captains.

"At the moment, I'm saying yes to as much as I can and really taking opportunities and seeing where the path takes me," Abbott said. "As scary as [being retired] is, it's a lot of fun. I'm really enjoying it."