American skater Jeremy Abbott, who injured himself when he crashed and got up to finish his program, had something to say to those who criticized him after he ended the 2014 Winter Olympics in 12th place.
“I just want to put my middle finger in the air and say a big ‘F-you’ to everyone who has ever said that to me because they’ve never stood in my shoes,” Abbott told reporters. “They’ve never had to do what I’ve had to do.”
“Nobody has to stand center ice in front of a million people and put an entire career on the line for eight minutes of their life when they’ve been doing it for 20-some years,” Abbott continued. “And if you think that that’s not hard, then you’re a damn idiot.”
When Abbott crashed during his short program it was obvious he was in pain, especially his hip. But he stood up and finished his program flawlessly despite the pain. The Russian crowd was loud and cheered him on.
He is four-time US national champion and finished ninth in Vancouver four years ago. He has not won an international competition.
“I’m proud to be standing here. I’m a four-time national champion. I’m a two-time Olympian and no one can take that away from me.”
“So whatever other people have to say about me, that’s their own problem because I’m freaking proud of what I’ve done,” he said. “I’m not going to apologize for anything.”
Abbott is retiring at the end of this season.