Aspen Olympian to skate tonight | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Olympian to skate tonight

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

Jeremy Abbott is back home.

And quite happy about that, thank you.

Abbott, who grew up in Aspen before skating on to Olympic glory, is back home to do a special hometown tribute ice show — the Stars on Aspen Ice. It's scheduled for 8 p.m. today at the Lewis Ice Arena in the Aspen Recreation Center complex.

"The show is going to be phenomenal," Abbott said before a training session Friday afternoon at the historic Aspen Ice Garden — where he first learned to skate.

"I'm so happy to be home. I've run into so many people," Abbott said as he and his skating colleagues, including more Olympians, gathered to prep for tonight's feature.

Abbott, who skated at the 2010 Winter Olympics, is chasing an opportunity to skate in Sochi, Russia, in February.

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After tonight's show in Aspen, he'll return to training with an eye on the U.S. Championships. A top-2 finish there, and Abbott will be going back to the Olympic games.

Then, after a trip to Tokyo for the World Championships, he said he will retire from competitive skating and turn his attention to skating shows, touring and ice choreogreaphy.

"This is my final season competing," Abbott said in an interview with The Aspen Times. "I want to continue skating as long as my body allows."

But first, a trip to Russia is the primary target.

Then, the World Championships in Japan.

"And that's the end of my competitive career. Then, it's on to shows, touring and choreography," Abbott said.

He specifically requested ice time at the Aspen Ice Garden on his return to Aspen.

He said he wanted to get back on the ice where it all started.

"It was freezing," Abbott said with a chuckle. "I had forgotten how cold it (Aspen Ice Garden) is.

"But it's great. They've changed the facade a little bit, but everything is still the same," Abbott said. "The ice is the same; the bleachers are the same. It's very nostalgic."

Abbott said as he warmed up on the Aspen Ice Garden surface, he recalled attempting jumps as a youngster.

"They seemed impossible at the time," Abbott said. "Now, they're my small jumps."

He said his skating is going very well as he gears up for the Olympic trials.

"I'm feeling great right now. I'm in the best shape I've ever been in," he said.

"It's take a lot of work, a lot of planning. But now everything is starting to work within the structure we set two years ago. All the cogs are working in sync," Abbott said.

Abbott tonight will be joined by training partner Alissa Czisny and a cast of skating stars.

Czisny is a two-time U.S. national champion. They will be joined by Olympic silver medalist and world champion Rosalynn Sumners.

Professional ice dancers Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre will participate along with international competitors Mariah and Morgan Bell and professional skaters Ashley Clark and Kelly Cocaran Smith.

Abbott's hometown tribute program will include featured skaters from the Revolutions Skating Club of Aspen.

VIP and general admission tickets for tonight's show are available at the Wheeler Box Office (970-920-5770).

General admission tickets will be available at the ARC up until show time. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

A silent auction will be held with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

Jeremy and his sister Gwen Abbott Asmussen are helping organize the auction. Their father, longtime Aspen resident Danny Abbott, suffers from Parkinson's.

dstrode@aspentimes.com