Former Aspen skater Jeremy Abbott switching coaches | AspenTimes.com
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Former Aspen skater Jeremy Abbott switching coaches

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Tony Dejak/AP fileAspen native Jeremy Abbott performs during the men's free skate at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Cleveland in January. He won the gold medal.
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ” U.S. champion and Aspen native Jeremy Abbott is leaving his coach of 10 years, Tom Zakrajsek, and will train with former world champ Yuka Sato at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Abbott, who also won the Grand Prix final last season, has trained with Zakrajsek at the Colorado Springs World Arena since 1999.

“I am sad to be leaving Colorado, where I have lived my whole life,” Abbott said, “but am very excited about my future and the opportunities that lie ahead.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Tom. I am so grateful to him and everyone else at the World Arena for all that they have done for me in the past.”

Abbott grew up skating with the Aspen Skating Club ” he was a competitive skater with the club by age 4 ” and occasionally returned to skate in annual club shows after making a name for himself in U.S. figure skating. At age 14, he moved from Aspen to Colorado Springs in order to further his training.

His Colorado Springs coach, Zakrajsek, was the Professional Skating Association’s coach of the year last season.

“I want to thank Jeremy for allowing me to lead him these past 10 years,” Zakrajsek said. “I am very proud of my work with him and wish him good luck in his new situation.”

That new situation teams Abbott with Sato, the 1994 world champion and a coach at the Detroit Skating Club since 1998. Sato also works with 2009 U.S. women’s champion Alissa Czisny.

Although Abbott had a disappointing showing at the world championships in Los Angeles in March ” he was 11th ” the 23-year-old Abbott had a strong season.

Besides winning nationals and the Grand Prix final, he was first at the Cup of China event and stamped himself as a contender for the 2010 U.S. Olympic team.


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