Jeremy Abbott wins Skating magazine honor
The Aspen Times
Jeremy Abbott, the international ice skater who started at the Aspen Ice Garden, joined elite company this month.
Abbott, who grew up in Aspen and went on to an Olympic career, was honored by Skating magazine. Abbott was named the 2014 Readers Choice Award winner.
The two-time Olympian won his fourth U.S. national title in January.
He went on to earn a bronze medal in the inaugural Olympic Team Event in Sochi, Russia, last winter.
Through online voting on icenetwork, Skating magazine readers cast their ballots for the athlete or team they felt most deserving of the award based on the accomplishments of the last season.
More than 20,000 votes were cast during the balloting period.
Olympian Jason Brown finished second with Olympic ice dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White collecting the third-most votes.
“I am incredibly honored to be receiving this award,” Abbott said. “I have such incredible fans from around the world that I have been privileged enough to meet and skate for. My skating has always been about more than points and placements. I love to give to the audience. I love to take them on my journey with me, and I’m so grateful that they can feel that.”
Abbott, 29, will be presented with the Michelle Kwan Trophy at the 2015 U.S. Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina.
In addition to winning his fourth U.S. title in Boston with a record short program (99.86 points), Abbott also rallied to finish fifth at the World Championships.
He also won a bronze medal at the NHK Trophy competition in Japan as well as qualifying for his second Winter Olympics.
“I am still in awe of all of this,” Abbott said. “However, the epic fall I took at the Olympics in the short program has had the biggest effect on me. I’ve heard so many different stories about how that moment affected people — how it inspired them and motivated them and gave them courage to do things in their lives that they thought weren’t possible.”
Abbott said that hearing the stories will last longer than any medal.
“So, I just want to thank again the fans, from the hard core to the casual Olympic viewer, because you guys make the effort all worthwhile.”
In winning the magazine award, Abbott joined the likes of skating elite — Johnny Weir, Evan Lysacek, Kimmie Meissner, Michelle Kwan and Paul Wylie, among others.
Readers’ Choice Award winners
2014 – Jeremy Abbott
2013 – Meryl Davis/Charlie White
2012 – Ashley Wagner
2011 – Meryl Davis/Charlie White
2010 – Johnny Weir
2009 – Evan Lysacek
2008 – Johnny Weir
2007 – Miami University
2006 – Kimmie Meissner
2005 – Tanith Belbin/Ben Agosto
2004 – Sasha Cohen, Haydenettes (tie)
2003 – Michelle Kwan
2002 – Michelle Kwan
2001 – Michelle Kwan
2000 – Michael Weiss
1999 – Michelle Kwan
1998 – Michelle Kwan
1997 – Tara Lipinski
1996 – Michelle Kwan
1995 – Todd Eldredge
1994 – Michelle Kwan
1993 – Scott Davis
1992 – Paul Wylie
1991 – Tonya Harding
1990 – Jill Trenary
1989 – Kristi Yamaguchi
Mikaela Shiffrin did a lot of soul searching after she didn’t win a medal and didn’t finish three of her five individual races at last year’s Beijing Olympics after entering the games amid enormous expectations.