Europeans may be underway, and soon enough we shall have to focus on the three men who will be representing the U.S. at Worlds, but even if he has left it unconfirmed at the moment, the most immediate consequence of the men’s competition at Nationals is that Jeremy Abbott’s competitive career has now ended two months before we wanted it to. We knew it could happen, of course. Ironically he still had his best performance of his Samuel Barber free for the season Sunday, though that’s not saying much.
Still, Jeremy has shown a penchant for creative frees from the time he first broke through to the top of U.S. men’s skating:
At first, of course, there were the consistency issues, and he was on the second tier, underneath the Evan and Johnny show. Until the end of 2008, when he showed himself to be more than that, and bagged what ultimately has been by far his biggest win:
Two National titles followed, as he showed just what he could do when he was on. Would that he had skated as well in Vancouver:
Sadly, since then, it seemed he was only great every other year. Still, even when he wasn’t the winner of the season, his was often the performance that stole the exhibition gala:
And in 2012, he created what was perhaps his signature long program, which he would use again in 2014, to music that he was not the first to use, but is now deeply associated with him, even as so many others have tried to use it in his wake.
But for my part, I shall always be grateful for the one skating program, in my life so far, that, when I saw it live, truly drew me in and made the world fall away, generating magic on the ice: his short program in Boston:
He has been quick to say that even if he will no longer compete, he will still perform, and hopefully he has many years ahead of him there. Starting as soon as this Saturday, where it seems thankfully not making the top four has not kept him off the exhibition ice. Reading about his tribute to his father, I expect everyone sitting in front of their TVs in three days to have tears in their eyes for him once again. Let this be a beginning for Jeremy Abbott, rather than an end.