KUSA - His life has been centered on and around the ice. Jeremy Abbott says he wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
"I love doing what I do, and I love competing," Abbott said.
The ice has been a place for trials.
"I've broken bones and bled in the rink many times," Abbott remembered.
However, he says the triumph of overcoming those times stands out the most.
"There is nothing more amazing than skating to a sell-out crowd," he said.
Abbott is 28 years old. He is a three-time U.S. champ and competed in the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. He has decided that this will be his final competitive season.
"I feel so excited about this season for so many reasons," Abbott said. "It is my last, and it's an Olympic season."
He says a trip to Sochi would be redemption for a disappointing showing in Vancouver. He finished 9th.
Abbott grew up in Aspen. He says he can't remember a time without ice skates.
"From the time I could walk my mom would take me to the ice rink and hold my hand and walk around the ice," Abbott recalled.
When he was 5 years old, Robin Cousins came to perform.
"I saw him skate, and I was so mesmerized by what he could do. I told my mom, 'I want to do this,'" he said.
Cousins was the 1980 Olympic men's figure skating champion.
Abbott felt certain about his decision but it was tested. There was a lot of pressure from kids his age who were focused on hockey and ski racing.
"I had some difficulties growing up there," he said, "I was this little figure skater and kids aren't always the nicest."
Abbott says he was teased and bullied.
"It made me want it more," he said. "I was determined to prove to them that I was more than what they were saying."
Success speaks for itself.
Last month, Abbott returned to his hometown ice rink in Aspen to perform. Perhaps he inspired a future figure skater in the stands, just like Cousins did for him.
It is a legacy Abbott hopes to leave during his last competitive season on the ice.
"There is no next year. This is it. This is what I have, so I have to do absolutely everything I can," Abbott remarked.
This weekend he is competing in Boston for one of two spots on team USA in men's singles figure skating.
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