USA TODAY - Fairly or not, American figure skater Jeremy Abbott is best known as that guy who falls all the time. He's far more than that, of course. You don't get to the Olympics without being a world-class figure skater and an athlete who has proved he can deal with the stresses of competition. But Abbott's two falls in the Olympics, including Thursday's wicked spill against the boards, makes people forget all that. A four-time national champion suddenly becomes a choker. Abbott had a message for the them Friday at a press conference.
"I would just hold my middle finger in the air and say a big '[expletive]' to everyone who has ever said that to me because they have never stood in my shoes.
"They've never had to do what I had to do. Nobody has to stand center ice before a million people and put an entire career on the line for eight minutes of their life when they've been doing it for 20-some years. And if you don't think that that's not hard, you're a damn idiot.
"So some people can handle it better than others, but everyone has that mental struggle, everyone goes through the same doubts. I am not alone. They just come at different times and different moments. Some people have their moment at the Olympics, and some have theirs at the national championships.
"I'm proud to be standing here. I'm a four-time national champion and a two-time Olympian, and no one can take that away from me. So whatever people have to say about me, that's their own problem because I'm freaking proud of what I've done and I'm not going to apologize for any of it."
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