Abbott takes home 2014 Readers' Choice AwardFour-time U.S. champion receives honor for first time in his career
Jeremy Abbott is the winner of SKATING magazine's 2014 Readers' Choice Award. Abbott earned his fourth U.S. title in January and won a bronze medal in the inaugural Olympic team event in Sochi, Russia.
Through online voting on icenetwork during the week of June 30, people cast their ballots for the athlete or team they felt was most deserving of the award based on accomplishments from the past season. More than 20,000 votes were cast during the balloting period. Olympian Jason Brown finished second in the voting, with Olympic ice dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White garnering the third-most votes.
Abbott, 29, will be presented with the Michelle Kwan Trophy at the 2015 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina.
"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's season featured many highlights, including winning a bronze medal at the NHK Trophy in Japan; capturing his fourth U.S. title in Boston on the strength of a record-setting short program (99.86 points); qualifying for his second Olympic Winter Games; securing a bronze medal as a member of Team USA in Sochi; and rallying to finish fifth at the world championships to help the U.S. gain three men's spots at the 2015 World Figure Skating Championships.
"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. Hearing these stories and sharing these moments are more valuable and will last longer than any medal. So, I just want to thank again the fans, from the hardcore to the casual Olympic viewer, because you guys make the effort all worthwhile."