US figure skating champ Jeremy Abbott falls hard, finishes routine

Jeremy Abbott takes a big tumble. (Reuters)
Jeremy Abbott takes a big tumble. (Reuters)

The men opened their figure skating competition on Thursday in Sochi with the short program and after his performance, American Jeremy Abbott stood in first place with a score of 72.58. This was impressive given the fact that Abbott took a brutal fall in the middle of his routine and almost didn't finish.

On one of his more difficult jumping passes, Abbott was unable to land it cleanly, losing his balance and falling forward before crashing into the boards. He was clearly in a lot of pain.

After taking a few seconds to gather himself and decide what to do next, the US champion got back on his skates and finished his routine to a great applause from the Sochi crowd.

"The second I stood up and the crowd just started screaming, I had to finish," Abbott said to NBC after the skate. "In my mind I was like 'do I go to the referee? Where do I go?' I was just kind of in a big jumble and in a lot of pain. But I when I heard the crowd behind me, I have to finish this for them. I have to do this for them."

Abbott remained in first place for the remainder of the first session but that's going to change when the entire short program portion is completed. A medal was going to be hard to reach even if he were perfect so that hope is probably gone.

Still, he had a great Olympic moment when he showed the dedication to get back on his skates and resume his program while clearly in physical discomfort (in case you didn't know, falling onto ice is not a very fun experience). It surely wasn't the Olympic moment he was looking for, but it still resonated with a lot of people. The Olympics remain great.

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