He knows he doesn't have to be perfect to win (via the Detroit Free Press). "I need to skate good,” Abbott said of Sunday’s competition. “I don’t think I need to skate perfect.”
The 6'0", 27-year-old, Aspen, Colorado, native has won this event three times before, most recently in 2012. If he wins this year, he'll be only the 11th player in American history to win the championship four times.
Abbot also won the 2008 Grand Prix Final, and he finished ninth at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The American men do not have many promising skaters. At the US Figure Skating Championships, only four of 20 performers got through their routines without a major error.
Abbott has clearly improved since Vancouver, winning a US Figure Skating Championship since, and he's on his way towards another. He's ranked seventh in the world and is the highest-ranked American. The next-closest American is ranked 17th.
Abbott has also beaten reining Olympic champion Evan Lysacek twice, which bolsters his Sochi hopes. The Sochi Olympic Games are coming up very rapidly. The opening ceremony is a little over a year away.
While Abbott struggled last time around, he seems ready this time. He has the technical skill, and while he is not the flashiest of skaters, he doesn't make many mistakes and doesn't let the pressure get to him.
No one is close to Abbott in the rankings, and no one matches his ability to win. He is by far the best American skater out there today and will continue to hold that distinction through the US Figure Skating Championships and beyond.