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Can Abbott Find Olympic Glory in Final Skate?
The 2014 Winter Olympics will be the final significant international skate of Abbott’s distinguished career. It’s also a second opportunity to achieve the Olympic glory that eluded him in the 2010 Vancouver Games.
At 28 years old, he is by no means a spring chicken in the world of competitive figure skating. That said, there’s little the American hasn't seen on the ice, and that will serve him well in Sochi.
The question, however, is whether he has that one last great skate in him to earn the medal he missed out on in the previous Olympics. If he can, it would be a storybook finish to his strong career.
Is Brown Really Ready for the Olympic Spotlight?
At 19 years old, Brown hasn't competed as a senior skater in a significant international competition, so he will be jumping into the deep end of the ice at the Sochi Games.
The difference between skating for a national championship versus an Olympic medal is stark, and the Illinois native will have to prepare himself for the pressure that comes with competing against the top skaters in the world.
That said, the joy and confidence he displayed at the national championships, especially during his silver-medal-clinching free skate, should convince him that he has the talent to compete in Sochi next month.
Will Brown’s Exuberance Complement Abbott’s Experience?
One could argue that while he’s inexperienced, the energy and excitement Brown brings to the U.S. team could be the perfect complement to Abbott’s pedigree.
With the loss of 2010 Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek due to injury, Sochi medal expectations for the men’s team were muted prior to last week’s national championships. Yet with the unexpected emergence of Brown in Boston, there is a renewed sense of optimism, which was palatable at the end of Sunday’s free skate and the subsequent team announcement.
Considering Abbott’s Olympic experience, the United States now brings a unique combination of accomplishment and potential to its team, which could positively influence how it performs in the Winter Games.