Jeremy Abbott was not at a loss of words during a press conference following his free skate on Friday.
The two-time Olympian made his indelible mark on the Sochi Games as the figure skater who took a nasty, dramatic fall during his short program, only to get back up and finish out his routine during the men’s individual figure skating event.
But this was Abbott’s second fall in the Games, and his second disappointing finish at Olympics events (he placed ninth at Vancouver in 2010).
Naysayers were quick to criticize with murmurs that the four-time US champion choked during big events.
“I would just hold my middle finger in the air and say a big ‘F you’ 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.”