Jeremy Abbott is fighting a summer cold and laryngitis but can't contain his enthusiasm for his new training digs at the Detroit Skating Club (DSC).
"I just love it," he said.
Former coach Tom Zakrajsek led the skater to the Grand Prix Final and U.S. titles last season, but in May the 24-year-old decided to make the move to Michigan. There he's trained by Yuka Sato, the 1994 world champion, with an assist from her husband, two-time U.S. pair champ (with Kyoko Ina) Jason Dungjen.
"Yuka and Jason have been so fantastic. The rink here is phenomenal. Jerod Swallow [five-time U.S. ice dance champ, with Elizabeth Punsalan] is skating director and he has been so accommodating. I'm happy with the situation and with the decision I've made."
Icenetwork.com caught up with Abbott and got the scoop on his programs for the Olympic season.
So, what's the word on your free skate music?
My free will be "Jupiter" (from Gustav Holst's "The Planets Suite") and "Pines of Rome" (by Ottorino Respighi). It's music people will recognize when they hear it. I always try to use something a bit different; this season I wanted something familiar to people, but not something they heard a lot.
What did your choreographer, Tom Dickson, think of the choice?
We actually started work on a different piece I brought to him, but just with the editing and trying to get everything right, it became pretty obvious it wasn't really the right fit for me. I asked Tom what he thought about "Jupiter" from "The Planets." That floored him a bit, but then he and I worked on it and it took off in an entirely different direction. A lot of skaters seem to be approaching their programs a bit differently this Olympic season. I want to continue doing what I did last season, improve my skating skills, artistry and range of movement, but also make the program more accessible to a broader audience.