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Abbott named USOC athlete of the month

Jeremy Abbott is the reigning U.S. men's champion.
Jeremy Abbott is the reigning U.S. men's champion. (Michelle Harvath)

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(02/10/2009) - The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced this week that Jeremy Abbott, the 2009 U.S. men's champion, has been voted one of its January Athletes of the Month. This is the first time Abbott has won this honor.

In winning his first U.S. senior title last month at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, Abbott broke the five-year stranglehold on the men's division of Evan Lysacek (2007 and 2008 U.S. champion) and Johnny Weir (2004-06 U.S. champion). At 23, Abbott became the oldest first-time U.S. champion since Rudy Galindo in 1996 and qualified for the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships in March.

After winning gold at the Cup of China and finishing fourth at the Cup of Russia, Abbott became the first U.S. man to claim the title at the Grand Prix Final. His fifth-place finish last week at the 2009 Four Continents Championships moved him into the No. 3 spot in the latest icenetwork.com World Figure Skating Rankings. Abbott earned bronze at that event in 2007. He is also the 2005 U.S. junior champion.

Abbott trains under coaches Tom Zakrajsek, Becky Calvin and Eric Schulz at the Broadmoor Skating Club in Colorado Springs, Colo.

In winning the January honor, Abbott beat out 2008 Olympic wrestler Steve Mocco and Paralympic skier Tyler Walker, among others.

U.S. ladies champion Alissa Czisny came in third in the women's voting after capturing her first U.S. title at the 2009 U.S. Championships. Pairs team Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker also finished third in the voting for the honor of January Team of the Month after winning their second consecutive U.S. title.