Press Release

2009 U.S. champion Abbott announces change

Colorado native leaving Zakrajsek, teaming with Sato at DSC

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

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(05/22/2009) - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Jeremy Abbott, the 2009 U.S. champion and 2008 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final champion, announced Friday he has ended his 10-year professional relationship with coach Tom Zakrajsek and will train with Yuka Sato at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Abbott had trained with Zakrajsek at the Colorado Springs World Arena since 1999.

"I am sad to be leaving Colorado, where I have lived my whole life," Abbott said, "but am very excited about my future and the opportunities that lie ahead."

Zakrajsek was named the Professional Skating Association's Coach of the Year at the organization's annual conference in Orlando, Fla., last week.

"I wouldn't be where I am today without Tom," Abbott said. "I am so grateful to him and everyone else at the World Arena for all that they have done for me in the past."

In addition to capturing top honors at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships and the 2008 Grand Prix Final, Abbott took home the gold from the 2008 Cup of China. He won the bronze at the 2007 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships and is the 2005 U.S. junior champion.

"I want to thank Jeremy for allowing me to lead him these past 10 years," Zakrajsek said. "I am very proud of my work with him and wish him good luck in his new situation."

Sato is the 1994 world champion, 1990 world junior champion and a two-time Japanese champion. A coach at the Detroit Skating Club since 1998, Sato also works with 2009 U.S. champion Alissa Czisny.