For those of us who were unable to listen to the US Olympic Committee teleconferences yesterday, Lifeskate is here to help! She has excerpts from the Ashley Wagner and Jeremy Abbott conferences.
Some interesting tidbits from Abbott:
About the quad: I'm doing it because I wanna be competitive, but mainly I'm doing it because I can. It's in my arsenal and I don't want to water down my program just to skate cleanly. I really wanna put everything I have out there and have no regrets about it. I have the quad, I can do it, I've been able to do it for a few seasons now. Last year, we took it out because we really wanted to concentrate on my consistency and I feel that my consistency has grown so much. I feel so confident in my other jumps that I don't have to worry about them, and now that I feel strongly about that, I can confidently put the quad in my program. It's something that I wanna do for myself and it's something that I also wanna do so that I can be competitive.
Abbott plans to do the quad at Nationals.
Another interesting part was when Abbott was asked about scoring at the Russian nationals and if he thought it would affect U.S. Nationals scoring:
Scores at National championships across the world are always inflated. I felt that my scores last year at US Championships were very high, deserved or undeserved I don't know. It's always kind of that way, and it's always been that way, but when you come onto the international scene, the nationals scores don't have any affect. So what happens at US Championships this year, whatever happened at Russian championships this year, really won't have any affect on the scoring when it comes to the Olympics or Worlds.
I think some of these skaters are SO genuine. I love that he says his scores were really high - so many skaters would not say that sort of a thing.
An odd part for me was when they asked Abbott how he felt about his agent, who is also Johnny Weir's agent. I assume that is because Johnny Weir is all over the place and it does not appear that the agent is doing as much for Jeremy Abbott...but Abbott is not Weir. I think it would be much easier to be Weir's agent than Abbott's. Most of America hasn't even heard of Abbott yet.
There is also an excerpt of Ashley Wagner's conference.She discussed her programs and the triple-triple:
I just have to really keep plugging away at my programs. Whoever's going to make it onto the Olympic team is going to have two solid, well put together programs. Obviously for me it's the triple-triple so what I've just been doing in practice to help me get to that point -- I've just been doing a lot of run throughs, with back-to-back sessions, and anything I can do to help my endurance, because I need to have all the energy I can possibly have to put into my programs for Nationals. That's really what we've been doing in training (with coach Priscilla Hill in Delaware). And then triple-triple wise, we're working on it. At this point, I really think that whatever is going to be the most solid and what I feel is most comfortable is what is going to be in my programs at Nationals.
I am not sure we'll see the triple-triple from Wagner...she does not sound entirely confident about it.
Here is the part where they make her fire up Sasha Cohen with her doubts:
You used "if" a lot in your answer. Are you skeptical about Sasha's return? Well I'm skeptical. I don't know about anyone else. I just think it's very very hard to have your first competition be Nationals, but you know, I'm not counting her out, she's still part of the equation. If she's there, she's there, if she's not, she's not. But I'm definitely not counting her out.
As much as I appreciate that the skaters are candid, I think maybe I would not have said anything if I were Wagner. I would just assume that I was competing against Sasha Cohen and drop the "ifs." Because some competitors are really motivated by other people doubting them (see: Lipinski, Tara).