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Abbott unconcerned about old skating rivals' comeback plans

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- When the men's event at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships finished Sunday in the HP Pavilion, Evan Lysacek was in Dubai for some promotional work he declined to specify when we talked last week.

Lysacek announced last fall he was planning a comeback for this season after two years away from competition following his 2010 Olympic title.  Those plans fell through because Lysacek could not resolve contractual issues with U.S. Figure Skating, but he still wants to try to make the 2014 Olympic team.

Johnny Weir spent Sunday at the HP Pavilion, where he had given a Friday press conference to discuss reasons for his attempt at a comeback next season, also after two years away from competition.

Jeremy Abbott beat both two-time U.S. champion Lysacek and three-time U.S.champion Weir for the title at the last two nationals, 2009 and 2010, when they met.  After winning his third U.S. title Sunday, Abbott did not seem too concerned about having to face them again in the future.

He intimated the sport may have passed them by.

“When I was competing with them, they both had these larger-than-life personalities and kind of took all the attention, but I really feel I have come into my own,” Abbott said.  “With them coming back, it would be just like any other competition.

“In the last two years, everyone has just improved so much.  As a (men’s) event, we are pushing the sport technically and artistically.  I think if they want to come back, they have a lot of work to do.”

One thing is certain, though.

The return of Lysacek and Weir can only help a sport dying for attention, no matter how much of it they get.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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