Quote Originally Posted by Jaana View Post
I have been a fan of Abbott since I saw his performances live in Finlandia Trophy some years ago. Unfortunately Abbott does not seem to shine in major international competitions, his best performances have occurred in US Nationals and in GPF in one year. Has he a tendency to peak too early or is he just a not very good competitor in bigger events than Nationals?
My take is that Abbott is still learning how to cope with the mental pressure of competing at the really BIG international events. It's worth pointing out that Finlandia Trophy in October 2006 (in which Jaana first saw Abbott skate live) was only Abbott's second international competition and he won it (after having bombed his senior international debut the year before AND then failing to qualify for 2006 Nationals). Relative to Weir and Lysacek, Abbott was a VERY "late bloomer" as a competitor -- for example, after he won the 2005 U.S. Junior title he turned 19 that June, and so was too old for the Junior Grand Prix and Junior Worlds. The Junior circuit is an extremely useful "training ground" for skaters to develop an international reputation and to gain competitive experience, and Abbott never had this valuable early opportunity that Lysacek and Weir had. Following Abbott's first Nationals at the Senior level in 2007, his senior international career really started, and he has competed in a total of 17 international competitions (excluding made-for-TV competitions and invitational or team events): 2 Senior Bs, 6 Grand Prix events, 2 GP Finals, 3 Four Continents, 3 Worlds, and 1 Olympics.

Lysacek, by contrast, competed in his first Nationals at the senior level in 2001 (at age 15), and I counted 41 international competitions (excluding made-for-TV and invitational events): 1 Junior comp., 8 JGP events, 3 JGP Finals, 3 Junior Worlds, 12 Grand Prix events, 2 GP Finals, 6 Four Continents, 4 Worlds, and 2 Olympics.