Olympic figure skater Jeremy Abbott hit back at the critics taking swipes at him since his slip in the men’s short program, giving them the middle finger and saying anyone who thinks what he does is easy is “a damn idiot.”
“I just want to put my middle finger in the air and say a big ‘F-you’ to everyone who has ever said that to me because they’ve never stood in my shoes,” Abbott said in a statement to reporters Friday.
The 28-year-old champion figure skater took a serious spill on the ice Thursday that left him winded and prone for nearly 20 seconds, but proceeded to spring back up and finish his routine without event.
What seemed to be a calamitous fall — Abbott landed on his side and slid into the barrier — actually only ended up costing the four-time U.S. national champion one point from his score.
Abbott, who won a bronze medal in the figure skating team competition earlier in the week, went on to finish 15th with a score of 72.58, and even received a standing ovation from the crowd for his efforts.
But others weren’t so kind, with critics unhappy with the skater’s low score and perceived poor performance.
“Nobody has to stand center ice in front of a million people and put an entire career on the line for eight minutes of their life when they’ve been doing it for 20-some years,” Abbott hit back. “If you think that that’s not hard, then you’re a damn idiot.”
Abbott is planning to retire this year.
ABC News’ Gillian Mohney contributed to this report.