ABC News @ the Olympics

Olympian Dick Button discusses shocking injury to Russian skating star, U.S. performance in Sochi.
3:00 | 02/14/14

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Transcript for ABC News @ the Olympics
And then -- put new York at an ABC news digital special report ABC news at the Olympics Sochi winter games of course where it is still warm. And still knows know how bad is it take a look this. Is a shot just in from the International Space Station that is Sochi those other mountains very brown not very -- What's missing. Well it was a tough night -- team USA's men on eyes of the US hockey teams get ready to rumble with the Russians this weekend Sochi Olympics now. In sixty seconds. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Then it is team USA both with twelve Russia in fourth place with eleven that's followed by Germany with ten. Going by the gold strictly though the picture completely different. Germany is on top with seven gold and then goes Switzerland with five team USA dropping to fifth with four gold medals. In the -- so far. Team USA -- did get to meet the big guy. Russian president Vladimir Putin take a look at -- he stopped by to visit the USA house of the team wasting no time. Twitty these once -- lifetime shots -- shaking hands with speed skater Jonathan Garcia also other shots here who strode through team USA house meeting with some of the athletes. At this how's this for a self -- -- who is on the national luge team just being mean. As he takes itself they -- a little bit over the shoulder there was that recognizable face president who's sitting down for an interview. Job. Well Olympic figure skating always serves up some sort of drama take a look at this throwback here Tonya Harding Nancy -- scandals back in 1994 Carrigan clubbed on the -- by parties friends. And the attack overshadowed the Olympic Games that -- in the -- Norway. And then this this 2002 Salt Lake City allegations that the pairs skating competition. Had been fixed resulting in two teams receiving gold medals. But we go to the games as they stand now in Sochi all unfolded on the first big night of -- skating competition. In ABC's in -- has not -- any good morning to you. Then good morning from Sochi so much drama unfolding here on and off the ice -- the men's figure skating competition. That's -- -- that no one saw coming -- -- -- Chico considered the rock star Russian figure skating. Vowing out of the competition is so many were waiting to see is performance. His back pain during -- practice before. With apparently just too much there was than an announcement saying he had withdrawn from medical reasons the four time Olympic -- one of the greatest skaters of all time. Sending shockwaves across the world figure skating and it doesn't end there teen USA is Jeremy Abbott fell hard. On an attempted quadruple toe -- crashing on the ice and and sliding into the padded boards the crowd literally gasping as he clutched his -- -- pain. Falling right into a disappointing fifteenth place. But the four time US champion did not go down without a -- he managed to get back up and he finished the rest of his routine. Afterwards he said I am not the least bit ashamed. His teammate pony tailed sensation Jason Brown turned out a dazzling. Near flawless performance brown is now in sixth place going into the free skate competition. But perhaps the brightest star of the night Japanese skater -- will -- you earning the highest score ever recorded in the short program. Setting the stage for Olympic gold. And in men's hockey team USA -- -- Slovakian seven to one and will now face the Russian team this weekend. And American know -- hike -- pace fresh out of retirement -- the competition in women's skeleton. Sliding head first into the second fastest time of the night she and teammate Katie lender. Sporting that bald eagle helmet. And going for high speed gold later today Dan we -- watching all here in Sochi again. Where the weather is a balmy 63 degrees didn't want to rub -- in but kind of -- product here in New York. -- have greatly appreciated it but we've got a letter and a half inches of snow on the ground here in New York City. A -- -- it turned out to US men's skiing team expected to medal in today's super combined event but failed to do so five time Olympic medalist Bode Miller missing out back. For more on that -- the rest days that's when numbering in the Wall Street Journal Matthew fighter in Sochi Jonas via Skype Matt thanks me with us appreciate it. Bode Miller -- favorite coming in so what happens. Well. You know be the rescue just aren't really used skiing on its current wet snow it seems like -- really -- -- trouble it it. They spent a lot of time in Europe and in an army -- part season they're each. Eight race or Canada. But it's warm weather this -- -- really seized the truck. -- Getty also he won a gold medal in two Reno not doing so well either. -- that was real surprise maintains -- reigning world champion in this race. Bode Miller's defending gold medal at the excuse me. Defending gold medalist in the race and -- boat really sort of struggled a little bit yeah. Downhill -- at one big state where -- after it -- elk. And then on Islam. The bodies just not comfortable Islam yet trouble the part spread out that. -- never and is written. He basically -- -- weather may have been the blame on this and goes to war. -- -- he's really wanted to problem especially in the downhill runs its course changes very quickly in the sunrise this. Fairly quickly in the temperatures right now it makes no up or went so you don't -- an early start time. You're starting half hour forty minutes after the first -- and or just as much wetter much slower. And then a US men's and women's team we're the envy of the world back in 2010 Vancouver so well. I hate to say at -- what happened this time around for years later. You not ice is a little bit like stopped very so it's very small -- for error -- skiing. You know one little -- and now costs -- -- and these -- -- -- better used to determine by hundreds of second. Maybe. It and so it's very very heart -- it and you know even favorites don't come through. Let me -- -- to speed skating and a little bit about the question not about the weather so much but about teen USA speed skaters. Having some issues with their suits what's going on. -- it's it's kind of touchy situation biko's under are very big sponsor Unionists say why these seats. And they seemed habits Bennett -- Right underneath the necklace is being arrogant -- keep them cool. But to speak action on air and slowing him down -- balloon. So they don't insult their main sponsor it seemed -- great Brett -- and not eat right there it's not skating -- -- So what does that that -- the other covering this up then. They tried to. Covered up with cheap but you know he'd go into the ads you balancing on the tiny ski the last you wanna be wearing out. Our -- and -- sort of in their and it. I wanna talk about the overall medals count for second as you predicted Norway in the league think it's gonna stay that way for long now. You know I didn't particularly in the lead I am troubled by other governed by act that you spent start -- -- -- hasn't won yet. The women's spat on tonight in an -- so those are places where in the world champions last year they're really -- really simple lot of medals and those fancy I think it went sixteen of thirty nordic metals will it -- last year. -- they think -- still are finished out on top but you know it's not clock. A noteworthy and knowledge a lot of talk about his Germany and Switzerland in the gold county's lead the -- But that they barely win anything else is that there's a bit about sort of their philosophies in training or focus on each individual sport. Well with Germany Germany's could very specialized they -- -- one we -- Explore each -- -- and Maria -- all right spruce. That's -- -- probably the best era in the world and she's she's on she's won gold medals. All right we shall wait to see that Wall Street Journal's -- government -- all things Sochi -- this 2014. Winter games tragic thank you appreciate your time. So getting back to the figure skating drama and joining us -- to weigh in on all of Latin author of pushed -- but legendary -- two time gold -- -- Dick Button Dick thanks for joining us again we certainly appreciate it it's a great way to wind out the week I have to say. But we full regarding for the wanted to look at some of the pictures view and your crime and I want to say confidently. You work a wonder on ice with out question. Well thank you very much for saying so. Had a lot of hair then. Video lot of hair and an is as flexible I mean -- I can and I can imagine if we went down to Bryant Park right now you deal to pull off the same move. I don't think so and I don't think you wanna go with me if I'd tried to do that -- it because we would all be in an ambulance took it very quickly. You know this this morning -- and by the way somebody recently. This called me instead that I had my sassy dance. On the the day. And I've got a mom again today. Donna and -- -- little bit. Kind of not worrying about what. People say about things and I just was finishing I started to Twitter. That the men's event. But then I had to a stop to come here for my old alma mater and I was very pleased I will be very pleased to go back to -- -- I hope you'll. -- watch the twittering that we're going to do on the men's event later. We -- we we have notify you very diligently -- encouraging everyone else to do so as well because the answer that you can offer is frankly unparalleled. But I wanna talk though just for a minute of the men's figure skating great rushes at you -- to Shiancoe withdrew from the competition at the last second from an injury yesterday. He's taking some heat some criticism from some of his countrymen for that. What what do you say those critics. Of the critics well. Let me just tell you that out was ended at convenient. Time to pull out of the -- -- just at the moment that it started. I I'm awfully sorry but I think that have Guinea please Genco. Can I go back but just as to what way the first time I saw him was. In the at 2001 world championship. And I couldn't take my eyes off them. And I spoke about it to everybody else and they said well yeah he was good he was -- and I said -- my gosh. He he was still a mesmerizing. -- Because he had such the -- is. Through the years I also think that that's exactly what he has is his -- He also has been extraordinarily. Good. Jumps. His spends. Well kind of weak during the years he's gotten -- a little bit better and the program is I'm sorry to say is almost. Fifth rate. And that's because he will stand there. Bamboozled -- -- with his arm he will be doing you know stuff like this -- his -- at his waist level and he thinks that's a program I'm sorry but I don't. At I just think that he's tried to bamboozled us for so many years so long. That it's now it's kind of difficult. To take him seriously. And I question very heavily. The fact that there was a legitimate back injury. -- just that moment isn't it funny that it was it just occurred and that perfect moment. And somehow rather. I don't say I don't say it. Well let me ask -- because I think that you bring a great -- the fact that if in fact there is more. Sort of of magic and performance and not -- -- technicality to his to his ability that. Is he. Is an athlete able to change that kind of persona that kind of image that kind of namesake that they get in such a short period of time or is it basically. Once that's how you're labeled the west that's how you're perceived to mean that's basically how you're gonna be view. -- -- I think he's been -- in my book I've seen them so long you know that. I'm sorry -- I've always said he mesmerized -- you he's entertaining he has -- as he has bitter and so what. But he also. I guess it's crying wolf too often and just. I just don't have the great faith in and the fact that that particular. Injury problem we occurred right at that moment that's what I feel and I hope I was wrong because. It was certainly a downturn. For his teammate who would've enjoyed and I think love to have been in the competition. But that's the way the Russian Federation you know also go back -- ways when he had announced. That he was going to only skated in the team event and the Russian Federation turned right around and said a wait a minute. Who lead the Russian Federation determines who's going to do what. So how did all of this -- what's going on behind in the background the Russian Federation at and nation. It's coach. Is is his equal -- Chicanery and fixing things going I don't I love them dearly. And I think you know a wonderful jumper I certainly don't think that he's of one of the world's greatest skaters -- -- time. All right well a little have to wait to see event how -- collective sigh from Russia will be. Proceed I -- -- history. Might be in serious trouble if I ever try to go to the back. And -- -- is still around well I listen guy you never now I think you know the the unpredictability of the fact that he visited team USA last night you know there there there could be a whole new. Diplomatic world open up for you take you never know I doubt it daughter talk but it's different from Japan's -- -- high -- the first skater to break the 100. Point mark in performance your thoughts. On that -- On look. If you're talking about the fact that he broke a hundred points. And that also means zero to me because I'm not very much in favor of the counting of points. In this in the judging system I'd but I will tell you that he was simply breathtaking. And he was wonderful with his jumps and he was a wonderful way it is. Spins and the program was intriguing and even this -- that's -- it's called -- donut because of the circle on the top and he didn't drop. I think his is back in his -- -- to pick that up it was a very very beautiful performance. And he deserved every one of those points that he could possibly get. Brilliant skating brilliant skater and you know something. -- -- that. And I think that if he wasn't going to win. That maybe that was best that he. In his mind and in the Russian skating federations mind that he withdraw and that's why they did that. And if you take a look at that one picture that we do -- -- the reaction when the score was announced there. We're behind you and his coach take a look at this that is -- still it's still -- Japanese. Who who who they are essentially. It's such an incredibly polite. Country you know they're they're so when he had that I think it was the one of the -- the Teddy bear that -- picked up off the ice. And he was -- lying to the audience for thanking them and he was making the Teddy bear. Bowed to I loved. The the emotion that though the -- personality that comes after plant performance like that. A tough day though for US skater Jeremy Abbott -- hard your thoughts. To take a look at this full screen and what happens. But at this this -- that he. He he took -- spill. On that -- It if you can -- it in slow motion I think it would be. Very good that the revolution. But every jump you can tell what every jump will end up being if you watch -- take off of it. If you have a great take off. And a great lift and they great. Opportunity -- timing. And distance that you can achieve then you're going to land all right. He did he wasn't enough distance and it wasn't enough -- that wasn't enough revolution and it and he took a bad spill yet. And I think it was just -- of him to pick himself up and and move on the -- and not give up. Why the heck would anybody work all this time. And then give up. That's why I I question -- -- goes. Motives and his thing because he actually. Is one of the that the strongest competitors double time. And he loves -- loves getting out there and challenging. But he also ended up coming in fourth in the Nash in the Russian national championships -- Going back to Jeremy. He was wonderful to pick up. And yet you know also the psychology of there's a chapter in my book called to wilt or not to wilt. And that is a and an important thing that's going to show up in the men's event here where there are. I think four or five all that our. Bunched right together. The first. Use the -- -- is way ahead. The second fellow is way it is got a good lead and that next four are -- very very close. And whichever one. Doesn't wilt. Will be in good stead to win the bronze medal. So actually -- all good to he didn't come in to a silver or bronze. Yeah yeah well well Abbott finished fifteenth despite that fall and and and obviously. We see with the test will be as his career is gonna go forward a way to -- your thoughts on American skater Jason Brown as well. Well I've got to tell you. -- -- His choreographer was a guy named -- -- ward. I did not know that when ice on the the national championship that ruling was his -- progress and I had remembered. Talking to -- -- about at three or four years ago. I had admired his performance and I said really you're gonna keep on doctor he said no I'm not and I urged him I said you -- -- -- Europe -- great force. Please -- he's come back as a choreographer and we'll have got to tell you I'm very happy about that his coach is two very intelligent very Smart and very sharp. And they've they've got a magical moment working here -- this guy he's wonderful. Yeah he. He is an obviously. A fan favorite as well. I gotta tell you I think it is is a pleasure it is an honor as always and the fact the matter -- I was out with Brian Boitano the other night and I had mentioned that we you what I've been hanging out lately. The biggest fan the biggest supporter I mean it was like to see his face light up when I said I was chatting with you it was well I can. I can only tell you that I had the same respect back forum. He has been absolutely 1000%. Marvelous in the way he's handled himself through the years. I'm a big fan. It's -- it -- it for me it's been an embarrassment of riches to be surrounded by such greatness skating greatness and the fact that matters. I don't think I could even a lot -- without getting too blades on the ice a tri lateral to what -- we'll check insurance plan offers just get -- that fit but has done all right are the key. Do you follow the figure skating wisdom of Dick Button on pushed -- button. Dick thank you so much we certainly appreciate your time and have a great weekends -- thank you know I'll back to winter twittering now we and we will we will be eagerly following you as well this has been at ABC news that a special report on the Olympic Winter Games Sochi for now I'm down Cutler in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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