Next month, millions of people will focus their attention on the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Fifteen US figure skaters will take to the ice at Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi, Russia.
Seven train here in Michigan.
US Figure Skating announced its Olympic team Sunday at the 2014 US National Figure Skating Championships in Boston. Although the national event wasn’t technically the Olympic qualifier, the event’s results played huge role in the Olympic selection committee’s decision.
Jeremy Abbott, who skates at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, earned a berth on his second Olympic team by winning his fourth national title Sunday.
“Four time national champion is crazy,” Abbott said. “I’m just a small town boy. I never thought that I would be here.”
Abbott, 28, moved to Michigan in 2009 to train at the Detroit Skating Club.
All three ice dance couples who qualified for the Olympic team also train in Michigan.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who train in Canton at the Arctic Edge Arena, won a record 6th US ice dance title and head to the games as the favorite for the gold medal.
“We are so lucky to be part of such an amazing team,” White said. “We’ve had a lot of great momentum over the last four years since the 2010 Olympics, and we think we’ve put ourselves in a great position to bring home a gold medal.”
Davis and White are Michigan natives. She hails from West Bloomfield; he from Bloomfield Hills. They won a silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada.
Their training mates, sister-brother duo Maia and Alex Shibutani, finished third and secured an Olympic spot as well.
The Shibutanis- known affectionately to fans as the Shibs – said the journey to making the Olympic team has been amazing.
“Ice dance is a crazy sport, it’s a crazy life, but moments like this you don’t really prepare for, you only dream of,” Alex said following the announcement of their Olympic team selection.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who skate at the Novi Ice Arena, placed 2nd.
Chock said making the Olympic team was her lifelong dream.
“We’re so happy and we couldn’t be in better company,” she said. “We’re just so thrilled.”
Although no ladies or pair skaters from Michigan will compete for the United States at the Olympics, Hannah Miller represented the Lansing Skating Club, placing 9th in a field of 21 ladies.
Pairs team Lindsay Davis and Rockne Brubaker, who train in Canton, also finished 9th.
The Olympics begin February 6.