When Jeremy Barrett suddenly announced his retirement at the end of February, it came as a surprise to many in the skating world.
But the last year had been a tough one for Barrett, 27, in the injury department. “I was dealing with injuries and that made it very difficult to skate each day in pain,” Barrett said.
The situation was compounded shortly after he and partner Caydee Denney claimed bronze at the U.S. Championships.
In their final practice before leaving to compete at the Four Continents Championships in Taipei City, Denney’s blade sliced Barrett’s right calf muscle, forcing them to withdraw from the competition.
“As with most athletes, I am healing faster than the doctor thought I would,” he explained. “I was supposed to be on crutches for two weeks, but only used them for two days because I did not really like them.”
Despite receiving 42 stitches to close the wound, Barrett began skating again just weeks later and stated at that time that he was making remarkable progress.
“I was able to do all my jumps, but could feel that my leg was not 100 percent and needed more time to heal,” he said.
Denney and Barrett joined forces in 2008 and found success early in their partnership. The duo claimed silver at nationals in 2009 and captured the title the following season, earning a trip to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
“My favorite moment in my whole skating career was being part of the 2010 Olympic team,” he said. “That was very special to me and was something that I had wanted since I was a little kid.”
Barrett is taking it easy for the time being so his body can heal. His intention is to become a full-time coach at some point.
He moved back to Bradenton, Fla. to spend more time with his fiancée, Amanda Evora.
“It feels great to be back in our apartment and to spend time with Amanda since we had to be apart so much the past year,” he said. “I am still teaching part time at my former training rink on the other coast, but I spend the majority of my time at home with Amanda.”
Looking back Barrett has no regrets. “I am very happy with what I have accomplished in my career and feel like I can look back on it and be satisfied,” he said. “Everything that I set out to do when I was a young kid starting out skating, I achieved, and I am very proud of that.”
He is enjoying his time away from the rigors of training, and said he is at peace with his decision.
“One of my favorite things to do right now is to sit on my patio with a drink and enjoy the view of the water,” he said. “After so many years of dealing with the stress of competitive skating, I am really taking some time to relax and enjoy the little things in life.”
Originally published in June 2011