Where was his head at?

Three times US figure skating champion Johnny Weir, at the Torino Games.

This had to have been some kind of lame political statement. Surely even ice-skaters aren't that stupid:
TURIN, Italy (AP) : American Johnny Weir has been catching a few glances at the Winter Olympics. The Delaware resident was wearing a red warm-up jacket with "C-C-C-P" on it during a practice session today.

Those are the Cyrillic initials for the former Soviet Union.

The three-time U-S men's figure skating champion says he got it from Russian pairs skater Tatiana Totmianina (tawt-mee-ah-NEE'-nah) as a birthday present.

He says it's just for fun, the same as if someone was wearing a Madonna T-shirt.
The Soviet State killed many times more of its citizens than did Nazi Germany. Weir is an Olympic representative of the United States of America - the nation that did more than any other to insure the downfall of the despicable, murderous regime - and this is "like wearing a Madonna T-shirt", is it?

Weir is an ignorant prat, a flamboyantly effeminant girly-man who proudly refers to himself as "princessy", and said about travelling to the Olympics: "I hate carrying my own luggage. The beds aren't very soft. I'm roughing it. For me, it's the same as going out in the woods."

The press, as expected, isn't critical about this at all. They consistantly report that Weir's fellow team-mate's reactions were hostile, but do so in such a way as to make the Americans seem fussy and pedantic. This is the same "sensitive" press who universally refused to publish a few cartoons for fear that they would make Muslims cry... and then kill the journalists.

Here's some uncritical, gushing reportage:
Watching Plushenko mostly from afar has been the flamboyant, 21-year-old Weir, who is so into Russia he wore a CCCP jacket to practice, studies the history of the czars and hired a Russian choreographer.

"I'm teaching myself Russian," Weir said. "When I answer in Russian, she really gets excited about it."
I will wager that Weir's knowledge of Russia is extremely limited. If he truly was knowledgable, and not merely selectively so, then he would understand that the Soviet Union was a phase in Russian history that anyone with a modicum of civility or respect would hesitate to speak glowingly of.

But not Weir. He makes it easy for us, giving away both his rank ignorance of history and his real motives for the Russian infactuation:
"I'll say Plushenko is very modern Russian, circa now," Weir said, "and I'm more of the Baryshnikov era as far as dance and influence goes in my programs."
The "Baryshnikov era" was the Soviet era, and dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov risked his life in defecting from the USSR to the west. The same west that Weir scorns for its lack of interest in his silly, trivial "sport".

But Weir's beloved Soviet-era Russia placed a great emphasis upon all of the winter Olympic events, supporting a massive national program. Of course, the entire thing (contrary to Weir's ignorant analysis) had nothing to do with the Soviet leadership being avid fans of figure skating. They weren't. They wanted to use their athletes as sporting robots. They were used to humiliate and degrade the free west in a very nasty political rivalry.

But little princess Weir doesn't care about any of those annoying facts. All he cares about is his ego, and how wonderfully it would be fed if only he could have skated for the Soviet Union:
"The fact that skating is a sport and an art form isn't really appreciated (in the United States)," Weir told the Denver Post. "In Russia, they appreciate it because they have a history of ballet and music and culture and beauty. Here, people are more interested in seeing a bunch of spandex-covered men in helmets running around hugging each other for three hours."
So, he is indirectly claiming that the United States - which he is three times figure skating champion of - the nation who has made his "career" possible isn't a nation of music and culture and beauty. Not when compared to the Soviet Union, anyway.

There was nothing culturally idealistic about the Soviet support of skating, any more than there was something beautiful, musical or noble in a system which killed more than 50 million of its own people. It was a part of their cultural war against the free nations of the west.

Weir needs to spend less time shopping and more time reading.

Update: It isn't hard to see that there are others who one suspects would not have been upset to see the USSR triumph in the Cold War. Naturally, they are unbridled fans of Weir:
In theory, Weir should feel more at home in the States, where individuality is ostensibly prized, than he ever could in Russia. But he was fascinated by Russia's history of political repression and tumult at an early age, even before he started skating. The skating-mad country has come to love Weir back.

He has a jersey with his name in Cyrillic spelled out in sequins on the sleeve. The Soviet jacket with the once-dreaded "CCCP" on the chest bothered officials from the U.S. Figure Skating Association, who didn't know what to think the first time they saw Weir wearing a Cold War artifact.

"They've talked to us about it,'' Weir's coach, Priscilla Hill, said, "and they understand where it's coming from.''

It wasn't the first time he had unnerved American skating officials. His wisecracking drug and alcohol metaphors (an old costume was "a Care Bear on acid'') prompted attempts to polish him for public consumption.

For the most part, though, he is a natural with the media -- smart, witty, insightful. When he was asked whether he worried about setting a good example for children, he gave an answer that transcended spin doctoring: "I don't think there should be one role model for all kids. I want to be a role model for kids who feel different and stifled, kids that I was like, kids who feel like they can't say what they want.''

Elite figure skaters have very constricted lives. [Aww... poor babies. - Ed]


As if to prove his point, he danced beautifully around the question of his national loyalty. "Being American and being accepted into another culture,'' he said, "I suppose that's what being an Olympian is all about.''
It's not like he'll ever have to explain the concept of 'flexible' national loyalty to someone from San Francisco.

But the award for "best uncritical liberal hagiography of an ignorant, anti-American sissy boy skater" goes to Greg Couch at the Chicago Sun Times, who obviously has some deep, deep, personal emotions for Weir:
You don't find many guys saying they like to be princessy, but that's Weir. Some of you won't care about that, and some will roll your eyes at figure skating.

But give Weir a minute here. It is his ability and willingness to express himself, through clothes, music, athleticism, that is making him America's best figure skater.

This is about honesty and artistry. Weir is a character, yes. But he might be the most honest person you will meet. He is honest with himself, honest about himself, about his feelings, his surroundings. And he is so well in touch, and so athletic, too, that it works to put him in contention to win a medal.


But he is so openly flamboyant, so effeminate in a flaunting sort of way, that he's a test of the homophobic, not-that-there's-anything-wrong-with-that crowd anyway.

"It's over, it's done,'' he said after his routine. "It's Valentine's Day. I can go buy myself a rose and some chocolate now.''


See, skating is part athleticism, part artistry. So many times, you see skaters who can do these big jumps, spinning four times around, that you think that's all the sport is about. It's not. It's supposed to be about a feel, a dance on ice. It's not all so left-brained. It's not throwing a ball in a basket, and that counts as two points.

You can't score art objectively. And that's what bugs me about the new scoring system, which is half tallying for tricks done and half report card on the details of transitions and things like that.

I visited the Sistine Chapel before the Olympics and can imagine judges giving Michelangelo two points for that brilliant red on the ceiling, three for the blend to the next image.

Real art is about being honest. And sometimes that honesty is missing in figure skating.
That's right, he just compared Weir's ice mincing to the Sistine Chapel.

You just can't fake that degree of lunacy.

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