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Johnny Weir

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John Garvin "Johnny" Weir-Voronov[1] (born July 2, 1984) is an American figure skater. He is the 2008 World bronze medalist, a two-time Grand Prix Final bronze medalist, the 2001 World Junior Champion, and a three-time U.S. national champion (2004–2006).

Early life Edit

Weir was born in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, to parents John and Patti Weir. He is of Norwegian heritage.[2] He has a brother, Brian, who is four years younger.[3][4] Weir was raised in Quarryville, Pennsylvania, a town in southern Lancaster County.[5] As a child, he was a successful equestrian, competing with his pony, My Blue Shadow, an Arabian-Shetland cross.[6][7]

Soon after Weir began skating at the age of 12, his family moved to Newark, Delaware, so he could be near his training rink and coach.[8] In the summer of 2007, he moved to Lyndhurst, New Jersey, and began training in nearby Wayne.[9] Weir was an honor roll student at Newark High School and studied linguistics part-time at the University of Delaware before dropping out to concentrate on his skating.[8][10]

Personal life Edit

Weir's sexual orientation had long been the subject of media speculation; however, prior to 2011 when asked about his sexuality, Weir responded "...it's not part of my sport and it's private. I can sleep with whomever I choose and it doesn't affect what I'm doing on the ice."[11] In his memoir Welcome to My World, published January 2011, Weir officially came out as gay, citing a string of gay youth suicides as one reason for his decision: "With people killing themselves and being scared into the closet, I hope that even just one person can gain strength from my story."[12][13][14][15][16] In addition, Weir has been identified by some as genderqueer because of his gender ambiguous style.[17]

Weir married Victor Voronov (b. 1984), a Georgetown University Law graduate of Russian Jewish descent,[18][19] in a December 2011 civil ceremony on New Year's Eve in New York City.[20][21] Weir said, the "wedding [will be] in the summer, but all the official stuff is done now!"[22] Weir's representative said, "The couple has taken the new surname, Weir-Voronov, but professionally, Johnny will continue to be known as Johnny Weir."[21] In February 2014, Weir filed for a divorce, citing domestic difficulties.[23] However, it was reported that the couple reconciled two months later.[24]

Weir is a self-proclaimed Russophile] who admires the skating style and culture of Russia[25] and taught himself to speak and read the language. He also speaks some French[26] and Japanese.[27] He is a collector of Russian Cheburashka memorabilia.[28] In 2010 a main-belt asteroid, discovered in 1995 by T. V. Kryachko, was named by NASA after the skater, at the suggestion of his Russian fans.[29]

Weir was raised Roman Catholic and has stated he is open to other belief systems, including practicing Kabbalah, stating, "I believe in anything good, and anything that can teach love".[30][31] In February 2012, Weir stated that he was considering converting to Judaism.[32]

In 2006 Weir had two pet chihuahuas named Bon-Bon and Vanya[28] In 2012, Weir brought home a puppy, which was named Artem Viktorovich Weir-Voronov, Tyoma or Tëma.[33]

ControversiesEdit

Gender questions 2010 Edit

During the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, two Canadian broadcasters commented on Weir's performances, made derogatory comments about his sexuality, and questioned his gender.[34][35] Speculating on why Weir did not receive a medal during the Olympics even though he had good technical scores, Claude Mailhot of the French-language RDS network said, “This may not be politically correct, but do you think he lost points due to his costume and his body language?” Alain Goldberg replied about the judging, ”They’ll think all the boys who skate will end up like him. It sets a bad example.” Goldberg then said, “We should make him [Weir] pass a gender test at this point,” and Mailhot commented that Weir should compete in the women’s division. Weir responded in a press conference, saying "I’ve heard worse in bathrooms." He went on to say " I don’t want 50 years from now more young boys and girls to have to go through this sort of thing." The two men later issued an apology.[35]

Wearing fur 2010 Edit

During the 2010 Olympics, Weir became the center of an animal rights controversy by wearing fox fur on his skating costume at that event. He received protests from the animal rights groups Friends of Animals and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).[36][37] When the protests escalated to threats of violence against him, Weir announced he would remove the fur from his costume, although he continued to defend wearing fur as a "personal choice,"[38] later noting that the activists managed to overlook the fact that all ice skaters wore leather boots. Threats from animal rights activists also forced Weir to alter his housing arrangements for the Olympics in Vancouver. He had intended to stay in a Vancouver hotel, but for security reasons, chose to stay at the secure Olympic Village, sharing a suite with fellow American figure skater Tanith Belbin.[39][40]

Olympic boycott 2013 Edit

In 2013 Weir became involved in the discussion of whether the US should boycott the Sochi Olympics because of Russia's anti-gay laws. After publicly expressing his opinion, he received personal threats.[41] He was picketed by Queer Nation outside an appearance at Barnard College in December for his position that “the Olympics are not the place to make a political statement” about Russia’s anti-gay laws and “you have to respect the culture of a country you are visiting.” Weir called the experience "eye-opening," and went on to respond through further media interviews.[42]

References Edit

  1. my middle name is Garvin.. Johnny Weir via Twitter (29 June 2010). Retrieved on 30 June 2010.
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  10. 2006-2007 U.S. FIGURE SKATING MEDIA GUIDE (PDF). US Figure Skating. Retrieved on 18 January 2010.
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  17. Radically Queer (2011), [/2011/01/07/johnny-weir-comes-out-why-we-need-a-queer-movement Johnny Weir Comes Out: Why We Need a Queer Movement], Feministing, </2011/01/07/johnny-weir-comes-out-why-we-need-a-queer-movement>. Retrieved on 5 March 2014 
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  23. Allegations of Shakedown In Vicious Divorce, TMZ, 20 March 2014, <http://www.tmz.com/2014/03/20/johnny-weir-divorce-husband-attorneys-fees-shakedown>. Retrieved on 20 March 2014 
  24. Eby, Margaret (6 May 2014), Johnny Weir, husband Victor Voronov reconcile two months after split, New York Daily News, <http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/johnny-weir-husband-victor-voronov-reconcile-article-1.1781975#ixzz313Dvnawb>. Retrieved on 7 May 2014 
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  28. 28.0 28.1 Questions & Answers, Johnny Weir Online, July 2006, <http://www.figureskatersonline.com/johnnyweir/interact12.html> 
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  33. Johnny Weir and Husband Bring Home a Puppy, People, 2012, <http://www.peoplepets.com/people/pets/article/0,,20580954,00.html>. Retrieved on 26 February 2014 
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  36. Quarryville's Weir draws protest from animal group. NBCOlympics.com (27 January 2010). Retrieved on 29 January 2010.
  37. Weir changes mind about wearing fur (28 January 2010). Retrieved on 29 January 2010.
  38. Weir says he'll wear faux, not fox fur, after allegedly receiving 'threats'. Star Tribune (28 January 2010). Archived from the original on 4 April 2010.
  39. Sarkar, Pritha. ""Crazy fur people" force Weir's hand", Reuters, 13 February 2010. Retrieved on 17 February 2010. 
  40. "Wary Weir says threats keeping him in village", San Francisco Chronicle, 14 February 2010. Retrieved on 17 February 2010. 
  41. Van Zuylen-Wood, Simon (7 Feb 2014), Johnny Weir on Fooling Around in the Olympic Village and Being Gay in Sochi, Philadelphia, <http://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/02/07/johnny-weir-2014-olympics-nbc-commentator-sochi>. Retrieved on 28 February 2014 
  42. Johnny Weir: Gay Activists Are Idiots, 3 December 2013, <http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2013/12/johnny-weir-gay-activists-are-idiots.html>. Retrieved on 26 February 2014 

External links Edit

Wikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Johnny Weir. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

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