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skating_sarah11
07-15-2010, 08:24 PM
I agree gkelly!

I think the "new fans" Weir attracted to the sport of figure skating were mostly the "perez hilton" type only watching to see what weird thing he would do or wear next. Unfortunately, those people were lead to believe that that type of skating is what the sport of competitive figure skating is about (ex. Lady Gaga solo). Those people may not realize that there is a difference between exhibition and competition programs, so they think the sport will suffer without Weir.

Those same people, also, I believe, had an effect on Weirs decision to go "all out" and act like a diva.

aftershocks
07-15-2010, 08:24 PM
NattyDread, I agree with some of your points. First and foremost, Johnny Weir is definitely not sad. You’re so right, what’s for him to be sad about. Yeah, he was Heartbroken to a great degree at the end of the Olympics, and he expressed that in his recent exhibition choreo/ performance to Richard Clayderman’s music (which is absolutely beautiful). But he also knows that he gave his all to himself and to his fans in working hard to come back and make the Olympic team. So, despite the judges trying to bury him, he has been victorious in overcoming the obstacles stacked up against him. Now, he’s moving on with his life, and he has no regrets. By TPTB in fs not fully supporting Johnny throughout his career, that definitely hurt his chances to develop to his fullest potential, and that’s a loss mainly for the sport and for the fans. Johnny also had difficulty in handling the constant barrage of hate, criticism, teasing, and lack of full support. True, he didn’t necessarily always make the best decisions for himself, but all young skaters need the right kind of guidance and the best coaching team, and even then, figure skating can be a crapshoot for the best of skaters. That seductive, elusive window of opportunity does not remain open for long in this sport.

OTOH, there is obviously no doubt whatsoever that Johnny brought new fans to the sport and breathed new life into the sport, again not appreciated by TPTB. Fortunately, Johnny’s contributions have been noticed and appreciated by fellow skaters and by his many fans throughout the world. His great, iconic performances will most definitely stand the test of time. He is the quintessential, the global, the one-and-only Johnny Weir. One has only to view the youtube tribute/ video from last year that celebrated his 25th birthday to understand how his unique and special gifts as a skater and as a person have touched fans everywhere and transcended the sport.

Johnny’s journey is not over, whether or not he decides to come back and compete as an eligible skater. He will go on to achieve great things in whatever he decides to do, of that I am certain. Johnny is not a quitter, and he’s too talented and he loves skating too much to completely stop skating at this point in his life. I’m not saying Johnny is perfect, but both he and Michelle Kwan (in different ways) are exceptionally gifted skaters and personalities that the sport didn’t fully appreciate as a whole, especially in the sense of realizing that these two unique individuals were paving the way to a new era. If only TPTB could have understood how to fully support and promote each of them for the benefit of the sport as a whole. That never really happened, even though both Michelle and Johnny had an undeniably huge beneficial impact on other skaters, and thus on some of the positive ways the sport is slowly changing and has changed. The way the sport is run though, it’s still in the dark, antiquated ages of the nineteenth century, IMHO. It is on life support at the moment (especially in this country), kicking and struggling against being brought into the 21st century.

I wouldn’t however say that the sport is going to die anytime soon, or that it will ever be in danger of completely dying. Why? Because there is too much fresh blood available – those young bodies, hearts, and minds that are full of dreams of glory and thrilled with the joy of flight. The sport has always had fits and starts, low periods and high periods of popularity. Right now it is very popular in other countries, particularly in Asia, just not presently in the U.S. Winning medals is obviously not everything and no true indicator of how talented a skater is, because of the politics factor in judging. However, technical skills as well as artistry are extremely important (they are what this sport is all about). Daisuke Takahashi is an excellent example of both. Like Plushenko himself was recently quoted as saying “Takahashi is the future of the sport.” And I would add, as are other skaters like him (including Rippon, Ten, Amodio, Kosuka, and many others in men’s division – Mirai, YuNa, Mao in ladies, Pang & Tong, Savchenko & Szolkowy, esp. S/S who IMO have taken pairs skating to another level – and kudos to the brilliance of Shen & Zhao, as well as Virtue & Moir, and Davis & White who have both done the same for dance, with many other ice dancers before them having paved the way – and let’s not forget all the marvelous coaches, choreographers, parents and all the former skaters who have made an enormous contribution to the life and progress of the sport). I think it’s important to understand the history of figure skating,* in order to gain a broader perspective on what’s happening now. As fans, we are still in the throes of what’s happening, so it’s difficult to sort it all out. That’s why it’s great to be able to have the venue here at FSU to express our opinions.

* IMO, one good way to begin understanding is by listening to the wonderful interviews on manleywoman’s podcast – there’s a lot of skating history there right at our fingertips

psycho
07-15-2010, 08:25 PM
You don't need to play up anybody's personality. You simply need to let people be themselves and not encourage skaters to be soul-less automatons who are there to "do my best and have fun". Let them be real people, warts and all and you'll see more people getting invested in the sport because they will see real people instead of overpackaged robots who can't answer any question without a script. I remember people jumping all over Sasha for expressing ambition and now Ashley Wagner for saying she wanted to win. Hello? What kind of sport is it if people are not even supposed to want to win or believe in their ability to win?!

Snowgirl
07-15-2010, 08:28 PM
Johnny attracted new fans not only as a personality, but as a skater, by his excellent performances at the Olympics.

psycho
07-15-2010, 08:32 PM
Johnny attracted new fans not only as a personality, but as a skater, by his excellent performances at the Olympics.

Exactly. Not to mention that internationally he and Stephane are referred to as the true artists of the sport. If some disagree, that's their prerogative, but sorry, that's his reputation and that's his legacy.

michiruwater
07-15-2010, 10:04 PM
...In your opinion.

aftershocks
07-15-2010, 10:27 PM
Exactly. Not to mention that internationally he and Stephane are referred to as the true artists of the sport. If some disagree, that's their prerogative, but sorry, that's his reputation and that's his legacy.

Yep, in the opinion of not only psycho, and other Johnny fans in this Johnny thread, but also in the opinion of many of Johnny's fellow skaters, and skating fans around the world (even some Evan fans who are also Johnny fans believe in Johnny's artistry -- why try to quibble about that).

psycho
07-15-2010, 10:30 PM
...In your opinion.

No, actually, it's not my opinion. That's how he is consistently referred to in the international media (for example, that's pretty much verbatum what Russian commentators said when he took the ice for his SP in Vancouver). I know there are people who believe that Johnny fans are a result of some mass glue sniffing cult gone horribly wrong, but that is not quite true, and his international reputation as a skater and an artist is quite positive. ;)

REO
07-15-2010, 11:06 PM
Who is "they"? How could "they" have played up his personality?

Is "they" the media? I think they did their best to play it up.

Team Weir? I think he/they did their best as well. That's why he has the fans he does.

USFigureSkating and the ISU? What were they supposed to do, score his personality instead of his skating? Change the rules to favor his strengths? Encourage judges to hold up his scores or give him special opportunities not based on results just to appeal to the subset of new fans who were more interested in Weir and his personality than in the men's field, or all disciplines of the sport, as a whole?

No. Not the media and not Team Weir. I agree with you on both of those. I did mean USFS - not ISU so much. And no they should not have changed rules or asked judges to give him special treatment. Just equal treatment and some support. They didn't even have someone at his last practice in Vancouver which is supposed to be a given. Not did anyone from the Federation go to his press conference after those two sportscasters said mean things about him. He's one of their supposed top 3 men. Why don't they stand by him? As far as encouraging judges to hold up his scores, it's been done for others.

This whole snit about personality boils down to the fact that if you have a charismatic athlete you use him to get the butts in the seats. They're always whining about less tv coverage and dwindling funds. If there's someone the people want to see it behooves you to at the very least get behind him. There is a vid around from a fan meeting at his latest show in Japan. Plush is there, as well as Stephane and Tomas. Who did the fans yell for the most? Johnny. In countries where skating is popular he is a huge draw. Why couldn't USFS get with the program? And I'm not saying he should have been promoted over Evan or Jeremy or anyone else but at least the same. Too late now. I agree with whoever above said he's not coming back after this year. I think she's right about that.

REO
07-15-2010, 11:13 PM
I agree gkelly!

I think the "new fans" Weir attracted to the sport of figure skating were mostly the "perez hilton" type only watching to see what weird thing he would do or wear next. Unfortunately, those people were lead to believe that that type of skating is what the sport of competitive figure skating is about (ex. Lady Gaga solo). Those people may not realize that there is a difference between exhibition and competition programs, so they think the sport will suffer without Weir.

Those same people, also, I believe, had an effect on Weirs decision to go "all out" and act like a diva.

By the "perez hilton" type of fan are you refering to gay people? If so, :wideeyes:
As far as new fans of skating are concerned. If they become true fans of the sport why is it wrong that they were introduced by their attraction to Johnny no matter if it was his skating or his personality. They'll learn or they'll leave with him. No harm no foul. Again I refer you to the fans in Japan, China, Korea and Russia. There's nothing worse than a Russian perez hilton right? :rolleyes:

REO
07-15-2010, 11:19 PM
I know there are people who believe that Johnny fans are a result of some mass glue sniffing cult gone horribly wrong,

LMAO That was killer!

manhn
07-16-2010, 12:32 AM
Yes, Johnny caused so many gay people to watch figure skating. Because prior, there were never any gay people interested.

overedge
07-16-2010, 05:16 AM
No, actually, it's not my opinion. That's how he is consistently referred to in the international media (for example, that's pretty much verbatum what Russian commentators said when he took the ice for his SP in Vancouver).

All of the international media do *not* "consistently" refer to Johnny as "one of the true artists of the sport". That's ludicrous.

igniculus
07-16-2010, 05:49 AM
I know there are people who believe that Johnny fans are a result of some mass glue sniffing cult gone horribly wrong/QUOTE]

PML! :rofl:

[QUOTE=manhn;2819963]Yes, Johnny caused so many gay people to watch figure skating. Because prior, there were never any gay people interested.

ITA. Johnny's acceptance is bipolar even in the LGBT community. There are many who applaud him, but there is also a lot of negativity coming from there against him.


All of the international media do *not* "consistently" refer to Johnny as "one of the true artists of the sport". That's ludicrous.

While I think there certainly are journalist that label him like that (and such can be found in many countries), ITA with you, he is not universally referred as a true artist. I know I never read any such reference when the media in my country wrote about Weir. They only referenced him as "the skater known for his weird outfits".

danceronice
07-16-2010, 03:20 PM
No. Not the media and not Team Weir. I agree with you on both of those. I did mean USFS - not ISU so much. And no they should not have changed rules or asked judges to give him special treatment. Just equal treatment and some support. They didn't even have someone at his last practice in Vancouver which is supposed to be a given. Not did anyone from the Federation go to his press conference after those two sportscasters said mean things about him. He's one of their supposed top 3 men. Why don't they stand by him?

They gave him an awful lot of chances when he was winning. When he didn't keep winning (and it wasn't just US judges), when he DID mouth off to the media, when he made excuses in Torino, when he ran around wearing a Russian team jacket at international events, when he complained about not being appreciated and how it was all USFS hating on him--yeah, they're going to get fed up. Lack of COP-friendly programs was just icing on the cake. What were they going to do by the last warm-up in Vancouver?

If he'd medaled in Torino or won a Worlds, they would have swallowed most of it (though I think telling him to put on his own country's warm-ups at competitions no matter how he was placing would not be out of line.) But when he stopped winning, didn't learn to maximize the judging (though that is more Galina's lookout) they moved on and backed other skaters who got results without being difficult. You only get away with the artiste/prima donna act if you win. That goes for any sport.