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antmanb
05-12-2011, 03:38 PM
Johnny told me at the Ice House that he is going to resume training with Galina when she returns from her vacation.


damn...if he really intends to return he needs a new coaching team.

That was exactly what I was thinking. It would be nice to see Johnny with another team and having TAT as a choreographer again.

manleywoman
05-12-2011, 04:21 PM
damn...if he really intends to return he needs a new coaching team.

Agreed. Galina doesn't help him at all, IMO.

Margaret
05-12-2011, 05:30 PM
Agreed. Galina doesn't help him at all, IMO.

Well, he did get his World medal training with Galina. The woman must have done something right. What other options would he have?

Triple Butz
05-12-2011, 05:51 PM
Well, he did get his World medal training with Galina. The woman must have done something right. What other options would he have?

He could have challenged for GOLD that year with better programs more suited to CoP. He dropped to fifth in the LP and held onto the podium by a little more than a point.

aftershocks
05-12-2011, 09:46 PM
Yes, if Johnny is serious about making a comeback to the eligible ranks, I would think he'd need help from new sources* to train the quad, to get back to peak form, and especially to come up with great music and choreography that is at the level of his talents and would allow him to truly challenge the men's field. If he just wants to stay in shape and challenge himself and be fit for shows, then I suppose staying with Galina is fine.

I don't know enough to say with any authority whether Galina has benefited Johnny or not. I think she cares about him and has likely helped in different aspects, but overall (based on the stuff I've seen in clips and read), Johnny may have been hurt in other ways (re the meddling with his jump technique, and the mother/ daughter tiff over his choreo in 2009 -- mediocre choreo anyway, and the reported meddling with his David Wilson choreo in 2010, not to mention when Lambiel came to be coached by the same team). Lambiel being coached by Viktor was probably on the surface not a problem, as Johnny gets along well with Lamby -- it didn't end up working out for Lamby anyway due to his injury struggles, and whatever. A best result might have been Weir and Lamby pushing each other, with Johnny learning to cleanly land the quad, and Lamby fixing and successfully landing his 3axel. However, Johnny may have initially been surprised and a little dismayed about "his team" not being exclusively "his" anymore. Thereafter, although Viktor was still giving advice and being supportive to Johnny, Viktor rarely appeared with him again in the kiss 'n cry.

Johnny has always said that he needs a strong taskmaster like Galina, instead of a mother figure as a coach. I'm sure Galina has been tough on him, but seemingly too meddling in other ways and overly motherly acting in any case, in the kiss 'n cry. I think earlier in his career, Johnny needed to learn how to better discipline himself, and judging from what he's said in his book, he probably needed a lot of help with a sports psychologist to strengthen his focus for competitions. It was Johnny's training days with TAT during the summers in Connecticut that seem to have been the key that took Johnny to the next level in his career -- it seems (again from reading his book) that TAT gave him full acceptance and boosted his confidence (in addition to providing good music and choreography -- they were a great match that apparently went off track). Believe it or not, I think Johnny has always needed to believe in himself more, and really own his talent -- not take it for granted.

* Who the new sources would be, I have no idea. With someone as talented as Johnny, I don't understand why he wouldn't explore finding the best choreography he could, or perhaps even collaborate with someone else.

Sylvia
05-12-2011, 10:28 PM
Cross-posted in the US Club Shows & Benefits thread in GSD: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110512&content_id=18975000&vkey=ice_pressrelease

Three-time U.S. champion, two-time U.S. Olympian and world bronze medalist Johnny Weir will headline "Twirling for Tots," a skating show to benefit pediatric cancer patients, at Westchester Skating Academy, Elmsford, N.Y., on May 21 at 7:00 p.m.

judiz
05-12-2011, 10:36 PM
I think Galina helped Johnny learn not to fall apart if he made a mistake, with Priscilla if he missed a jump, he would change his choreography. At least with Galina, if Johnny missed a jump he continued with his routine.

Johnny needs someone with Priscilla's technique training and Galina's mental toughness.

aftershocks
05-12-2011, 10:37 PM
Hey that's great. Thanks for posting, Sylvia. Guess I have missed a great opportunity to meet Johnny, as I used to live in Westchester County, NY. Too far away now.

Interesting Judiz. When you say, "change his choreography," what do you mean? Many skaters are commended for fixing something they missed, such as adding on a double to make a combo, if they landed too slowly/ awkwardly to make the combo earlier. Do you mean Johnny improvised too much? I recall Johnny saying that he often improvised (moreso with exhibitions than competitions), which was not as huge of a problem, until CoP and the continous rules changes. In the beginning (circa 2004-2005), it seemed that Johnny's skating was made for CoP because he's a complete skater good at all aspects, including spins, jumps, moves in the field, artistic interpretation -- good footwork too, but not his strongest suit. For some reason, it seemed all downhill for Johnny after 2006-2007, despite his great showing in 2007-2008 season. USFS weren't going to bite IMHO, 'cause they'd already decided to put all money on Lysacek.

antmanb
05-13-2011, 01:20 PM
Johnny needs someone with Priscilla's technique training and Galina's mental toughness.

I think that's the crux of it. He needs a good techncal coach and I don't think Galina is good technically. If johnny needs a task master he should find a great technical coach and give them Galina's riding crop to keep him in line :lol:

Seriously though, there must be good tough technical coaches out there who could help Johnny. I'm drawing a blank at the moment.

aftershocks
05-13-2011, 07:48 PM
True, I don't disagree. However, Johnny learned wonderful technique from Priscilla and came to Galina with great technique, which then seemed to suffer a little (he was ill tho' at Nats in 2009 when he had trouble with his 3axel). IMO, Johnny's biggest problems have been the mental and emotional aspects of competing. Then, after TAT left for Russia, Johnny seemed to have great difficulty finding the best music and choreography. Right now, he probably needs to focus on getting fit, getting back all of his jumps consistently (working on the quad only if he's really planning to return), but most importantly finding great music and choreography. If he needs to work on technique, get help from Priscilla, if she'll agree. Then get the tough mental focus from Galina (if she'd agree to allow him to get technical help elsewhere, and stop meddling with his choreo).

Marina's work with Johnny was not bad, and I remember fondly his King of Chess program (but I think it was over-reacting for them to take a public stance that he was trying to do more 'masculine' programs -- I don't think Johnny was fully motivated or fully on board with the idea that whole season, although he performed the program beautifully). I'm not sure why Johnny didn't like his Child of Nazareth program -- was it the music, the choreo, or the concept? The main problem in competition with CoN seemed to be that the jumps were not laid out in the best way. Apparently, Johnny hated that program. I loved the costume he wore for that program at 2007 Nationals.

While, Johnny's Fallen Angel lp of 2006-2007 was not bad, the music wasn't the best and overall it wasn't well received. I don't think he made a good decision keeping it all season and then at the penultimate moment after Nationals dumping it due to the criticism and trying to resurrect a more popular program, which he had little time to train before the Olympics. I was also curious why Johnny dumped the Liebestraum lp, choreographed by TAT (was it interference with USFS not approving some things in that program, or he just didn't like the music)? I think Denis Petukhov did some wonderful choreography for Johnny's 2007-2008 lp, and for their Fallen Angels trio exhibition with Melissa Gregory. In that same season, Johnny's sp music and choreo grew on me, and he performed his sp spectacularly at 2008 Worlds.

If Johnny does not come back to compete in the eligible ranks, he'll probably be most remembered for: The Swan (iconic program and performances), Rondo Capriccioso, Otonal, Dr. Zhivago, Valse Triste, great exhibition performances, most notably -- My Way, Imagine, Ave Maria, Poker Face, and Heartbroken, his influential costumes, his comeback seasons of 2007-2008 and 2009-2010, for his amazing talent (like liquid gold), his unique personality, the documentary Pop Star on Ice, and his outspoken comments. He's one of the best skaters of his generation never to win a World Championship. Hmmmm, I'd have to also say that Toller Cranston is the best skater of his generation never to win a World Championship.

Margaret
05-13-2011, 08:10 PM
If Johnny does not come back to compete in the eligible ranks, he'll probably be most remembered for: The Swan (iconic program and performances), Rondo Capriccioso, Otonal, Dr. Zhivago, Valse Triste, great exhibition performances, most notably, My Way, Imagine, Ave Maria, Poker Face, and Heartbroken, his influential costumes, his comeback seasons of 2007-2008 and 2009-2010, for his amazing talent (like liquid gold), his unique personality, the documentary, Pop Star on Ice, and his outspoken comments. He's one of the best skaters of his generation never to win a World Championship. Hmmmm, I'd have to also say that Toller Cranston is the best skater of his generation never to win a World Championship.

Amen:)

It is kind of sad how little time figure skaters have to achieve their goals, especially considering Olympics every four years. You see hockey players on top of their game at 40, but figure skaters are considered ancient in their late twenties. Not too many possibilities to make amends in their career, the time ticks ruthlessly.

Justathoughtabl
05-13-2011, 08:48 PM
Yes. He had the potential to be one of THE greats in the sport, and I think a lot of factors contributed to his not reaching that potential (most notably the fact that he's not really as much of a competitor as some of his rivals and tends to lose his nerve). It's sad that there are so few seasons in a skater's career. But even today, few skaters are as beautiful to watch as Johnny, in my opinion, and few are such all-around skaters. Good jumps, spins, edges, footwork, etc. Okay, so his quad [mostly] isn't there, but his 3A is amazing. I almost feel like it's a shame that the best skaters HAVE to go into competition before they can do shows. I wish there was an outlet for skaters who are more artistic and better at performing.

I feel like if Johnny were a show skater (not a competitive skater), was in top shape, and had great exhibitions to perform, he'd be amazing. I'm not exaggerating. Dick Button called it when he said Johnny was as graceful as a gazelle or a greyhound. When he does exhibitions after competitions--when he's in top shape and the nerves are no longer worrying him--he's exquisite, and few other skaters bring their heart into the rink like he does. Right now he's not in top shape and he's probably exhausted from having so many irons in the fire, and he's still skating well most of the time. (I think the prowess involved in his Poker Face routine is underestimated, an Heartbroken is among his best.) If it were up to me, I'd have him get into top shape and perform wherever he can. The dilemma is that he IS performing a lot (considering he's not in SOI)...but his energy is also being used in other pursuits, and I think he has every right to explore new things, too.

aftershocks
05-13-2011, 08:59 PM
So true, Margaret and Justathoughtabl. The sport requires total dedication, and there are so many difficult obstacles to overcome and decisions to make -- it is such a balancing act (that is one of the reasons why Michelle Kwan's career is so remarkable).


BTW, I wonder to whom and to what battle Johnny was referring in his Twitter of May 8:

People who hide behind a computer screen to fight their battles embarrass me. Where are our warriors? Fight me to my face, we'll see who wins.

Justathoughtabl
05-13-2011, 10:06 PM
BTW, I wonder to whom and to what battle Johnny was referring in his Twitter of May 8:

People who hide behind a computer screen to fight their battles embarrass me. Where are our warriors? Fight me to my face, we'll see who wins.

If you ever look at his Twitter feed, there are a few people that regularly say nasty things to him--hiding with the protection of anonymity, as he points out above. He usually ignores it, but I think someone said something about his mom, and that caused the above response. You wonder what is wrong with these people that they would harass a total stranger.

Justathoughtabl
05-14-2011, 06:44 PM
Johnny and Ksenia Makarova are headlining Twirling For Tots, a skating event to benefit children with cancer, on May 21 in Elmsford, NY. Johnny will also host a skating seminar.

http://www.twirlingfortots.myevent.com/?cp=1