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Johnny Weir v. former Olympic Gymnast, Peter Vidmar

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by olympic, May 7, 2011.

  1. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

  2. newbatgirl

    newbatgirl Well-Known Member

    Vidmar has since stepped down.
  3. kittyjake5

    kittyjake5 Well-Known Member

    Michelle is available. ;)
    kwanette and (deleted member) like this.
  4. ProgramerUSFS

    ProgramerUSFS Active Member

    The more I watch Phil and his stories the more I think he has great insight, and really broke the story resulting in Vidmar's step down. Think about it, the Olympics is about equality, and I think Johnny was spot on, as having Vidmar with his views would be like having someone who thinks African Americans are wrong. The personal views of anyone as it relates to their political views, sexual preferences, race, color and creed, need to be kept out of sports and especially out of the judging considerations at USFS events. And you all know what I am talking about, as we don't need to bring up those PCS scores and the US judges who didn't judge based on what they saw in skating, but used their power to push their belief in what the US wanted as a skater image.
  5. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    Agree, if it's not something that can be fixed, and I don't believe sexual preference can be "fixed", it should have no bearing. Would you ask an African athlete to look Swedish? Everyone deserves to be judged on what they do, not on what the judges prefer.
  6. Macassar88

    Macassar88 Well-Known Member

    Yes please. I think she would be an amazing chef de mision.
    kwanette and (deleted member) like this.
  7. lexeoe

    lexeoe Active Member

    i have a feeling michelle might be the chef de mision in sochi.
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  8. ltnskater

    ltnskater Active Member

    Who says?! I overheard Michelle would be too busy competing in Sochi... especially with the new team event, she will be even more busy...
    Rottie and (deleted member) like this.
  9. Rottie

    Rottie Well-Known Member

    I would have no problem with Vidmar believing that marriage should be restricted to one man/one woman if only his personal beliefs were involved. The U.S. Olympic team should be inclusive of everyone, regardless of faith or beliefs about personal relationships. But since he's been a public, political activist in seeking that legal definition of marriage be codified into law, I do think that makes him unsuited to represent a diverse U.S. team.

    Michelle would be awesome if, as Itnskater says, she's not too busy. ;)
  10. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ ITA! Also, glad to hear that Vidmar has since stepped down.

    Someone who posted in the comments section of the article made a great point:

    "'The Church has a single, undeviating standard of sexual morality'
    Undeviating? Oh really? 100 years ago the 'Church' said a man could have as many wives as he wanted and that was perfectly moral. Why is it that the Church of Mormon can change its definition of marriage but the rest of society cannot?
    The bottom line is: should a man who campaigned to take away rights from fellow citizens be held up as a model for young people, and given a position to represent the entire United States? I say NO."
  11. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    I'm not at all thrilled with this, and I'm a strong supporter of gay marriage. If a woman was appointed to the same position who was anti-abortion, I'd still feel the same way. When we have these kind of litmus tests for these kinds of appointed positions, we open the door to the next litmus test being one we really don't like when the "other" group gains power.

    Peter Vidmar competed long and honorably as an inter-collegiate and the Olympic gymnast. Those are the qualifications that should have been considered, and the push to get him to step down was, imo, ill-considered, and likely to make those opposed to gay marriage feel even more strongly that the "gay lobby" has too much power.

    The bottom line is this: there is massive disagreement within the US about gay marriage, and attitudes are slowly shifting in favor of it. But actions such as this one do not do anything except convince others that more anti-gay legislation is needed. Be careful what you wish for.
  12. Sayana_mnk

    Sayana_mnk Member

    Well said...I absolutely agree.
  13. mike1709

    mike1709 New Member

    Both of Hershs' articles make uncomfortable reading for me due to their 'witchhunt' elements. Hersh got the result of Peter Vidmar resigning from the job of chef de mission of the 2012 US Olympic Team to write about. He was helped a great deal by the input of Johnny Weir.

    It would still make uncomfortable reading if Peter Vidmar was a public supporter of same sex marriage, and had to step down due to the controversy of that support.

    While Johnny Weir will be proud of his input into the situation, and the gay community will be toasting and congratulating him, I can't help wondering whether Peter Vidmar, who was a 'disgraceful' appointment, may well have done an excellent job as chef de mission. We will never know. He and his family must have been initially proud of his appointment, just as Johnny Weir and his family would have been proud of him being chosen to represent the USA at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

    Philip Hersh has now moved on to writing about playoffs and the Kentucky Derby. It appears that neither he nor Johnny Weir have any feelings of responsibility for the manner in which Peter Vidmar resigned.

    I would like to say that I have always supported the gay community, but the fascist manner (i.e. opposition is not allowed) worries me in this case.

    'Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones'. Chaucer 1385. Troilus & Criseyde.
  14. Kwantumleap

    Kwantumleap Well-Known Member

    It's an East Coast vs. West Coast thing.
  15. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    Canada's chef de mission for the 2012 Summer Games is Mark Tewksbury, who is also an Olympic medalist, and who has also been involved in sport administration and in the Olympic administration.He also has a very admirable record of activism on behalf of athletes, and of promotion of their interests and concerns. He's also openly gay and is an activist on gay issues.

    If I might play devil's advocate here, should he also be asked to step down because he might discriminate against athletes who don't share his views?
  16. Margaret

    Margaret New Member

    If he is actively campaigning against straight marriage then - yes. Being a gay rights' activist doesn't mean that you want to deny the same rights to the other members of the society. It's not like one group's civil rights come from the expense of others.

    I don't think it is so much about personal preferences or beliefs, but rather campaigning against something in public.
    meggonzo and (deleted member) like this.
  17. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

    Seriously. overedge, I know you're playing Devil's advocate, but it's exactly that kind of ridiculous argument that peopple give (undeserving) real weight too. If I'm campaigning against people's rights, than it doesn't matter what those rights are, I shouldn't be held up as a model for others to emulate.

    mike1970, can you explain to me how you feel gay-rights activists are acting in a fascist manner here?
  18. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    I wonder how folks would feel if another chef de mission is "unselected" because he/she is pro-choice? I suspect that the pro-life contingent feels pretty strongly about that as a disqualifying attribute.

    If you're campaigning against Palestinian rights for a separate government, does that make you "off limits" too? How about if you are of Turkish-American ancestry and don't believe in the Armenian genocide? If it is 1912 and you have campaigned against women getting the right to vote? If it is 2011 and you've campaigned against legalizing marijuana? I'm sure that there are many dope smokers who see that as a pretty serious infringement on their rights.

    Personally, I draw a significant distinction between candidates for public office, whose every position is legitimate to consider when voting, and appointees to this kind of post, where the person's general background, behavior, and skills ought be the consideration, and not their specific political views unless those are substantially outside the mainstream. Gay marriage is something that little more than half the adult American population supports even mildly, and someone who has worked to oppose it is not in any way outside the mainstream -- and I say that as a supporter of gay rights and gay marriage.

    If gay marriage advocates insist on tarring everyone who opposes their cause as evil and to be drummed out of any public role in society, they are much more likely to harden hearts against them than to find new converts.

    Part of growing up includes recognition that not everyone who disagrees with you on some issue of importance to you is evil and must be banned from any public role or punished for their views. I hope Johnny grows up one day, though that may be a lost cause.
    mmscfdcsu and (deleted member) like this.
  19. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

    I have no problems being intolerant of intolerance. I have never understood why people assume I should tolerate hate in any form.
  20. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

    I don't understand why this is being made into a Johnny vs Peter issue. Yes Johnny was quoted in Phil Hersh's article but I'm sure there are others who feel the same way. Just because Johnny (so far) is the only athlete willing to voice his opposition, don't make it into a "Johnny has to grow up" issue.

    Besides, I really doubt that Peter Vidmar resigned just because Johnny Weir was quoted in Phil Hersh's column. There must had been others who put pressure on Peter to resign, they just aren't brave enough to come forward and don't forget, Hersh must had gone to Johnny asking for a comment, not the other way around.

    How could anyone expect Peter to stand up for all the Olympic athletes if he can't stand the pressure of one Phil Hersh article?
    meggonzo and (deleted member) like this.
  21. sjs5572

    sjs5572 Member

    Replace the term "gay marriage" with "miscegenation," and noone would publicly defend Vidmar. BTW, the same arguments that were used against miscegenation in the 1960s are now being used against gay marriage: It violates the teachings of the Bible; it's unnatural; it's bad for children. When a "point of view" nullifies the rights of a segment of society, it's not a valid point of view....it's just bigotry.

    This is not just the matter of a paper document. There are ramifications with regards to taxes, health insurance, hospital visitation rights and immigration.

    I'll give you a personal example. I worked for a city government that provided health insurance to my domestic partner. Great, right?
    Well, my domestic partner was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in 1995 and died in 2001. His health benefits of several hundred thousand dollars were taxable to me....all because we could not enter into a federally recognized gay marriage. I paid over $50,000 in taxes on money that went directly to doctors.

    Here's another example. My personal physician met a nurse while on vacation in Peru. The nurse obtained a work visa and got a job as an assistant in a doctor's office in New York. The couple proceeded to register as New York City domestic partners. Well, the Peruvian's work visa wasn't renewed, and he was deported back to Peru. This couple was together over 10 years, and they couldn't stay together because federally recogized gay marriage was not an option.

    To recap, this is not an abstract issue. It has real consequences for real people.
    meggonzo, Andora, Rottie and 3 others like this.
  22. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    They are going to feel that no matter what. It's not a logical thing and, as long as people believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being gay (because there isn't), a certain segment of the population will be incensed.

    They remind me of the people I grew up with who were convinced that Jews ran the world and had too much power any time a Jew had any power whatsoever. No Jew having any power at all was acceptable to them. You can't appease people like that and, frankly, I don't think you should try.

    They were willing to stand up for what they believe and other people were influenced by that. Apparently, that's okay when the influencing goes your way, but fascism otherwise. ;)

    Or even just because of the column. People here seem to live in a figure skating bubble. Do you really think that no one else was outraged over this appointment and said so?

    Well, there's that. :lol: But again, I think people are giving Hersh (and Johnny) too much power here.

    As for the example of people pressuring someone who is Pro-Choice to resign, it misses the point. Someone who is pro-choice is not campaigning to force women to have abortions, but to support this legally valid choice and make sure it remains an available option. Someone who is Anti-Choice is campaigning to restrict women from exercising a legally valid option. That would be the equivalent to Peter Vidmar's position.

    Most people aren't outraged because Vidmar believes something that they don't believe. They may not like that but people who don't believe what I believe are in positions of power everywhere and I'm not automatically outraged and neither are most people. People are outraged because he is actively campaigning to restrict a segment of the population from a basic human right -- to have their relationship recognized in the same legally binding way as everyone else.

    As an example, if Vidmar's position was that he personally thinks marriage is between a man and a woman, but if other types of marriage became legal he would accept it, I wouldn't be outraged. I might be a bit :rolleyes: at the idea that there is some inherent definition of marriage (rather than it being a cultural construct), but I'd figure he was entitled to his opinion.

    But that's not the case here and I'm glad he's resigned.
  23. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    In addition to all the great points MacMadame, sjs5572 and others have made, Peter Vidmar's activities arguably violate the Olympic Charter.

    http://www.olympic.org/Documents/Olympic Charter/Charter_en_2010.pdf

    From the Olympic Charter:
    There are probably plenty of positions he can legitimately hold while simultaneously working to deny gays the same rights that straights have, but Chef de Mission is not one of them.
    meggonzo, Lilia A, alilou and 3 others like this.
  24. mike1709

    mike1709 New Member

    This is in reply to Proustable who basically asked me to explain the meaning of my wording 'fascist manner'.
    George Orwell offers a quite straightforward viewpoint - 'Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept 'bully' as a synonym for 'Fascist' That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.'
    Ref: George Orwell: 'What is Fascism?'. Tribune-GB, London 1944
    Reprinted: 'The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell' 1968.

    Hope this answers your question.

    By the way, didn't the same thing happen in the USA to the director of the LA Film Festival in 2008, Richard Raddon, as has just happened to Peter Vidmar? Both Mormons, both under pressure from pro gays, both resigned from their public appointments. Richard Raddon received enormous amounts of hate telephone calls and e-mails, so much so that people questioned the notion of free speech at that time. It was even reported in our newspaper. Much as I support the gay community, I do hope that does not happen to Peter Vidmar.
  25. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

    .... not really.

    Need to read those essays, though.
  26. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    I don't think it's a ridiculous argument at all. The inference that's being made here is that Vidmar's views on gay marriage would make him unsuitable to carry out the job of chef de mission. At least two people quoted in Hersh's articles say that despite his views on gay marriage he has always treated gay people fairly. If Vidmar was out campaigning for gay athletes to be banned from the Olympics, I would agree that he shouldn't be the chef de mission. But no one seems to have come forward with examples of how Vidmar's views have affected his work in athletics.

    And for everyone who's arguing that the Olympics have always represented equality and tolerance, and that has to be maintained - the Olympics "represented" those ideals when Jewish athletes were kept off Olympic teams, when the Olympics were held in Nazi Germany, when women weren't allowed to run races of more than 800 meters because their reproductive organs would be damaged, when a man with ties to Spanish fascism headed the IOC, when women were not being allowed to participate in the ski jumping event in 2010, etc. etc. etc. Not that such a nasty history shouldn't be reversed, but the Olympics is maybe not the best example of an organization that is an ideal of non-discrimination.
  27. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    I'm sure Peter has gay friends too.
  28. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    What precisely does the "chef de mission" do?
  29. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member


    Has Peter Vidmar EVER said that he hates gay people? EVER? :confused:

    There is a huge, huge gap between people who are opposed to gay marriage and people who hate gays. I don't think that 45% of the US adult population hates gays, but that is about the percentage that currently opposes gay marriage.

    The sooner people quite trying to demonize those who they disagree with, the better.

    Nobody has come up with one scintilla of evidence suggesting that Peter Vidmar has ever discriminated against gay athletes. His personal views -- on gay marriage, use of birth control, political parties, or global warming should have nothing to do with it.

    And frankly, someone who has exhibited the kind of bad sportsmanship and trash talking Weir has demonstrated is the very last person who should be throwing stones at someone else.
  30. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    I wish only 45% of a country disliked gay people.