During the Olympic coverage in the US, they did their best to downplay Johnny. It seemed like they wanted to unpromote him, which was a huge mistake. I understand that they didn't want him. He's not their type. But for figure skating's sake they should have embraced him. There was a wall on NBC's official website that had photos of all the athletes and the more people were talking about the person on twitter, facebook, whatever, the bigger their photo was. So if everyone was talking about Lindsay Vohn or Shaun White or whoever their picture would get bigger and therefore the most popular person would be biggest. During the men's competition they promoted promoted promoted Evan and Canadian Patrick Chan, made Evgeni Plushenko the evil commie, and basically relegated Johnny to "whatshisface' status. However during the skating, and before and after, Johnny's picture on this wall was the biggest, by far. When he was skating, when Evan was skating, when someone else was skating, when the competition was over, the next day, Johnny's picture was huge by comparison. If NBC or anyone else wanted to make money they would have used this free market research to promote Johnny Weir and everyone in US figure skating would have benefited. But what was the story in the following days/weeks? The biggest (only) tour in the US doesn't want Johnny Weir because of who he is. That was in all the press and on mainstream entertainment shows where plenty of people who don't watch figure skating got to see what appeared to be a discrimination issue in figure skating. Americans love discrimination right? Anyhoo, the fact is everyone in the US seemed to be watching the Vancouver Olympics, so not capitalizing one way or another was a monstrous missed opportunity. The night after the Men's SP I was watching Letterman. The SP came up in the conversation he was having with Ewan McGregor. Dave was complaining that they were all dressed like Edward Scissorhands and Ewan commented that there was an American who wore a waistcoat (vest) but it didn't seem to help him (Abbott). Okay, they were making fun of their outfits, but the point is they both were watching it and it came up in their conversation when neither of them had the agenda to promote figure skating or NBC, which is not Letterman's network. For US figure skating to waste their two week window of opportunity that only happens every 4 years by being catty about Johnny and propping poor Evan up on that couch for the entire day after he won when he needed a nap, just to continuously explain the "quad controversy" was silly. People know where they stand on quads even if they only watch every 4 years. What happened was that Evan seemed baked and Johnny came across as the tortured artist who was victimized by his sport. Who wants to support a sport that treats it's own like crap? That's the thing. People want to like their athletes. They want to care about them. So it follows that they need to have star quality and/or be likable. People really loved Brian Boitano and Michelle Kwan. Figure Skating soared while they were around. But they weren't the only champions then or since. Everyone with a World Championship or Olympic gold medal does not have the kind of success those two had. So I personally don't think it's about medals tbh. When they played All That Skate LA on TV, my mom, who still watches figure skating now and knows all the current skaters, was sooooooo happy to see Michelle Kwan skate. It was like her favorite kid came home from college. She never even recognizes Tara Lipinski when she pops up. Forget about Sara Hughes. (I almost forgot who she was.) Kristi Yamaguchi who easily could have been forgotten by now, won the popularity contest known as "Dancing with the Stars". Evan didn't although he competed on the show directly after his Olympic win. Figure skating needs to be a sport for the people who run it, but it's a performance for most of the people who enjoy it now, or have enjoyed it in the past. So, imo, you need stars, not medals. And if your star happens to be a non-American, so what? I don't remember anyone changing the channel when Philippe Candeloro was on because he was French.