Johnny Weir looks back at the Olympics: Fortius Altius Maximus

 

In the upcoming season finale of BE GOOD JOHNNY WEIR tonight, my fans and fans of my show will travel with me to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. There is a lot of detail shown in the finale, but I thought I’d dish a little dirt about the Olympics, and this has nothing to do with the fact that condoms were officially supplied in the Olympic Village.

The Olympics are massive. You can’t really appreciate the magnitude of the games simply by watching them on TV. You arrive in the airport and are immediately directed to a line to receive your accreditation, which is your key to the Olympics as an official entry. The accreditation gains you access to all venues, housing establishments, and in many cases free taxis and constant gawking as to who you may be when you’re out and about. I arrived earlier than expected to the Olympics because of a blizzard on the east coast, and they didn’t want me to be late.

After arriving and going through the team processing, which is when you get all the swag, most of which is not even your size, you get shipped by bus into the Olympic village which is sort of like an international army base. It’s incredible the amount of people running through the village, all in tracksuits and me and Galina strolling in, in knee length mink coats with far too much luggage. There is no admittance into the village unless you invite a family member or lover and they are approved 24 hours prior to their visit, which is why you never see live shots inside the village on TV.

The food in the village is strange. It is all served in a giant cafeteria with McDonalds, cookies and pizza abounding. It isn’t strange because it’s fast food, it’s strange because these are the World’s most elite athletes, more esteemed than NFL heroes and Mike Tyson, and they eat McDonalds? Apparently all sports aside from figure skating do eat these foods, needless to say, Galina and I found our way to the Four Season’s hotel in Vancouver and ate every single day, at YEW restaurant. The staff became family and even treated me to a giant ice cream sundae after the events were over, so a big public thank you to YEW.

The practices and constant media scrutiny before your event are difficult things to tackle. I train in relative obscurity at a small rink in Wayne, New Jersey with two other skaters, Ksenia Makarova, Russian ladies champion, and Natalia Popova, Ukrainian ladies champion, so showing up and being “on stage,” practicing with your key rivals for many days before you actually compete is draining. On the last day before my short program the US men were scheduled for two practices and of the three men, I was the only one who would take advantage of the evening practice. At the Olympics, the US figure skating team is overseen by five main officials, a team leader, two assistant team leaders, a doctor and physiotherapist who are supposed to share responsibilities and at least one is to be present for every practice, event, press conference, drug test and so on for every single athlete. As a precursor to my event and the support I could expect to receive from my own team, not one team official showed up to my final official practice that night. Not one.

I think most people know how the competition went for me. I felt so alive and amazing on the ice. I did the two best performances of my life, and I still failed to medal. I still haven’t quite come to terms as to why I lost to people who fell, but I am so beyond proud of what I did and proud of my fans for helping me get through the event and fighting with me every step of the way. It is hard to explain the emotions that poured out of me on that final night n Vancouver, I gave my life on that ice, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of, or rethink. In my heart, I am a champion for everything I was able to accomplish.

When I finished skating, and saw the scores, and heard the audience booing at the judges, I immediately swept into the mixed zone where you do all your interviews, switching from English, to Russian to French, back to Russian and then English again. I was completely overwhelmed by everything and so wasn’t able to process what happened. Galina walked me back to the curtain we were hiding behind near a janitor’s closet before the event, sat down with me and I started crying and didn’t stop. When the competition was over and I finished my first crying fit of the Games, I had a drug test with the medalists from my event, then went home to my room in the village. My roommate Tanith hugged me and told me how proud she was of me, I turned off my phones, got in the shower and cried for what felt like hours. I was emotionally spent. The next morning, and until I left Vancouver, I was up by five and doing media, interviews and commentary until midnight every night. It was insanity. During all the craziness, I was also finding time to train with Galina and Viktor and start preparations for the World Championships, which were only a few weeks away. I also said goodbye to my family who had traveled so far to watch me perform, and stood with Ksenia as she skated in her first Olympics. All in all, you can say I was one of the busiest people of the Games.

While this blog sounds a bit “woe to me,” I enjoyed nearly every second of my second Olympic Games. I did my job to the best of my abilities. I really loved what I was doing, I was connected with the people in my circle who matter most, and as a team, we accomplished something great. Galina said it best, once the Games were over, “we all acted together, like one.” When Galina and I parted ways after my event she leaned over and hugged me and said, “Johnnyka, you have made me prouder then anyone has ever made me before. I feel that you are champion; God blessed us today. You’re victory is my victory, we came a long way together, I am so proud of you.” That statement, coming from Galina Yakovlevna Zmievskaya, is worth it’s weight in gold to me. The day before the closing ceremonies, I left Vancouver with the feeling that I really accomplished something that will be of value to me, for the rest of my life and I can still cry thinking how proud I made myself, and my family, fans and team.

I know this was a long one, and too emotional, but I want you all to know how much I appreciate your love and support from long before and long after the Olympics. You mean the world to me and I work very day to make you proud. I love you.

Johnny

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Johnny Weir: Everybody Wants a Piece of This

Johnny Weir Elton JohnJohnny Weir and Sir Elton John attend the 18th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar party in March 2010

Throughout June and July, Johnny Weir will be blogging with us right here on SUNfiltered. Johnny will share his thoughts on life post the Olympic Games, what he’s been up to and where he’s off to next. Also be sure to catch the season finale of BE GOOD JOHNNY WEIR on June 27 right here on Sundance Channel and follow us on Twitter (@SUNfiltered) for all the latest Johnny updates.

What a busy spring I have had! I’ve been running from award shows and recording sessions to book meetings and skating practice.  Life hasn’t slowed down for me one bit since the Olympic Games. Dying to see me in action? Well, tune in on June 27 at 10PM for the season finale of my reality series BE GOOD JOHNNY WEIR right here on Sundance Channel (shameless plug, couldn’t resist).

Since I’ve been spending so much time on the road and doing fabulous things I figured I’d list some of the things I’m looking forward to the most just to give my amazing fans an inside look into what is coming up.

1. This past weekend I performed in Columbus, Ohio as a part of the skating exhibition, “Skate for Hope.” Skate for Hope has been around for a while now, and all the proceeds from the show go towards breast cancer research and to breast cancer related charities. I performed my new program ‘Heartbroken’ set to music by Richard Clayderman, and ‘Bad Romance’ by Lady Gaga which is quickly becoming a favorite. It was great being in front of a loving audience and hope everyone that was there flew around the ice with me.

2. On June 27 and 28 I will be in Detroit, Michigan to be part of a fashion show on ice for the bridal boutique, “Creme de la Creme.” I am going to be prancing around in some pretty extravagant costumes and at the end of the show, I’ll be performing my fan favorite exhibition routine to “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga in a new costume. I’m very excited to debut the new costume! Be sure to check it out if you are in Michigan!

3. On July 2 I will be turning 25, for the second time. I’ve decided now when I gain a new year under my belt, I will go backwards instead of forwards. By the time I have to walk around with a Swarovski encrusted walker, I figure I’ll be the ripe old age of -5. Love that! I’m hoping to put together a really great day, and relax and get pampered and then hopefully do something amazing with my friends in the night.

There is a lot more coming up that will be in my next blog post right here on SUNfiltered. I’ve been hard at work with my producer Lucian Piane on our single “Dirty Love,” and we’re looking for a late summer release date and video shoot. I’ve been really delving into my life while I’m writing my 25 year memoir for Gallery Books, and in general trying to make my fans proud in every possible way.

Until next week, I love you all and don’t forget to tune into my season finale of BE GOOD JOHNNY WEIR at 10PM on June 27. I will know if you are not watching, and not to be threatening, I have trained all my friends in the art of blow darts, so watch your back if you plan on not being home or setting up your DVRs.  I LOVE YOU!

– Johnny

For more Johnny, check out his blue carpet interview we shot at the Spirit Awards in Los Angeles earlier this spring. And we have tons of interviews with him over on Full Frontal Fashion – all right here for your reading pleasure!

Summer Fun in the Hot City by Johnny Weir


GaGa shows off to the press. That’s my girl! Photo by Nick Laham / Getty Images.

With it being summer, I thought I’d put together a little cheat sheet about what’s hot in my imagination for this summer, my summer in the city.

LADY GAGA
Let’s face it, the last two years have been years of Gaga, but there is something so personal about her music and her style that inspires me every day. From the mini short clad dancers in her new “Alejandro” music video, to her whimsical display of her middle finger at major sporting events, there’s nothing not to love. Lady Gaga’s adoration for her fans is something that everyone who is blessed enough to have fans should learn from. There isn’t a morning, day or night in these hot months that I am not rocking my “Poker Face.”

FASHION
Summer fashion isn’t always something that I go for, I have disproportionate leg muscles which can make shorts and issue, and my skin is paler than Casper’s, but I love letting some skin show and making my skinny rib statements on every hot, sticky, miserable day. Chanel has some amazing tanks from their summer collection, Garreth Pugh put out an insane pair of leather leggings for those frisky nights out grinding to the “thumpa thumpa” and J Brand has introduced “Jegging” shorts, which are basically denim inspired biker shorts that make my booty look glorious. I may prefer bundling up in fur for winter, but this summer there are a lot of hot things to try.

EYEWEAR
I have been a huge fan and collector of sunglasses since age 3. From my bug eyed Bolle’s at age five to my “Ghetto Princess” Nathan Jenden’s at age 25, I live for eye fashions. Summer isn’t summer without some incredible shades to shield you from the soleil. I say that Chanel is an amazing choice for pretty much anyone, even the glasses on a stick sported by Sarah Jessica Parker in SEX IN THE XITY 2. Balenciaga is going way out to left field with their spectacles, and you can’t go rockstar chic without having a pair of A. Morir spike encrusted shields.

THE RESTAURANT
Whatever you like is the best way to go in the summer. Indulge yourself, don’t worry about bikini’s and speedo’s, you’ll certainly sweat off your crispy rice from Koi in Los Angeles, or you’re vanilla meringue cake from Cipriani in NYC. Summer always seems to be treated like a party so enjoy it by tasting the treats you rarely have and drinking down those bubbles, of course eat and drink responsibly.

VACATION
I haven’t had a vacation in years, but I have it under very good authority that human’s tend to take vacation in the summer. I can suggest Cayman Islands, stay at the Ritz and get pampered. I can also suggest staying at one of the spa hotels in Sochi, Russia. Don’t forget to get your visa for entry into Russia. If the economy has hit you too hard and can’t afford to go away, hit a local hotspot, for me, I like Soho House in Manhattan’s meatpacking district. Enjoy yourself.


Stay cool, kittens. Photo by Barry King / Getty Images.

To end this blog, everything about summer is hot. My darlings, please get out there, be fashionable and get laid. I will be working my ass off to make you all excited and proud of me no matter what I do, so enjoy the summer mugginess, for me.

Please watch the season finale of BE GOOD JOHNNY WEIR at 9pm June 27 on Sundance Channel. I have already threatened you with the dingles wielding blow darts, don’t make me do it again. Watch!! I love you.

An Open Message to fans of ‘Criminal Minds’

To Fans of ‘Criminal Minds’:

I am writing this blog as a way to vent some of my frustration over the current situation with the television show Criminal Minds.  I am frustrated and upset, and I can guarantee at the start this blog is probably not going to be my best work.  However, I am going to go ahead with it anyway.

As any fan who doesn’t live under a rock or on Mars or someplace now undoubtedly knows, an announcement has been made that the contract of AJ Cook, who plays Jennifer Jareau on the show, will not be renewed.  It has also been announced that Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss will be back on the show on a limited basis and that a new female character will be introduced on the show next season.   

Naturally, no one associated with the show is happy about this situation.  Certainly none of the fans are happy.  One person I know on the Fan Forums at CBS.com said out of more than a thousand comments she had read only three were in favor of the cast moves.  What has been frustrating about this whole situation is the tack some so-called fans have taken since these cast changes were announced. 

While some people, myself included, tried to be the voice of reason and suggest fans should write calm, well thought out emails or letters; there were a few fans who blatantly suggested fans should flood CBS executives and random employees with spam and hate mail.  I say ‘random employees’ because one of the email addresses one of these so-called ‘fans’ suggested we write to is that of an assistant to the Vice President of a department at CBS who likely had no connection to this decision and no power to affect it in any way.  This same ‘fan’ also published the CBS phone number and suggested fans should call the number and leave hateful voice messages.  She even provided country codes and other information so fans could call from the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe to do the same.  This is ridiculous, stupid and makes the fans of one of the most intelligent shows on television look completely ridiculous.  I sincerely hope that few fans took part in this campaign to encourage hate mail and spam; however I am virtually certain that some did.      

One of the most bothersome aspects of this whole mess is how some fans of JJ and EP have decided to berate other characters.  Some of these ‘fans’ have decided it’s appropriate to trash the other characters to save their own favorite.  I have seen posts suggesting other characters were better gotten rid of than their favorite character.  The ‘barrage of keep my favorite character and get rid of this other character instead’ as one fan put it, is disgusting and divisive.  Most of us who know about this business in the first place learned it from fans of characters other than JJ and EP.  My favorite character on Criminal Minds is Spencer Reid, played brilliantly by Matthew Gray Gubler. I learned of the contract situation from other Spencer Reid fans, and then from Rossi and Garcia fans. It is now hurtful and unfair to fans of other characters like me to be treated like this.  It’s painful to hear from so-called ‘fans’ that your character is more worthy of being dropped from the show and to hear wonderful characters like Penelope Garcia, who is portrayed by a wonderful actress named Kirsten Vangness, be called names by a group of morons who call themselves fans of Criminal Minds, but yet claim they would rather see the show ‘crash and burn’ without their favorite character or think it’s appropriate to berate the other characters. 

Another thing I learned about later was that some ‘fans’ were criticizing Shemar Moore (Derek Morgan on the show) for not speaking out enough in support of AJ Cook and Paget Brewster.  As some fans on CBS.com tried to point out, Shemar doesn’t even have Twitter and doesn’t use the social networking sites.  What was he supposed to do, take a billboard out on Hollywood Boulevard?  It’s not fair to critique the other actors for their responses to this situation.  Each of them is handling it in their own way, and that is as it should be.  It’s not fair to expect the other actors to behave in a way that some of these fans are behaving.  The best way for the other actors to handle this situation is privately, behind the scenes with the CBS executives in their own negotiations and talks.

I was too distracted by other things to accomplish what I really wanted to accomplish with this blog.  Therefore, I will stop here.  Following are snail mail and email addresses, plus a phone number.  Use them if you want to, or hope to affect change.  Unfortunately I think there have been enough rogue spam and hate mail postings to all these to bury the intelligent, well thought out and well-spoken responses that might make a difference.  However, it never hurts to try, does it? 

http://www.cbs.com/info/user_services/fb_global_form.php  Feedback Form

CBS Television Network                                                                                                                                                 

51 West 52nd Street                                                                                                                                                     

New York, NY 10019

Main Number: (212) 975-4321

 

CRIMINAL MINDS                                                                                                                                            

Touchstone Television in assoc. w/ Paramount Network Television                                                                           

8660 Hayden Place                                                                                                                                                   

Culver City, CA 90232

 

http://www.cbspressexpress.com/div.php/cbs_entertainment/contact-list 

This is a list of email addresses for some executives at CBS.  I’m not even sure if any of these people have any connection to what has happened with AJ Cook and Paget Brewster.  However, this is the list where the rogue person I mentioned above found her email contacts. 

Why I Don’t Support Boycotts

Recently I went a few rounds on Facebook with someone I went to high school with. Generally we get along fine, at least partly because we share some similar political beliefs. We don’t agree on everything, but what two people do agree on everything? Our latest scrape lead to him ‘unfriending’ me on Facebook, though I have not unfriended him. My friend is a big supporter of boycotts; and I, in general, am not.While I don’t have an issue with advocating a boycott of Glenn Beck, for example, I do have a problem with wholesale boycotts of entire companies or states, for example. If you advocate a boycott of Glenn Beck, you are possibly affecting an individual and perhaps a few people within their circle. When you start to support a boycott of an entire company, such as Exxon or BP, you are affecting a huge number of people. The problem is how are those people being affected?

The problem with these boycotts is that the people affected the most are those with the least amount of power. It takes a lot for the upper echelons of a big corporation to be affected by a boycott, though some become concerned more quickly than others do and respond better.

I remember years ago after the Exxon Valdez disaster up in Alaska there were many suggestions of boycotts against Exxon, and a number of these boycotts were carried out. In particular I remember a news story about demonstrators picketing an Exxon gas station somewhere in the Los Angeles area. A man who just happened to be driving by decided to go through the demonstrators and into the gas station to purchase some gas. When asked by the reporter why he had done so he responded that he had not been planning on purchasing gas, but on the spur of the moment had decided to come into that specific station when he had seen the demonstrators. When the reporter asked him why he had made that decision the man stated he had done it because the station owner was not Exxon, he was an independent owner who sold Exxon petroleum products. He was a businessman, not an Exxon executive, and he had very little control over the actions of the Exxon corporate machinery. As a local businessman who had had nothing to do with the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the customer had felt the station owner needed and deserved his support. In my opinion the customer made the correct decision.

The issue that caused the problems between myself and my friend was his advocating of boycotts of the State of Arizona over the recent passage of SB 1070, the immigration bill that has received so much attention across the United States and into other countries. I always find it interesting when there is a hot button issue involved such as immigration or, in this case, illegal immigration, that so many people weigh in without even knowing what they are really talking about a good portion of the time. I saw groups created and advertised on Facebook that tried to recruit members by claiming SB 1070 REQUIRED law enforcement officials in Arizona to stop anyone who MIGHT be an illegal alien. Not only is this not true, it’s idiotic to even suggest such a thing. Celebrities have weighed in, politicians have weighed in, people all over the world have weighed in, and I can’t help but wonder how many of them have even read the bill?  You can read the text of SB 1070 here , and nowhere does it suggest law enforcement MUST stop individuals who MIGHT be illegal aliens.

A city councilman in Los Angeles made a statement that he needed a passport to travel to Arizona, and if he did come to the state he might be deported if he didn’t have one. It’s difficult to know if that was a statement of ignorance of the bill, an attempt to ignite emotions, a pathetic attempt at humor, or if it was just plain stupidity. There was so much mis-information floating around that the Arizona Republic tried to help clear things up by publishing the bill’s entire text plus an interpretation of it. The article they ran alongside the full bill contained quotes from several politicians and celebrities who admitted they had not read the bill, and in a couple of cases had read only part of it.

Seriously, how can you make a decision on whether or not to support or oppose something if you haven’t even bothered to find out what it is you’re supporting or opposing?

The gist of this bill is that being an illegal immigrant is now a state crime in Arizona, and if you are stopped for something such as a traffic violation, law enforcement officials CAN ask you to prove you are in the country legally.

 The hysteria surrounding this issue is completly ridiculous. I’m not a supporter of the people who introduced, voted for, or signed this bill into existence; however, I’m also not much of a supporter of the way many people are opposing it. 

The President of Mexico weighed in on SB 1070 (this bill also does not specify ethnicity of the illegal immigrants law enforcement is allowed to question); however he is the President of a country that has one of the more restrictive immigration policies in existence, and it is somewhat hypocritical for him to critique the immigration policy of another country.

Opponents of the bill who did not like the fact he hadn’t come out in opposition of the bill more forcefully publicly took a prominent Latin-American entertainer to task. This celebrity was taken aback at first, but then he made a point of saying no one tells him what to do or how to think, and that he would not be forced into anything.

Phil Jackson, coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, was taken to task by opponents of the bill for suggesting that sports organizations such as the NBA or MLB should stay out of political issues.

Arizona was considered a front runner to land both the Democratic and Republican national conventions in 2012, and suggestions they should receive neither began almost immediately. The state has since lost the opportunity to host the Republican convention, and the political fallout continues.

The MLB All-Star Game will be held at Chase Field in Phoenix in 2011 and opponents of SB 1070 have suggested MLB should pull the game from the city. So far MLB commissioner Bud Selig has not agreed. There were demonstrations at Arizona Diamondbacks games in Chicago and other cities, and picketing of Suns games in Southern California.

The issue that caused the rift between my friend and myself was that he supported the economic boycotts of Arizona. As a resident of Arizona for twenty-one years, I do not. I do not like boycotts in general, but I especially don’t like a boycott that is targeting an entire state. I think this boycott of Arizona was not well thought out, and was not based on any real understanding of what this bill is about or why anyone felt it was necessary. No matter how many times I told him and his other friends they didn’t seem to get the fact the ones hurt the most by boycotts are those with the least power. He said he chose to not spend his money here in Arizona, and that’s his business and his right. However, to advocate that no one spend their money in Arizona, in my opinion, is not only wrong, but also unfair. One person said she thought the boycott ‘was great’, and I responded with, ‘Of course you do, it doesn’t affect you.’ I had said something similar before, and after my latest response I was ‘unfriended’.

I have been thinking about this issue for a long time, but I didn’t actually get around to writing much about it until I read an article in the Arizona Republic Saturday June 5th describing how some Arizonans have decided to change their summer vacation plans.  As far as I am concerned this is just one more example of how boycotts often have unintended effects or hurt the wrong people. Some Arizona residents, not necessarily supporters of SB 1070, stung by the boycott of Arizona and not sure how their Arizona license plates would be received in California, have decided not to spend their vacation time and dollars in our neighboring state. The City of Los Angeles and several other cities in California decided several weeks ago to put a stop to doing business in Arizona as part of their protest against the bill. The City of San Diego criticized the bill but did not advocate the economic boycott of Arizona. Many of the Arizonans who are now deciding not to spend their money in California would have gone to San Diego. This could potentially hurt the area for several million dollars. At a time when so many people in so many areas are hurting financially, the potential fallout from these idiotic economic boycotts is reaching far beyond the borders of Arizona.

Those people within the state of Arizona who are trying to repeal this bill deserve support.  What they do NOT need is an economic boycott that hurts them as much as those who support SB 1070, if not more.   Boycotts often hurt those who can least afford to be hurt, and those how have the least power to change things.  That may not be the intended effect of an economic boycott, but it is one of the effects that should be considered.

 

Some Worthy Causes to Support

Some causes Johnny Weir fans are helping to champion right now:
 
http://www.usfigureskating.org/readerschoice.asp 
*Vote for Johnny Weir to win USFSA’s Readers’ Choice Figure Skater of the Year.
 
 
http://www.refresheverything.com/justpushplay 
*Vote to encourage Pepsi to fund sorely needed physical activity programs for kids through the n’Play Foundation. Johnny Weir is one of the board members of n’Play.

http://www.tofighthiv.org/site/TR?px=2553998&fr_id=1220&pg=personal 
*And of course, Johnny Weir fans current number-one priority is AIDS/LifeCycle "Ride for Life" fan project! We were so excited to see that the story has already been picked up by The Advocate and by Towle Road!  The ride starts this Sunday June 6th, and our goal is to have $5,000 in donations by then.  Within 45 minutes of the announcement of this project Johnny Weir fans had raised over $500, and twelve hours later over $1500 just via FB and Twitter to other JW fans.

One last fluffy thing:
http://www.njlhealthandbeauty.com/a-list/salons/
*Vote for Beauty Bear Eric Alt’s  (Johnny Weir’s sytlist) salons to win "Favorite Salon" in New Jersey Life/Health and Beauty magazine’s Beauty A-List awards.