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Olympic Skater Goes Faux–for Now

Written by PETA | January 29, 2010

Fur-loving figure skater Johnny Weir was pelted recently—with protests from animal defenders who were aghast to spot white fox fur in one of his costumes. Along with many others, we contacted Weir—and his agent was quick to point out that PETA made its case in a professional manner. Weir responded to the many complaints by announcing that he will go faux for the Olympics. Weir stated, “I do not want something as silly as my costume disrupting my second Olympic experience and my chance at a medal, a dream I have had since I was a kid.”

 

iceskatingintnl / CC
Johnny Weir

 

There isn’t anything sillier than an animal wearing another animal’s fur, so we hope that fur is forever gone from Weir’s wardrobe and that the flowers we’ve sent him to say thanks brighten up his dressing room as he prepares to take home the gold.

Written by Karin Bennett

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  • indycar01 says:

    he is as HEARTLESS as hitlers nazis the ONLY difference being his CLOSED MINDEDNESS is with nonhumans. still a very sick heartless human.

  • Betty Black says:

    Jamie He STILL wears fur!

  • Jamie says:

    I really don’t think that Weir dismissed the fur debate as silly he seemed to be discussing his Olympic performance as a whole and placing costume low in importance relative to his actual skating.

  • Carol says:

    I do hope people protest there during his spin on the ice. The public should see how cold hearted he is. I hope he falls flat on his butt! JERK! Maybe Kanye can give him some advice.

  • Bookworm says:

    Well I just saw on the news that he decided he’s wearing it after all. So I guess he just BS’d to get people to leave him alone and then decided to wear it anyway. I hope his evil a fails. Because for someone who says he supposedly knows exactly where fur comes from to decide to wear it anyway you have to be evil.

  • Barbara Rea says:

    Dear Mr Weir you called wearing fur silly? Let me tell you something sir wearing fur is Not silly Its a crule horrible thing Let me ask you something sir did you ever wonder where that white fox you wore came from? Did you ever think about what the fox went though just so you could wear that fur? People dont think about what innocent animals go though just so they can wear fur Right now there are millons of animals suffering in China just so we can wear fur I pay every night that those horrible places will be shut down someday Your much better off with faux fur i wear it and im just as warm

  • Alice says:

    This is an animal rights board!

  • Jade says:

    I agree with the women’s free skate opinion Henry. IMHO I think that it’d be neat to see that result though I’d love to see the American team do well. The only reason I’d like to see others on the podium is that both Japan at least since Ito and South Korea are seriously overlooked and under appreciated. They’ve been some of my favorite performances though I do think Yamaguchi was better than Ito in the showoff when Yamaguchi won gold. I think this year however the Americans have very good chances at winning a medal in dance andor pairs. They’ve upped their game since we had a pairs group forgot if it was dance or pairs win the bronze last Games and it shows. And fortunately they don’t have to worry so much about that “artistic score” tiebreaker that was abused during the Salt Lake games during that scandal that led to the awarding of two golds. Sorry but even a common joe who had see Kerrigan lose to Baiul to that tiebreaker knew that it was easy to rig the results to favor a certain team and make it look close especially since the Russian team double footed a landing while Sale and Pettier were flawless. I miss Paul Wylie skating though he actually has been my alltime favorite skater with Scott Hamilton very close by a hair at second. His “Apollo 13″ routine was one of the neatest performances and he captured the music in skating well. Then again I miss all artistry skating they rely too much on tricks.

  • Henry Greenberg says:

    Thankyou Ralph and Jade for correcting me regarding when Paul Wylie won his Olympic Silver medal. I stand corrected Wylie won the Silver at the 1992 Olympics. I remember that Paul Wylie absolutely nailed his triple axel combo and then his choreographic interpretation of the music earned him the highest scores for artistic impression. Since the 1992 Olympics the quad has become mandatory for the men. Unfortunately Weir lacks a consistent quad. I think that Weir will be very lucky to nail a quad in his free skate at Vancouver. Also the new scoring system favors the technical elements of jumps. But that is only my opinion. Yes Weir has a very good chance to win the gold provided that all the other male skaters don’t do quads. Actually my specialty is the Ladies event. Only one Lady has a triple axel and that is one of the Japanese ladies. Uh uh uh …. yes! I think she will try her triple axel in her long free skate if she comes in third in the short program. But if she comes in 2nd or 1st in the short program and the score is quite close to the South Korean lady then I think the Japanese lady will omit her triple axel in the long free program. But I could be wrong if the Japanese lady nails her triple axel in the practice sessions in which case she will surely attempt her triple axel in her long free program. How about Flatt’s chances of winning the gold. My prediction is no way. The South Korean lady and the two Japanese ladies are just too too strong. And if the Canadian lady does a great short program then she has a great shot for the Bronze if one of the two Japanese ladies make an error and falls on a jump. I don’t take Flatt seriously. The oriental girl who took second at U.S. Nationals will do better than Flatt at the Olympics. Flatt’s artistry is horrible and her “line” is nonexistent and her spins are very bad. I think the top four places will go to oriental ladies. Flatt’s total score of 200.1 points at U.S. Nationals was a futile attempt by U.S. judges to influence the international judges at the Olympics. After seeing the performances of the South Korean the Canadian the Russian and the two Japanese ladies in the competition in Japan last November 2009 I think the Japanese ladies will get the Gold and Silver at the Vancouver Olympics. Yes artistry does have a huge impact on the judges in the Olympics for the ladies. The South Korean’s present long free program is weak on artistry in terms of choreography and choice of music and choice of costume. In addition she will be nervous as the result of being hounded by the South Korean press for the past year. At the Tokyo competition last November she missed a jump in her short program and fell on a jump in her long program in addition to making several other mistakes that she said she made. In her press interview she said that she was nervous. Even so I think she will get the Bronze at the Vancouver Olympics because she has so much talent. Hope you all enjoy the figure skating competition at the Vancouver Olympics and don’t forget to watch the Dance Competition.

  • Ralph says:

    Henry Brian Boitano won the gold in the 1988 games in Calgary. Wylie won the silver in the 1992 Albertville games and had Petrinko made a mistake even a small one on his routine Wylie would’ve won. That’s why I was very impressed with Petrinko that’s how perfect he had to be though I felt he was the better skater out of the two unified team members Baiul was lucky. And given that the Japanese skater who won gold last Olympics in women’s was unranked and unknown I’d say that Weir’s dreams are possible tough yes but possible.

  • Jade says:

    Henry you have your facts wrong Brian Boitano won gold in 1988 which was the Calgary games. Paul Wylie won the silver during the 1992 games Albertville. He also would’ve won had Viktor Petrenko not had a perfect routine but he did. I still maintain that it’s possible for Weir to win. The judges might give some skaters a slight advantage but ONLY if the skating is flawless. The Japanese skater from the Turin Games Shizuka Arakawa was not ranked in the world had two perfect performances while Sasha Cohen the favorite made enough crucial mistakes that she couldn’t win the gold. So yes Weir has a chance at a medal of any color it’s just that because he wore fur at the national games people want him to fail to say “Karma’s a b.”

  • Henry Greenberg says:

    I think that Weir is a very gifted artistic skater and his artistic impression includes his avantgarde costumes. Weir made the 2010 U.S. Olympic team by taking 3rd place at the U.S. Nationals in Spokane Washington this January. Regarding the long free program Weir took 5th place. This is ironic because the long free program is Weir’s favorite event where he has plenty of opportunity to showcase his exceptional artistic talent. However with regard to winning the Gold at the Vancouver Olympics or getting on the medal stand I think Weir’s chances are quite slim. With regard to the possibility of Weir winning the Gold medal his chances are zero. And Weir’s chances of getting the Sliver or Bronze are extremely remote at best and virtually nil. This is because the Olympics judges prejudge the skaters depending on who is the current National Champ. The judges give high scores first to a country’s current national champ. They also give preference to the defending World Champ and the defending World Silver medalist and the defending European champ. The overall result is that this leaves Weir out in the cold even before he starts to skate on the ice. Unfortunately this prejudging is the standard of Olympic judging. Furthermore Weir’s 5th place finish for his long free program at the 2010 U.S. Nationls was based primarily on the score for technical elements the jumps and jump combinations. The U.S. judges gave Weir relatively low marks for his jumps. Jumps are the benchmark for men’s long free programs. Weir did in fact have a relatively weak jumping performance at U.S. Nationals. There is no reason to believe that his jumps will improve greatly for the Olympics. In the history of U.S. men’s Olympic skating the only nondefending National champ American male skater to make the medal stand was back in the year of 1988 when American Paul Wylie earned the Silver medal at the Olympics. Wylie took 2nd place at U.S. Nationals. At the Olympics Wylie skated an error free long program nailing all his jumps and he scored the highest marks for artistic impression from all if the nine international judges thereby earning him the Olympic Silver medal. Returning the Weir his style is quite different than that of Paul Wylie. Wylie had the traditinal classical style but he had super choreography and interpretation of the music in his long free program. Returning the Weir his weak jumping ability and his 3rd place finish at U.S. Nationals will probably get him sixth place at best at the Olympics. Therefore referring to the photo of Weir at the top of this post with Weir holding a gold medal this is merely wishful dreaming on the part of Weir and also dreaming on the part of the author of the post Karin Bennett who wrote “…. as he prepares to take home the gold.”

  • Jade says:

    For those protesting the games itself because of the seal hunt I think this needs to be addressed. Most of the time the host countries don’t make anything and are lucky if they even break even. PETA actually probably will get more out of their funds for protesting the games than Canada will from them. This isn’t something to brag about but just facts. It’s also why I kinda laughed at Chicago’s comments about how the games would get them out of debt. To those predicting Weir won’t be on the stand and are “Not unhappy” with that prospect remember this are the games and anything can happen. They had a Japanese skater come out of nowhere last games and win Japan’s first figure skating gold if not just medal. If by chance Weir does win a medal please don’t thrash him for something that happened in the National Championships. He’s honoring his promise to not use real fur on his costumes so please have the respect to not criticize him should that happen.

  • cal says:

    I Will not watch the Olympics OR buy or support Canada EVER!!!!!!! Greedy fools. Stop the barbaric and cruel seal hunt..it’s DISCUSTING!!!!!

  • Jahiegel says:

    The thing that is most irksome about Weir of whose personality and skating I am otherwise a fan but for whom I cannot of course cheer is that he well appreciates the suffering of animals who are exploited in the fur trade but is indifferent thereto “I totally get the dirtiness of the fur industry and how terrible it is to animals. But its not something thats the number 1 priority in my life.” It’s a sentiment that I an Olympic historian and prognosticator and an assiduous follower of the Games have heard him express not infrequently his love of fur has been an interview topic in the past but one that seems nonsensical to me surely there is a difference between ones being actively involved in a cause for a failure to do which we might excuse him and hisher choosing not to make harmful elections in hisher personal life and surely ones being interested in human rights does not oblige himher to be actively immoral vis vis animals. As I made my eventbyevent predictions last week I was not at all unhappy to find that I did not have a place on the medal stand for Johnny and I can say that notwithstanding my general desire that every sportsperson achieve hisher best at the Olympics and my disinclination to cheer against anyone I will be altogether fine with his going down on yet another triple axel.

  • Jade says:

    Amy based on his comments he probably will not be swayed that easily. Additionally there were reports that people went after his designer as well over this when it really was Weir’s decision. I do think Weir needs to do some research not just rely on the information PETA sends him and make a decision that way. Otherwise he is up for constant protesting which doesn’t help anyone if they’re not informed properly about what’s going on.

  • Amy says:

    I don’t think that he meant that fur was silly. I think he just meant that in his mind his costume isn’t very important to him. This is his life long dream and with the Olympics comming up so quickly he’s probably under alot of stress. Wait till their over and them send him a video of what happens to those poor animals who are used for fur. Maybe after all of the stress is off his shoulders he’ll be more open to make a PERMANENT change.

  • jade says:

    OK Let’s analyze this John J “Ralph you are WRONG!” I stated an Opinion an opinion is neither right nor wrong. I respect your opinion even if I disagree however there’s no verifiable fact or not to it. J “The Olympics has been sold FOR YEARS as representing ethics morality and fair play.” There’s a difference between ethics morality and fair play between humans and the world around us. They Olympics have NOTHING to do with animal rights the environment etc. at least they’re not supposed to. J “Through greed and a change to a corporate business the Olympics has actually turned into something that is doing BAD in the world and hurting people and animals and the environment in their quest for money.” To me this sounds as though you are upset PETA has been denied their ads at the games. Additionally everything we eat drink wear etc. has an impact on the environment and the animals. Whether or not Weir goes to these games or not will change that. J “There is no “special dream” for these Olympians. Most now come from wealthy families whose parents BUY them a spot on Olympic teams they then get large amounts of money in corporate sponsorship. And yes I do know this first hand!” OK then please tell this to the Olympians I’m sure they’d love to go head to head with you in these sports to see if you’re better than them and they bought their spot. And NO they don’t all come from wealthy families we had an Olympic qualifier in Beijing who came from a dirt poor family. He excelled in high jump because it gave him something to do and he succeeded and made the games on his own right. He also has NO corporate sponsors. Please let’s be honest here the only sponsors are for everyone such as Coke and Roots who provide their clothing. Individual ones they earn themselves or they are asked to endorse products based on their TALENT. They’re not just “given.” J “The Olympics has become nothing more than a greedy money grab and the corruption involving the Olympics administration and corrupt politicians is at an alltime high.” I would say this again you feel this way because Vancouver is not catering to PETA’s views on the seal hunt. I didn’t see anyone protesting in China either and they use dog and cat factories where they use the pelts for clothing and toys. You are reacting on emotion not facts honestly. J “The Olympics does not represent anything good any more for man or animal.” This is not true people dream about being in the games and they work hard to be in there. And again the Olympics are not about the animals they’re about competition to see who’s the best in the world. Olympians cannot protest either or they’re removed from the games. So in short Weir should go to the games because he earned his spot PETA’s opinion about his clothing has already been addressed by him. No one has the right to dictate that athletes should boycott the games just because they disagree with the views of the country. It’s why I am ashamed we boycotted Moscow in the 1980 and why I was upset the USSR boycotted the LA games in 1984. Your views are mindset on the animals who have NO impact in the Vancouver games. Athletes are their own animals and have the right to do what they want to your opinion aside.

  • John says:

    ScottyRay thank you for your comment. What you wrote is what came into my mind. Johnny Weir just looks tragic. He is trying so hard but failing so badly.

  • John says:

    Ralph you are WRONG! The Olympics has been sold FOR YEARS as representing ethics morality and fair play. Through greed and a change to a corporate business the Olympics has actually turned into something that is doing BAD in the world and hurting people and animals and the environment in their quest for money. There is no “special dream” for these Olympians. Most now come from wealthy families whose parents BUY them a spot on Olympic teams they then get large amounts of money in corporate sponsorship. And yes I do know this first hand! The Olympics has become nothing more than a greedy money grab and the corruption involving the Olympics administration and corrupt politicians is at an alltime high. The Olympics does not represent anything good any more for man or animal.

  • Ralph says:

    The Olympics are not about protesting rights or what not human or animal. As much as I disagreed with China’s treatment of some of their people and especially toward Tibet I felt it wasn’t the place to protest. If you ignore the games they’re not going away. These games were going on long before a lot of you were born and some of the truly barbaric games such as Munich in 1972 where people were murdered Israelis by a terrorist group were before then too. Still there still are Summer Games. Same goes here with the seal hunt no one is going to protest because for some this is their only chance at the games to begin with. Additionally those who have been there several times such as Apollo Ohno know there’s a code of ethics that if they DO go to the games they can’t protest either. They do they can be stripped of their medal. You as members of PETA have the right to go over there and protest. That said do remember that other countries have other rules what rights are here in the United States do not go country to country.

  • John says:

    Silly? He thinks talking about animal torture is silly? The only thing silly that I see is this ridiculous skater who seems to thinks he can cover up his skating flaws with a sleazy costume. It looks like he’s been too busy skating to become a human being.

  • Sarah says:

    Hopefully he will come to realize that it is more noble to be a voice for the voiceless than it is to win an Olympic medal.

  • D. says:

    Baby steps guys…although I do agree with BullyDawg it would be revolutionary if the Olympians boycotted Vancouver for the sake of the seals. Wouldn’t that be fantastic??

  • Scotty-Ray says:

    let me preface this with I am gay and quite a big fan of theatrics and fashion This guy looks like a tragic fool like he’s been stealing outfits from drag queens or trying to be Lady GaGa on ice. The attitude and cruelty and just genuine heartlessness makes me SICK. his comment about wearing a “cute little fox” that i read somewhere made me wish he could see the movie EARTHLINGS although he still probably would not care

  • Randi says:

    hope he falls flat on his a

  • SHARON RIDSDALE says:

    So he is not going to wear fur? Good for him…what about the thousands of baby fur seals clubbed to death by the Olympic Host country? I for one. will be boycotting these games….the blood of thousands of butchered animals is on their hands.

  • Lynne says:

    Johnny Weir doesn’t want it “disrupting my second Olympic experience and my chance at a medal” is that the only reason he’s going faux? it’s a pity he doesnt understand the real reason not to wear ‘fur’. It’s obtained in the lowest disgusting horribly cruel way and animals are skinned whilst still alive. It involves mass killing of animals for fashion and thats the real reason to boycott it! Please watch some videos Johnny Weir and see for yourself.

  • Ralph says:

    BullyDawg none of these Olympians honestly care about boycotting an event over a seal slaughter. For many this is their once in a lifetime chance to compete in the biggest event in the world. Besides PETA can still protest at the games for them.

  • Joyce says:

    “Silly”? he sounds like a jerk to me.

  • Andre Inglis says:

    The fur industry will do whatever they can to get people in the media to wear fur. Even if it is a young well meaning person. They will even give fur away free if they know it can get positive attention.

  • Lisa says:

    What an arrogant fool. His attidude sucks as much as his costumes….

  • Kirk Tonkin says:

    Although convincing him to never wear real fur ever again would’ve been better at least he’s not representing the US while wearing it. With as many chips as animal rights groups have stacked against them any progress no matter how small is still progress.

  • BullyDawg says:

    Oh please…if ANY of these Olympians truly cared they would boycott the Vancouver games unless the Canadian gov’t stops the seal slaughter NOW.

  • Shirley Elliott says:

    Amazing that all he can dream about is getting a medal and seems to think he is wonderful making a small concession not to wear fur for now …. we can only hope that a seed has been planted by PETA and out of this some maturity and compassion towards all living creatures will blossom.

  • Barbara Noon says:

    Every small victory counts! Weir has a lot of growing up to do and sounds like he needs to learn about real compassion. He could make a difference if he could learn to care about animals. Great work PETA!

  • Ralph says:

    I don’t condone the use of fur in stuff like this however Weir did make a choice in both regards which he has a right to do. He may be a turkey in your books for designing it in the first place at least he is changing it not just for the spirit of the games but taking a step in the direction of fur free.

  • Domino says:

    Flowers? He said somewhere he was just doing it this one time and was not planning to change his everyday style. Here’s another quote. This guy is a jacka why would you send him flowers? “I hope these activists can understand that my decision to change my costume is in no way a victory for them but a draw. I am not changing in order to appease them but to protect my integrity and the integrity of the Olympic Games as well as my fellow competitors.”

  • Aneliese says:

    …Good? I hope he will stick to never wearing fur again. Wearing fur isn’t something “silly” it’s supporting animal abuse.

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