Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir is part of Dancing With The Stars season 29, but his skating career was illustrious before that.
Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir is part of Dancing With The Stars season 29, but his career was illustrious way before that. Here’s everything you need to know about this American skating superstar.
Johnny Weir’s interest in skating came from him watching Kristi Yamaguchi’s performance at the 1992 Olympics. His parents bought him a pair of skates and he quickly excelled at the sport. At age 12, he was already able to do a single axel. After meeting coach Priscilla Hill, Johnny’s family moved from Pennsylvania to Delaware so he could train with her. In 1997, he and his skating partner Jodi Rudden qualified for the Junior Olympics. He also ranked well in singles skating that year. He went on to compete on the Junior Grand Prix circuit in the next season, and was then ranked 18th best in the world in 2001. Johnny earned his first national title at the US Championships in 2004. He then went on to win three consecutive US titles. In 2006, he was finally selected to join the US Olympic team. At the time, he placed fifth after the men’s free skate.
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Johnny Weir competed in the 2010 Olympics four years later, after coming in third at US Nationals. He placed sixth at the Olympics and retired three years later. Ever since then, he has been commentating and analyzing skating competitions at NBC with Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski. The pair gained notoriety during the Sochi Olympics in 2014, when some fans were impressed with their sass and sense of humor. Johnny and Tara gained a significant amount of fame and popularity, especially among the fashion community, and were even asked to do red carpet coverage at the Oscars. They also worked the Kentucky Derby, the Super Bowl, and were correspondents for the 2016 summer Olympics.
But Johnny Weir isn’t just known for his excellent skating and Olympic achievements. Johnny’s fashion sense and outspokenness have both added to his fame. He has always been known as a showman, putting on fabulous shows when skating. His costumes, makeup, and overall fashion on and off the ice made him a part of American pop culture. Johnny was often perceived as odd in the skating world for typically choosing flamboyant costumes and more elegant and feminine choreography. He is also a lover of Russian culture, which rubbed American skating officials the wrong way. Johnny is actually good friends with famed Russian figure skater and Olympic silver medalist Evgenia Medvedeva. He is also known for being openly gay, which is unusual in the world of figure skating. He officially came out in 2011 and got married to Victor Voronov that same year. However, the couple split in 2015.
Johnny’s career on Dancing With The Stars is only getting started. You can bet that you’ll see great costumes and creative choreography if you keep watching.
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