Thursday, June 21, 2012

"For the People I Love"

Johnny during the group number 
at the beginning of the second act 
of Artistry on Ice in Beijing. 
Exclusive photo courtesy of the
Chinese Angels / photographer Maria Ma.

Aaaaand our ongoing embarrassment of riches from China continues with new exclusive pics plus an actualfax comprehensible translation of Johnny's interview with Sina Sports that sadly does not include the phrases, "mascara is the same as the umbrella opening and closing," or "wearing a coat of an introduction to scream," that Google Translate whimsically offered when the article first appeared and we all drove ourselves crazy trying to figure out WHAT did he SAY and WHAT does it MEAN and WHOA seriously MOROZOV? Now we know, all thanks to the wonderfully kind and generous Chinese Angels.

But first, a plea from the man himself, who posted this on his Weibo page yesterday (yay!! He's still using his Weibo!):

So if you're on Weibo, please go follow Johnny now, and if you're not, let me happily remind you of one of our many #JWfanproblems mottoes: SIGN UP FOR ALL THE THINGS. Because you haven't fully lived the fan experience until you've spent hours struggling with various foreign languages and PM'ing people on the other side of the world in the middle of the night begging for help so you can register for random accounts so you can follow him because he wants you to and also OMG THE PHOTOS. And once you're in, you can spend hours wandering around Weibo just gaping at the.... everything. It's an amazing place. (Although I'm sure he had you at, "Follow me!")

OK! On to the picspam! Today's brief series comes from the opening number of the second act from Artistry on Ice in Beijing, also known informally as "That Batman Thing." IDK. But: Johnny in leather.

As always, please click any photo twice for larger view.

And don't miss the bonus Shanghai pics at the end of this post from a truly extraordinary Tumblr. Wow.

Interview With Johnny Weir: 
Once Disappointed With Figure Skating

Johnny at the Shenzhen press conference. 
Photo courtesy of Sina Sports.

Recently, the U.S. figure skater Johnny Weir, who has a large following of enthusiastic fans, participated in four shows of Artistry on Ice in China’s mainland as well as Taiwan. He accepted our interview before the show in Shenzhen.

Weir, the 27-year-old three-time U.S. National Champion (2004–2006) and the 2008 Worlds bronze medalist, is famous for his androgynous, beautiful, and crazy style of performance and is known as ‘LADY GAGA on the ice.’ Off the ice, his fashion sense, his honesty and humor, and his marriage to his partner, [Victor] Voronov, are hot topics in the figure skating world. Following the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, he left the rink temporarily, and his pop song [“Dirty Love”] and book [Welcome to My World] were released. After enjoying two years of ‘ordinary life,’ Weir announced that he would return to competition.

Comeback: I once was very disappointed with figure skating.

“I felt very disappointed in the sport after the Winter Olympics. I didn’t want to be part of it, so I skipped the World Championships afterward. Meanwhile, I attended a lot of events, from the Grammys to the Academy Awards. It seemed like I didn’t need figure skating anymore. I was not even well-prepared for my performances. And, I was fat.” Weir smiled and gestured at himself.

“When I was invited to the U.S. National Championships [in 2012], I saw the situation in men’s figure skating. I’ve always been competitive. My return to competition is not for an Olympic gold medal or to win something. For me, that era has ended. Now I want to compete for the people I love, and to tell everyone that we can live in our own way. But I still love the sport. Besides, my husband, my mother, my friends, and everybody around me expected me to go back on the ice.” Thus, Weir's name appeared on the list of the ISU Grand Prix for the 2012-2013 season.

“I didn’t have a good relationship with U.S. Figure Skating before. But they are very open-minded about my return. They supported me, offering me the opportunity for two Grand Prix competitions. I would like to think that they have realized I would benefit their promotion of the sport in the U.S.”

Now, Weir has nearly cleared his schedule except for a few skating shows and television events. “I have a family to support,” he joked with a wry wink, eyelashes fluttering like a butterfly.

New season: Quads in both programs.

Weir’s new programs are topics of conversation. The music of the short program comes courtesy of Lady Gaga. He is very happy to perform to this special piece of music in competition, which is obvious from his lively tone. The free skate is named "Phoenix," representing the experiences he’s been through.

Weir is still training with [Galina] Zmievskaya. The main structure of his two programs has been completed, and they now await finishing details when the choreographers come on board this summer. Weir told us that he would invite David Wilson, the famous choreographer, to help him with his free program if time permits. Taking into account their cooperation on the two wonderful programs in Weir's 2009-2010 season, expectations are set very high this time.

“Returning to competition, I’m hoping to be much stronger—spiritually, at least,” said Weir.

During Weir’s absence, the ISU scoring system has been adjusted. Today, not only difficult jumps, such as the quad, are required of male figure skaters who want to be competitive in top world events, but also comprehensive capabilities in footwork and skating. However, Weir takes it all coolly: “My training is going pretty well right now. I’m planning on doing the quad in both of my programs. And I’ve invited Nikolai Morozov to help with my footwork.

“Recently, a lot of skaters have been doing their best to show how difficult figure skating is. But I’ve trained under the old system since I was a boy, and I, on the contrary, would like to make people feel like they, too, can skate. The audience will feel relaxed watching my performance, not…” he shrugged his shoulders and made a pained look.

Family: I’m planning on having a baby through high-tech.

When talking about his family, Weir, who just got married a few months ago, glows with sweetness. “Victor (Weir’s husband) and I are planning on having a baby. No, I’m not gonna get pregnant. I’ve tried, though, ha-ha. Adoption? Maybe. Actually, we want a baby of our own through high-tech means. We have a puppy now, which is a very good test for us.” In answering the question of “How do you handle family life, such as housework?” which everybody goes through, Weir showed his great ability in the house: “I cook and I clean, because I don’t want Victor to mess it up. I ask him to take out the trash and walk our dog, and that’s it.”

At the press conference in Beijing a couple of days ago, Weir was dressed in a shirt that was open on the sides, making people want to scream. And [Jeffrey] Buttle, who stood next to him [during photo ops], was too shy to put his hand on Weir’s waist. “That outfit was bought in Taipei and is a piece by a Japanese designer. I love fashion. I always go shopping during my Asia tours.” He always has plenty to share when he talks about fashion.

Future: I won’t be on the ice forever.

Buttle and [Stéphane] Lambiel, Weir’s counterparts, have been trying choreography since their retirements. But Weir will definitely not be on the ice forever. “I don’t want to become a coach or choreographer. You know, all these years I’ve been watching my coach in her coat at the rink at 7:30 in the morning, shivering with the cold. It’s not what I want. I’m going to my third Winter Olympics, and then I’m going to take some time to figure out what I really want.”

Weir no longer considers skating a matter of life and death. 

“I’m going to skate. But a single program isn’t the end of my life. And my coach accepts that I have my own life and family besides figure skating. We’re getting along much better.”

(Author/Photographer:  玻尔)
(Translator:  Mona Wang)

Bonus pics!! See Elsa's entire AOI collection 
at her Tumblr. Gorgeous.

New vids!! A brief clip of Johnny and Plushenko 
at dress rehearsal...

...Johnny and Edvin Marton practicing the Chopin piece...

...and, just for fun, the Johnny intro piece they showed 
at Artistry on Ice 2011, from which we also received 
these fab photos via Beauty Bear Ericma.

And just one more set, from Weibo...

Very special thanks 
to the Chinese Angels and Maria Ma 
for the exclusive photos, and to Mona Wang 
for her wonderful translation!!

There's still time to contribute 
to Johnny's birthday gift!!

It's that time again!! Show Johnny Weir the Love 
is putting together an amazing birthday gift!! 
Details here. 
Just $5 gets your name on the card! 
Photo © David Ingogly.

New on Johnny's website!! 
He's heading back to Japan in early September 
for Fantasy on Ice! More info here!

Jampacked with exclusive photos from Junko Mi
and exclusive pics, vids, and stories of 
the Taiwanese fans' experience with Johnny, 
thanks to Zoe Cheng. A must-read!
Photo courtesy of Zoe Cheng.

From "The Essence of Poetry," the latest series 
of black-and-white photos of Johnny at rehearsal. 
Not to be missed. 
Photo © David Ingogly.

Landing quads and kicking ass 
at a Grand Prix event near you!
Read his comeback statement 
on his website!

Johnny returns to Sun Valley this summer! 
He'll be the headliner at the Saturday, August 4, ice show, 
and tickets are on sale now!! Don't miss it!

Please click to vote for Johnny 
once a day as "Best Sportsman"
Because he retweeted Luisa Lotka to tell us 
he wants us to! (Note: With his "58.132" rating, 
he is currently in 1st place in both 
Figure Skating AND across all sports!)

It's not too late! Subscribe now 
and get the entire Johnny Weir perspective, 
including his never-before-heard free skate commentary 
available exclusively on!

Q and A! Go read it now!

with MAC is pretty much sold out, 
but I'm leaving this video on here 
for a little while longer 
because I love it so much.

Yes! Johnny's dresses are now available
for purchase only on!

At last: Pop Star On Ice is now available on DVD!
Order yours today from the Pop Star On Ice website!

Johnny tweeted:
"Buy my single,'Dirty Love' via iTunes.
Tell all your friends to as well. The more copies sold
takes me one step closer to making a video! №1!"

You know what to do.
Please buy the song from Johnny's website,
or just click the "Buy" button on the player
at the top of the blog!

Hey, Welcome to My World also is available
as an eBook! More info on Johnny's website!

copyright 2012 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


aaaack said...

Thank you, Chinese angels, for your photos and translations.

Folks who watch skating want to feel the freedom and escape of soaring like swallows and eagles, versus hot-footing about checking for scraps of scores like pidgeons and sandpipers.

It's too bad that modern life in general and the modern skating world have gotten so "edgy." Plus, all that focus on "edgy" is fussy and less masculine.

Some of the most popular new sports are the snowboarding and urban landscape traversing, which are all about freedom and flying.

When you see the desperate hunger of the younger skaters, and the fighting doggedness of the older skaters, it's intimidating. But I can still see medals with Johnny's name written on them. Just as I can see a spirit Olympic medal from Vancouver engraved with the likeness of Raven the Trickster god hanging in Patti Weir's case.

aaaack said...

And there may be some judges who feel nostalgic about the old Olympic requirements of tracing precise figures on the ice and the meticulous precision demanded by that. I recall those old tracery competitions, like practicing penmanship on ice. I am glad we got away from that.