Monday, October 28, 2013

Tribute: "My Beautiful Ice Angel"

Johnny performs Fallen Angel 
at NHK Trophy, November 2009.

UPDATE: Johnny will be appearing 
on the Fourth Hour of the Today Show 
with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb 
on Wednesday, October 30, 10 am EST! 
Don’t miss it!

Yes!! Johnny did an outstanding job in his debut as an expert figure skating analyst for NBC on Sunday, and earned rave reviews on Facebook and Twitter for his unobtrusive, informative, and entertaining insights. I loved it. And I actually learned stuff. 

Nearly two years ago, when he did commentary for Ice Network at US Nationals 2012, fans agreed that Johnny should comment on all the things. And yesterday he tweeted that he’ll be doing the entire Grand Prix season on NBC every Sunday this fall in addition to the upcoming Sochi Olympics. Yay!! Schedule is on his official website—set those DVRs now!

And yes, we have video if you missed him! The video covers only the Skate Canada portion that Johnny did, which is the men’s event. Enjoy!

Today we welcome guest blogger Amanda Shank, a lovely friend from social media who is a far more knowledgeable figure skating fan than I. You may know her as @team_swan on Twitter, who live tweets [often highly entertaining] commentary and scores for all the competitions throughout the figure skating season. As a long-time Johnny fan, Amanda speaks from the heart about what his career and his retirement mean to those who have followed him every step of the way for so many years.

I first saw Amanda’s post on her Tumblr and then as a comment on Johnny’s retirement statement. Her words are so heartbreakingly eloquent that I asked if she would be willing to share them here, and she graciously said yes.

Johnny and Amanda, 
Ice Theatre of New York, April 2010.

What Johnny Weir’s 
competitive career 
has meant to me…

Like Johnny cried through composing his retirement statement, the tears stream down my cheeks as I write this.

I’ve been an avid figure skating fan since I was five years old and saw the 1988 Winter Olympics on TV. Though without the advent of Ice Network or even the Internet, I didn’t follow every single event as avidly as I have in the past 10 years or so. The drama and artistic aspect of figure skating captivated me and kept its hold all these years. It is my constant and I am eternally grateful to have lived through what I deem the golden age of figure skating and worshiped male skaters like Boitano, Wylie, Browning, and others. But no one has made such an impact on my appreciation of the sport than the fantastic and incomparable Johnny Weir.

Johnny at US Nationals, 2002.

I first laid eyes upon Johnny in the 2001/2002 season, during US Nationals and then again at 4CC (where he really caught my eye). I hadn’t followed his junior career or junior skating much in general, but I was aware of his Junior World Champion status. When I finally saw the man behind the remarkable achievement, he appeared to me as this lanky, skinny, and somewhat gawky youngster, though he was only a year younger than me. I had no idea what to expect from his skating and wasn’t the most optimistic when it came to the state of US Men’s skating at the time, but when he began to glide across the ice, I was completely spellbound by his ease and grace. It was as if he had been born on the ice. Dick Button summed it up perfectly when he said Johnny skated like liquid gold. Needless to say, it was love at first sight for me.

The more Johnny’s personality shined and the more his skating evolved over the years, the more I fell madly and hopelessly in love with him. He inspired me in so many ways: he was my artistic muse; he motivated me to stay in shape; watching old videos of his best performances cheered me up when I was having a bad day; he gave me someone to root for and believe in when all my favorite skaters had retired; and he made me so fiercely proud to be an American.

Three-time US National Champion: 
2004, 2005, and 2006.

Bronze medalist at the 2010 US National Championships, 
and Vancouver-bound to represent the United States 
at the Olympics for the second time in his career.

There are countless adjectives I’ve used to describe his skating over the years: sublime, graceful, transcendent, inspired, artistic, stunning, mesmerizing, magical, angelic, smooth, flowing, entertaining etc., but no mere word could ever do justice to what he creates on the ice. And no one will ever match the ease and ride out of his 3A, the grace of his movement, and the depth of his soul. He will always be one of the brightest stars in the figure skating annals.

Through the triumphs and the tumbles from grace, the brilliant programs and the not-so-brilliant moments, the biased commentary and the unjust scores, the heartbreak, the sublime jubilation, the sparkles, and the tears—joyous and devastating alike—I’ve been on this journey with Johnny.

To hear the official word of his retirement breaks my heart, as it’s the end of an era. There are so many hopes, dreams, and medals that I wanted for him and and he so justly deserved, but that he was robbed of. Yet time moves forward, the next generation rises up, but the memories always remain, and I will never forget a single competitive skate from Johnny Weir. All great stories come to an end, and despite the lack of a few titles in his full trophy case, his story was an epic and masterfully written one.

Calming the angry crowd at the 2010 Olympics 
as they boo loudly in protest after his 
unjustifiably low scores are posted.

I cannot lament the injustice of Vancouver forever, and he won that Olympic gold in so many of our hearts. Those games and his flawless performances propelled Johnny from star to legend, despite not going home with the hardware he deserved.

In so many other ways, Johnny’s dreams have come true on and off the ice: he became a full-blown celebrity, he found the love of his life and got married, he has a fashion line and designs costumes for other skaters, wrote a book, had his own documentary and reality show, and more Twitter followers than any figure skater in history [save for Yuna Kim]. He has such a brilliant and creative mind, I believe he can achieve anything. I look forward to his career as a figure skating broadcaster for NBC, a show skater, and whatever he chooses to do with his life in the future.

His influence on the next generation is also undeniable. So many talented young skaters like Yuzuru Hanyu, Jason Brown, Misha Ge, and countless others aspire to be like Johnny. I see more male ice skaters that want to emulate him than any other figure skater of the past. He is their idol and forever mine as well. 

He will always be my beautiful ice angel, and no one will ever own my heart like he has.

Bless you, Johnny Weir.

I discovered over the weekend that there are 
brief rehearsal clips of Johnny on my cell phone 
that I had totally forgotten I had. 
The footage is blurry and jumpy, but as I re-watched 
this one for the first time in months, I suddenly realized 
that that doesn’t really matter at all....
Video link.
International fans video link.

All four segments of Shigesato Itoi’s 
wonderful interview with Johnny are up:
Part One – Marriage 
Part Two – Balance
Part Three – Olympics
Part Four – Life
Plus a special message from Johnny 

about his retirement from competitive skating
is included at the end of Part Four.
Please go read it all now!

ICYMI:All of Him Is My Treasure.”
Fans react to Johnny’s graceful exit 
from competitive skating.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

On Johnny’s website, 
linked to his retirement statement
Thank YOU, Johnny!

Johnny will be commentating 
on all the Grand Prix events! 
Tune in to NBC’s coverage of Cup of China 
this Sunday, sure to be anything but boring...

Also on the blog: 
“Practice Is Perfect”
25+ exclusive new photos of Johnny’s 
Sun Valley rehearsal.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

Also on the blog: 
“Dear Johnny...”
Selected black-and-white photos of Johnny’s 
hauntingly beautiful Schindler’s List debut.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

“Something Beautiful Today.”
Johnny at rehearsal in Sun Valley — Part 1 
(much more to come!)
Exclusive pics plus practice video featuring 
his gorgeous triple axel.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

“Sun Valley Sneak Peek: 
‘A Rare Human So Breathtaking....’ ”
Johnny debuts his Schindler’s List program 
in this stunning simple white costume. 
Exclusive pics and HD video.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

Photo essay of 40+ starkly beautiful 
black-and-white pics featuring Johnny at rehearsal 
as young skaters watch, spellbound.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

Quiet photo essay of exclusive black-and-white pics 
paired with Johnny’s quotes from his 
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

A number of Johnny’s auction items 
have been relistedwhich means if you missed out 
the first time around, you’re in luck: 
It’s not too late to own a piece of Weir Gear! 
Go check it out and see what treasures 
you could take home!

Please alert absolutely everyone you’ve ever met 
to “like” and follow the new 
on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr
Because he should be on all the things. 
With or without ice. 
But definitely with Viacheslav.

Please click to vote for Johnny 
once a day as “Best Sportsman”
Because he retweeted Luisa Lotka  to tell us he wants us to! 

Need to see Seasons 1 and 2 all over again? 
Watch episodes online anytime on Logo!
Please be sure to check in with GetGlue a
nytime you’re watching the show... 
or thinking about watching the show.... 
or wishing you were watching the show....

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 2013 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


Atomic Wife said...


PumaJ said...

Beautifully written, Amanda. Thank you.

aaaack said...

Thank you, Amanda Shank, for putting down your thoughts to share with all. You are so very right, and your words fit so very well.

Hearts and minds are more valuable than medals. Medal, schmedal. Fans like Amanda are worth their weight in medals.