Friday, January 10, 2014

"Because It's Glorious"

In Russia, during his final competitive season.
Photo © Elena Vasileva.
See the entire beautiful series below.

UPDATE!! Photo tweeted by Johnny from the US Figure Skating Championships in Boston: “Casing the ladies. I couldn’t ask for a better co-pilot than @tara_lipinski. @ TD Garden.”

Johnny and Tara L. are providing commentary during NBC’s LIVE broadcasts of Nationals this weekend—see schedule and MORE UPDATES below!

UPDATE! Video tweeted by Johnny: 
“Meryl and Charlie inspire us. 
Watch out dancers! @taralipinski”

So US Nationals are in full swing this week in Boston as the final step to naming the US Olympic figure skating team for Sochi, and Johnny arrived last night to spend what can only be a very bittersweet long weekend there.

Ten years ago, in January 2004, Johnny fought his way to the first of his three back-to-back national titles, becoming the youngest men’s champion since 1991:

Photos via Getty.

This year, he’ll be watching, cheering, and commenting on the sport he loves with all his heart, and to which he has dedicated much of his life—but now, and ever after, as a retired champion rather than a competitor.

He wrote a humorous and deeply moving tribute to the annual rite that is Nationals for his column in the Falls Church News-Press this week, with his usual eloquence and unstinting self-awareness. Some excerpts:

This column is titled “Dog and Pony Show” because from the outside, Nationals seem more like a Christopher Guest film than an actual sporting event. I’ve made reference to “Best in Show” before in my scribblings, but I want to delve into the realness that is Nationals.

Nationals are really all about the skaters and their prowess. It is one of the hardest competitions I’d ever experienced.

While I have very fond memories of my times at Nationals — medals, boys, making people proud — I will be forever haunted by an equal number of bad memories.

I was watching one of the early events for a non-Olympic level and wondering why people do this to themselves. Why do the parents toil, sacrifice, and watch helplessly as their kid falls down? Why do the judges volunteer to take time away from their day jobs to judge us? How is it possible for some of these coaches in their 80’s to spend five or six days a week training runny-nosed divas and divos to jump and twizzle on ice while freezing their gray hairs off? Why?

Because it’s glorious.

Past and current skaters unite for one week a year because they were drawn to the sport, for whatever reason. They all gave up a big chunk of their hearts to the sport and its community.

We compete, no matter good or bad, to show our parents and teams that their sacrifices weren’t for naught. We compete to accomplish dreams we created as kids.

Our sport is family. Yes, we have spray-tan drama, rivalries, knee bashings, love triangles, politics, and fashion disasters, but all the more to love and be amused by. We deserve respect. I say ‘we,’ but respecting the funny little ice cube I’ve come from has been a long journey for yours truly. I often rolled my eyes at this world and just wanted to do my own thing while utilizing the passion, energy, and expertise from the community without thanks. Better late than never.

I hope that every mother can feel what it feels like to have her child succeed. I wish that every person has his or her chance in the sun ...

Please go read it all here.

Of course Johnny’s arrival at Nats yesterday did not go unnoticed, with the first announcement from none other than US Figure Skating itself:

Photo tweeted by US Figure Skating: 
“A candid conversation among luminaries. 
@Tara_Lipinski @JohnnyGWeir 
 #Handbags #Lux #Boston2014”

Immediately followed by this tweet:

Other sightings quickly followed:

Photo tweeted by @iamkay23: 
“Look who I’ve spotted! @Tara_Lipinski 
@JohnnyGWeir #Boston2014”

Photo tweeted by @ImAwful: 
“Wave to me @JohnnyGWeir! Haha”

Photo tweeted by @EightLotsRoad: 
“Scott Hamilton and Johnny Weir being great 
at figure skating championships 
#boston2014 #ballersgonnaball”

Photo tweeted by @sayyurichi 
(I’m not entirely sure what the tweet says, 
and Google Translate was not helpful...)

Photo tweeted by @loopschick: 
“Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir 
#Boston2014 @ TD Garden”

But the most interesting image is this, new on Johnny’s official website:

So apparently he’s doing some kind of commentary this weekend (!), plus commentary for the Smucker’s gala (!!), which actually takes place this Sunday, January 12, at 7 pm as the conclusion to Nats, but won’t be broadcast live. Instead it will air next Saturday, January 18, at 4 pm EST on NBC—accompanied by Johnny’s dulcet tones, about which I could not be more excited. :D

To make sure you don’t miss any possible Johnny during this weekend’s live Nats coverage on NBC, here’s the full viewing schedule via US Figure Skating and NBC Sports:

Tonight beginning at 8 pm EST is the men’s short program, which will be carried on Ice Network

Saturday’s live coverage on NBC from 3 to 6 pm should include the pairs and ice dance free skates, while the ladies’ free skate should be live during the 8 to 11 pm slot. 

UPDATE: Johnny tweeted to watch for him and Tara Lipinski during both the Saturday afternoon and evening coverage on NBC!

 Sunday’s live coverage from 3 to 5 pm features the men’s free skate. The announcement of the Olympic team also is slated for Sunday.

Which brings us to this, also from Johnny’s official site:

Cannot. Wait.

More from Nats!
Keep checking back 
for new pics added to this section!

Photo tweeted by US Figure Skating: 
“Tons of fans getting an autograph from 
@JohnnyGWeir #Boston2014”

Photo tweeted by Nick McCarvel of NBC Olympics: 
“Some lucky fans getting @JohnnyGWeir and 
@Tara_Lipinski’s autographs rink side 
at #Boston2014”

Photo tweeted by Doug Mattis: 
“Crank the fabulosity knob on this @BOS2014 
thang UP! @Tara_Lipinski @JohnnyGWeir 
#Boston2014 #BestNationalsEver”

Photo tweeted by Johnny: 
“Tara and I support all bears. 
@tara_lipinski @ TD Garden”

Photo tweeted by @caitlinlea82: 
“Johnny Weir!!!”
(Those shoes are everything.)

Bonus Patti!! Photo tweeted by @kpenner: 
“Me and Patti Weir!! The mother of the 
one and only Johnny G. Weir! 

Portraits of a Champion

This beautiful series of pics covers Johnny’s final competitive season, 2012-2013, which ended prematurely with an injury at Cup of Russia. Russian fan Elena Vasileva was there at Finlandia and CoR to capture gorgeous and haunting moments of his season, both on the ice and off. 

As we look back on Johnny’s distinguished competitive career and look forward to his wonderfully articulate expertise in the broadcasting booth, these photos offer a glimpse of the beauty and the heartbreak that have always been a part of his love affair with the ice.

All photos © Elena Vasileva. As always, please click any photo twice for the full-size image. Please see more at Elena’s Flickr gallery.

Bonus video: Johnny’s unforgettable free skate 
at the 2004 US Nationals to Dr. Zhivago, for which 
he received a perfect 6.0 from one of the judges.

Another version: lower quality, but includes 
Johnny in the Kiss and Cry during the priceless 
moment when he sees his scores.

Very special thanks to Elena Vasileva 
for sharing these beautiful new
black-and-white edits here with us!

So there was some confusion over this, 
as Nickelodeon tweeted that he was guest-starring 
along with Hilary Duff, but his portion is not actually 
in the episode itself. But you can watch his spot 
over and over again here, here, or here!

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

Also on the blog:
“Frost Giant.”
25+ exclusive pics of Johnny
performing Army of Me.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

“Without Words”
Gorgeous pics of Johnny’s Schindler’s List 
plus pics/vids from his Canada trip!
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

“Some Happy for Thanksgiving”
Beautiful Johnny 
with very happy fans in Sun Valley!
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

“Random Funday Roundup”
Links to Johnny’s TEB commentary 
for the mens’ and ladies’ events! 
Plus: A whole lot of Johnny heading our way, 
and exclusive new pics from the vault!
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

“...That Boy With Wings on His Heart.”
Johnny, Fallen Angel, Vancouver 2010.
“The most beautiful performance I have ever seen. 
Inspired a young theater group in Brazil...” 
A poignantly uplifting story, now updated 
with a special postscript.

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.

“Practice Is Perfect”
25+ exclusive photos of Johnny’s 
Sun Valley rehearsal.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

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

Johnny’s latest column for the 
Falls Church News-Press.
His columns are published every Thursday 
in the “National Commentary“ 
section—don’t miss a single one! 

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 2014 Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved

1 comment:

aaaack said...

A delight! Thank you, Elena, Binky, David, and friends.