Johnny Weir announces comeback

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 19, 2012
Johnny Weir is ready to give up the fashion shows and the red carpet for another shot at the Olympics. The popular figure skater said Thursday he was returning to competition with hopes of taking the ice at the 2014 Games in Sochi. Even if it means living what he describes as a ''monk''-like life of an elite athlete in training. ''I wanted to do this while I still have the time,'' the three-time US champion said at a news conference in Manhattan. ''I didn't want to be 50 years old and look back and say, `Oh, those last two years before Sochi and I kind of let them go doing other things.''' Not that he didn't enjoy doing other things in the two years since last competing at the Vancouver Olympics, where he finished sixth. Makeup modeling, dress designing, reality TV starring. Weir also came out in an autobiography, ''Welcome to My World,'' and last month married Victor Voronov. ''That's very fulfilling and lovely,'' the 27-year-old Weir said of his break from training. ''It gave me the opportunity to fall in love and get married and build a beautiful life for myself. But going back into competition, it will be so stressful to give up a lot of the extracurriculars and only skate.'' And he is committed to sacrificing those other activities for three hours in the rink each day with coach Galina Zmievskaya along with another 60-90 minutes of training off the ice. He's already turned down an invitation to Madonna's movie premiere next week. Weir will skate at a benefit in Japan in March for victims of last year's earthquake, but otherwise you'll mostly find him practicing in Hackensack, NJ. ''I won't be able to spend Saturday night drinking in a corner booth with my friends,'' he said. ''I'll be sleeping.'' He plans to work hard on his quad, the all-important element in men's skating these days. Not only are all the top men doing quads, but world champion Patrick Chan has two in his free skate. Weir has tried them in competition, but struggled to land them cleanly. ''So I can actually be a real threat and not show up as just kind of a face of figure skating,'' Weir said of perfecting the four-revolution jump. ''I want to show up and be competitive and actually have people take this seriously. This isn't a publicity stunt.'' Wearing a kelly green blazer, his hair in a pompadour with a light brown streak, Weir said he hoped to perform to a musical medley of the opera ''Carmen'' and Lady Gaga. He's especially popular in Russia, and the chance to compete in the Olympics there played into his decision. ''It would be a perfect ending,'' Weir said. ''And I will retire after Sochi.'' One of skating's most popular figures, Weir had never ruled out coming back for Sochi and had been quietly training since the fall. He finished fifth at his first Olympics, the 2006 Games in Turin, and was the bronze medalist at the 2008 world championships. Weir, who will likely return to competition at a small event in Hackensack at the end of the summer, could have to go through qualifying to earn a spot at next year's US championships. He said he needed to lose about 8 pounds; choreographer Nina Petrenko recalled that her mother, Zmievskaya, described Weir as being in ''awful shape.'' For now. ''He's very, very disciplined,'' off-ice trainer Fatima Bruhns said. ''Once he sets a goal, he follows through.'' With Voronov looking on, Weir said his new husband was supportive of the return to competition -- and even pushed him toward it. ''I'm very fulfilled,'' Weir said. ''I'm very happy, and I feel like I have a partner in crime going into all this craziness that's about to spring on me with the figure skating again.''
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The Worst: NFL Week 2
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Arnold Palmer, one of golf’s greatest ever players, dies at age 87

Report: Russell Wilson believed to have a sprained MCL

WATCH: Travis Kelce shows off nifty dance moves after TD

Report: Miles fired by LSU; Orgeron named interim coach

WATCH: Allen Robinson does 'hands up, don't shoot' after TD

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jay Gruden sounds off about anonymous locker room leaks

Report: Beckham Jr. one bad penalty away from suspension

Report: Vikings want Peterson to retire in Minnesota

Jose Fernandez killed in boating accident

Michigan is now all-time winningest program in college football history

Wisconsin Badgers serve notice to Michigan State, rest of Big Ten

WATCH: What are the best WR-CB rivalries of all-time?

Bill Belichick may be forced to get hilariously creative to fill his quarterback slot

CFB Crash Course: Week 4 - No ranking is safe

Where does Landon Donovan's return rank among these notable athletes?

Five sports stadiums that should be renamed

WNBA playoffs head into second round after single eliminations

A 25-year award tour: Celebrating A Tribe Called Quest

YB Box Score: 9/23 - Win totals and the jobbing renaissance

WATCH: Is Anthony Davis the best Kentucky big man in the NBA?

NFL Kickoff: Week 3 - Pity the perpetually rebuilding Browns

Questions from reviewing the Vegas 2016-17 NBA win totals

How James Ellsworth jobbed his way into the heart of the wrestling world

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Where does Landon Donovan's return rank?

WATCH: What are the best WR-CB rivalries of all-time?

Bill Belichick may be forced to get hilariously creative to fill his quarterback slot

Five sports stadiums that should be renamed

WNBA playoffs head into second round after single eliminations

CFB Crash Course: Week 4 - No ranking is safe

A 25-year award tour: Celebrating A Tribe Called Quest

WATCH: Is Anthony Davis the best Kentucky big man in the NBA?

A statistical trip thru Vin Scully’s extraordinary career

Questions from reviewing the Vegas 2016-17 NBA win totals

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker