Two-time Olympic and three-time U.S. national men’s champion figure skater Johnny Weir formally announced his retirement from competitive skating on national TV today, and elaborated in his News-Press column today.
Weir, who has written a weekly column for the past year exclusively for the Falls Church News-Press, made his announcement on NBC’s Today show this morning. Weir also announced that he has been retained by NBC as a commentator on skating events it covers, including at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next February.
Weir, at 29 past the prime for most figure skaters, cited his age as the basis for his retirement. He was the center of controversy when he, as an openly gay person, was at odds with those gay activists who wanted a boycott of the Sochi Olympics because of Russia’s new anti-gay laws. He picked up an ally on that subject last week when Star Trek legend and now gay activist George Takei shared his view in a speech to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. But Weir said today he will go to cover the Sochi Olympics for NBC, despite the risk of running afoul of Russian anti-gay laws, to be “in full support of our brothers and sisters there.”