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Here's Johnny!!! A Fan's Plea to Johnny Weir to Gaga!

Here's Johnny!!!  A Fan's Plea to Johnny Weir to Gaga!

Johnny Weir has dominated the headlines in one way or another since the start of the men's figure skating competition in Vancouver on Feb. 16th.   Some headlines have been positive but most have been negative and I'm not really sure why.  He's as graceful and elegant as they come, and he was the only one of the contenders to skate two near-perfect programs. Plushenko, Lysacek, drama, gay, straight, controversy... One fan pleads with Johnny to skate to Gaga's "Poker Face" in Vancouver!

Johnny Weir has dominated the headlines in one way or another since the start of the men's figure skating competition in Vancouver on Feb. 16th.   Some headlines have been positive but most have been negative and I'm not really sure why.  He's as graceful and elegant as they come, and he was the only one of the contenders to skate two near-perfect programs.

In fact, he was robbed of a medal!  Three other skaters finished ahead of Johnny and they either fell or awkwardly took to the ice.  Why?

Was it his personality?  I didn't know that Olympic judges are told to deduct points for personality.  

Scott Hamilton was interviewed on NBC's Today Show on the morning after the free skate (Feb. 18), and when Meredith Vieira asked why Johnny placed 6th, Hamilton mentioned that the judges could have been turned off by his sound bites.  Sound Bites?  I had no idea that judges are instructed to scour the airwaves for dirt on skaters who are scheduled to compete.  If that's the case, maybe they should start their deductions from Evgeni Plushenko's next performance for his poor sportsmanship in proclaiming that instead of silver, he won the platinum medal (which doesn't exist but would be better than gold)?

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Now Plushenko's spokesperson is denying the platinum medal assertion, but Plushenko did say following Lysacek's win:

"You can't be considered a true men's champion without a quad. For someone to stand on top of the podium with the gold medal around his neck by just doing triple jumps, to me it's not progress; it's a regress because we've done triples 10 or even 20 years ago. Just doing nice transitions and being artistic is not enough because figure skating is a sport, not a show."

I was first introduced to Johnny Weir while watching the 2006 Olympics in Torino.  I was a new comer to the world of skating but the minute I saw him, I just knew that there was something special about this man.  

Based on the reactions from the crowd, he was a fan favorite. But for some reason, I noticed that the commentators seemed very hesitant to compliment or show enthusiasm for him.  Hamilton can't say Johnny's name without laughing nervously.  Why?  He's an Olympian from the United States. For a country so set on national pride, we should all want to see him succeed.

Yes, Johnny is very outspoken about everything ranging from skating, to fashion, to politics.  His gender bending style is trailblazing for some but uncomfortable for others.   Is this why he's gaining negative notoriety -- because he makes people nervous?  Is this why his seemingly perfect performances continue to be unappreciated by the judges?  If so, we deserve better judges.

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Fact is, Johnny Weir is great for the sport.  Are you listening U.S. Figure Skating Association? He's good for your sport! Millions tune in to watch his next performance because he's infectious.  It's hard to root against him because he's always the underdog.  Viewers want to hear what music he will skate to, they want to see what outfit he will compete in, and yes, they want to see what antics he will pull while waiting for his scores.  Johnny Weir is helping ratings, not hurting them.  We want more Johnny! 

It hit the news this week that some commentators were making homophobic remarks about our American sweetheart.  Like a man, Johnny addressed these remarks right away in a press conference and proclaimed that he didn't need an apology.  Johnny said instead that "he believes in free speech and wouldn't want these men fired for expressing their opinion." 

But he went on to say "I want that to be public because I don't want 50 years from now more young boys and girls to have to go through this sort of thing and to have their whole life basically questioned for no reason other than to make a joke and to make people watch their television program."  Way to go Johnny.  You should be proud of yourself and your accomplishments. 

It's been widely reported that Johnny WAS going to skate to Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" during the exhibition on Saturday night.  But now, unfortunately, he has declined the invitation due to the negative press and unfair judging he has received.   On one hand, I can't blame him; I would probably do the same thing.  But on the other hand, I am pleading...Johnny, please skate!!

Don't let them win Johnny; show them why you are a skater in the first place.  You love to skate and perform, don't punish your adoring fans because of other's stupidity. 

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Leslie Dobbins