Johnny Weir (at right) just announced on his website that he is withdrawing from US Nationals, which will be held in Omaha, Nebraska in January 2013. Reason? He's just not ready to skate with the top athletes. He came in fourth at the Finlandia Trophy (and kind of a distant fourth), withdrew after his short program at his first Grand Prix assignment citing injury, and then withdrew from his second Grand Prix event to fully recover. Originally Johnny's reason for his comeback (his last competition was at the 2010 Vancouver WInter Olympics) was for the joy of skating for himself and his fans. But that attitude soon changed after he actually started competing. It wasn't enough that he skated two decent programs -- he wanted to skate two great programs and win! Thus, today he announced that he is stepping back to prepare more so that he can actually be a contender at these competitions. Johnny's full statement is below and yes, he does say that he will be ready to seek a spot at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. I think everyone, Johnny fan or not, feels a little sad over this news. At the end of the day, putting aside his reality show, outrageous statements, costumes, personality and nonskating endeavors, you knew that Johnny had a deep deep respect for skating, skaters and skating fans.
JOHNNY WEIR STATEMENT:
It is with deep regret that I announce my withdrawal from the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Omaha, Neb.
Since my return to competition this fall, I have seen my competition and what more I wanted from this sport clearly. I worked very hard to compete this season, with many obstacles and detours, but I made good on my promise to return to competition, and I am very proud of that. My performances so far have not been to my satisfaction and, combined with the stress of competing, I feel that I need to take a step back, prepare more and be ready for the Olympic season, beginning next fall.
After seeing the level of my competitors and how much stronger I needed to be to be competitive, my original plan of competing just for my fans and myself changed. The level of competition has increased dramatically since I left the sport in 2010, and although I was prepared to the best of my abilities, competing relit the fire in me, not only to compete and perform but also to win. Winning takes greatness, and I hope with the time I’m allowing myself to improve my skills, I will return next fall with a clear shot at competing in the next Olympic Games as a favorite.
I want to thank my fans all over the world for supporting my comeback and supporting me in person at so many events and exhibitions. I will still be performing, and I hope you can come to see my exhibitions and galas this spring and summer.
I want to thank my coach, Galina Zmievskaya; my family; my manager, Tara Modlin-King and her company, Fireworks Sports Marketing; my friends; and my silent supporters for your love and generosity. I would like to thank U.S. Figure Skating; its president, Patricia St. Peter; and its executive director, David Raith, for their continued support of my career.
I wish all the competitors luck for the rest of the season, and I pray for your individual success.
— Johnny Weir