John Garvin "Johnny" Weir-Voronov is an American figure skater. He is the 2008 World bronze medalist, a two-time Grand Prix Final bronze medalist, the 2001 World Junior Champion, and a three-time U.S. national champion.
• Earth (Earth, otherwise known as the World or the Globe, is the third planet from the Sun and the only o...)
• David Simon (David Judah Simon is an American author, journalist, and a writer/producer of television series. ...)
• Lucy Rose (Lucy Rose, is a singer-songwriter and musician from Warwickshire, England. Her debut album, Like ...)
Hi guys. Johnny here.
To Russia With Love premieres on EPIX tomorrow at 8 PM ET. It's about LGBT athletes and activists trying to attend or participate in the Sochi games.
Victoria from reddit is assisting me. AMAA.
Update: Thank you to everyone who joined in from around the world. I was so happy to spend time with you all. For those of you in the United States, please watch To Russia With Love, premiering tomorrow night on EPIX at 8 PM. We hope to see you there, and we hope you enjoy it!
Can you and Tara jointly publish a book of your outfits in Sochi? I would buy it. Maybe include a section where you two critique figure skating outfits through the years.
Tara and I have a lot of opinions about fashion, and they don't always go hand-in-hand, but we have the most fun as fashion collectors - we so admire the art in fashion. I suppose the new book is Instagram - we LOVE our instagram @TaraandJohnny and we love to take our fans on adventures with us, and who knows, maybe one day a fashion book will find its way onto your coffee table.
On a recent tour of China you reimagined an iconic Peking Opera as a m/m love story. It was very well received and won you a lot of fans. Do you feel your critics are missing the way art can win hearts and minds? Were you nervous about how the audiences would react?
I was very nervous to perform that number in China, because I'm still quite unclear about the LGBT community is overall accepted in China, and I never want to make a scene or huge statement about my sexuality, I prefer to let my art speak for me, and I was so honored and so proud that my performances were so respected and so enjoyed by many of my Chinese fans.
Thanks for doing this!
Do you design your own costumes?
What’s the most scandalous thing that goes on behind the scenes of figure skating?
If you were to go all out “Blades of Glory” who would your male partner be and why?
Yes, I've designed 95% of my own costumes, and now i am happily designing for other skaters and also working on my own active sportswear line.
Hahah! Um... politics.
Oh! Let's see... my male partner for Blades of Glory would probably be... I never thought about that... let's say... Maxim Trankov. He's the most recent Olympic pairs champion and I know I'd be in safe hands.
Hey Johnny you rock! Thank you for doing an AMA :)
What is it like to go from skater to broadcaster?
Also, what is Tara Lipinski like in real life (when there are no cameras)? I'm a huge fan of you both, and a native of Detroit --- where Tara trained!I have heard mixed things about her so I was just wondering.
As a figure skater, I have a very defined idea of figure skating. I understand the rules, I know many of the people that I am actually critiquing now while they are on the ice, so that move to being able to speak knowledgeably and from the heart, but at the same time I know these people and I always feel bad if I have to give a harsh critique. So I have to be honest with my audience and tell them what they are seeing, despite my personal relationships. So that's a very difficult thing to do.
Tara is sweet. She is a hard worker, and she knows how to achieve everything that she wants. So she works very hard to make her life better and the way that she wants it to be.
Johnny!!! You are the reason I started paying attention to figure skating, & still my favorite US figure skater of all time. I have a ton of questions, but I'll try to be brief. First: I know you have many close friends in the FS world in Russia. In the US, we all know there are a disproportionate number of gay men in the sport. Are you aware of any gay skaters in Russia and are they open about it at all - or has anyone confided in you privately? Just wondering how they would be treated, since you are so accepted there. And do you ever you talk about the Russian political situation with your friends in the skating community there like Plushenko, etc. or do they (and you) prefer to avoid the topic and stick to just skating?
Also: it's no secret that the popularity of skating in the US has plummeted since the 90s. I'm optimistic that having you & Tara as commentators may help to bring in new people, but what else do you think can be done? Is there any chance that we will ever get the kind of sophisticated ice shows that happen in Europe and Asia? An alternative to the cheesefest Stars on Ice? (I wouldn't give SOI a dime of my money anyway.) Do you know any promoters that can make this happen? I think "The Snow King" could do great in Vegas alongside all the Cirque du Soleil shows.
First of all, thank you.
The public's perception of figure skating is that it's a very gay-heavy sport, but I can say that probably 95% of the sport is straight. I have known some gay Russian skaters, and gay Eastern European skaters, that I have known in confidence and in private. And being gay isn't a topic that I bring up as the most important thing when I see my friends around the world, it's "how are you doing, how is your life" because it's not a topic that comes up in conversation because it's accepted and it's normal with me.
Well, since the 80's and 90's, we haven't had the strongest - after Michelle Kwan, essentially, we haven't had the strongest international results in the US and the popularity suffers in the country when your athletes aren't performing that well. Of course we have had some successes - but they come from the men's and ice dancing genre of figure skating, and usually America historically follows the ladies skaters, and we haven't had the strongest team in the ladies competition. So Tara and me being the face of the broadcast team for NBC will hopefully open it up to new audiences, not just die-hard fans who have followed the sports for years, but it will be some time before our team is back on top, so to that point, I can't say that we will have huge sophisticated ice shows in the US. However, I am always hopeful and always working on my own ideas to bring figure skating to the US on both the TV and in live performances, because our sport is constantly evolving and there are new champions and new faces all the time.
What do you make of all the Tumblr posts about your resemblance to Tom Hiddleston's Loki?
(we have the same birthday, btw!)
I feel Loki in my heart.
And I think it's so so funny to be compared to such a powerful man!
One day, when I find a husband to marry, Will you please design my wedding dress?.
Your style is amazing and I think your fashion sense would make an amazingly unique wedding dress I would love to wear.
I'd love to. I've designed 3 wedding dresses in my life so far, so I'd be happy to!
First things first ---- You are awesome! I love you and Tara! I am 28 and grew up watching Tara Lipinski. I think you both make an awesome team …. I really enjoy your commentaries, energetic personalities, and the funny video clips you create and post on social media.
Ok, for this AMA I have two questions:
So, I have always loved figure skating, but never had the opportunity to do it growing up. I started taking “learn to skate” classes as an adult. I was pretty serious about it, and began taking private lessons. I passed my adult pre-bronze moves test in winter 2012…. Then in the fall of 2012 I really pulled back from skating due to the busyness of my schedule (I’m in graduate school). Anyway, I really want to get back into skating, but wanted to know your thoughts on adults learning to skate ---Is it worth trying to learn something at my age (28), and what kind of advice and inspiration can you provide? How do I know if I found the right “coach”?
Alright, so we know that you train physically hard for skating --- but, how do you prepare mentally? What I mean is, how did you mentally prepare yourself for things like learning or attempting a new skill (jumps, spins, etc), competitions, maintaining confidence? And, how do you mentally prepare yourself now as a broadcaster --- is it any different?
Thank you so much! Xox
1) I started skating when I was 12 years old, and at that age I was told I would never have Olympics in my future, and I wanted to do the Olympics. And I was able to. I believe that anything is possible. If you want to learn a skill as an adult, you absolutely should, and figure skating is incredible exercise - it keeps your ass high and tight where it's supposed to be. To know if you've found the right coach, you have to find someone that can make you believe in yourself but also be serious and teach you the ins and outs of the sport. Essentially, somebody that inspires you.
2) In figure skating, it's kind of a crapshoot, because it's mind over matter, very much. And when you have to put it on the line, it's terrifying. All I can say is you have to rely on your training, and your belief in yourself. You wouldn't be on the position to be judged without having put in the hours to be there, so you have to trust in that. And I certainly prepare differently for commentary - I have a whole different set of warmups, including vocal warmups and preparing to mentally deliver (between commercials) - that's a lot of stress, to make sure you can get your points in without being too snarky or too soft. And again, same as figure skating, doing a good job as an analyst and commentator comes form being prepared, so I study the skaters and the judges before i begin commenting.
Congrats on being the new regular NBC commentator. You and Tara are very entertaining and I'm so happy for you!
I have a couple Qs:
I haven't seen the documentary yet but I'm looking forward to it. Have you ever experienced any homophobia from within the Russian figure skating community?
Figure skating popularity has decreased in the past 10 years or so in North America (I'm not sure about the rest of the world). Do you blame the complex scoring system?
1) I've never experienced any homophobia, aside from being called names a few times within Russia (not within the skating community). I've actually experienced more homophobia within the United States.
2) There's nothing to blame for the decline in popularity in the US for figure skating. Figure skating is huge all over the world, and it's huge where athletes are winning - Russia, Japan, South Korea. And Americans, aside from our recent Olympic champions, don't win consistently. And as I said before, Americans tend to follow the bright female stars in the sport, and at the moment, the Americans women's team is not competitive in the rest of the world in the way that they could consistently be first place at events. So I believe when our ladies team gets stronger, popularity will increase in the United States, and sports and entertainment aren't forever - one day you're in, next day you're out, and then one day you're in again.
Hi Johnny! Thanks so much for doing this :)
You have achieved so much in your life already, and you're an absolute inspiration - you have turned your hands to so many different projects. What's something you haven't yet had a chance to do but you feel is an absolute must for you?
The world is an oyster! I have so many things I am capable of doing, and so many things I have already done. But I haven't really thought bout things I haven't done, because they have yet to present themselves to me. I take my life one day at a time, and I try to do my best with every opportunity, with every job, with every practice on the ice. And the next time I find something that i am really passionate to achieve, I will do it 100%. That's what preparing for the Olympics prepared me for in life- to work hard.
I had shoulder surgery before the Sochi Olympics, so I got to see all of the figure skating live while I was home recovering. I just wanted to tell you that I LOVED listening to you and Tara do the commentary. It actually made me more of a fan of figure skating, because I felt like I learned more about the sport as the week went on. My wife and I really missed it when they did the replay in the evenings.
Do you still skate in any shows? I've tried to look around and find some, but didn't see any information. We would love to come see you live.
I so enjoyed my experience in Sochi. And I'm glad you did as well!
I still perform all over the world, and my schedule is always posted and updated on my official website, http://www.figureskatersonline.com/johnnyweir/home/
And my next skating performance is scheduled for the beginning of September in Moscow, Russia.
Have you ever seen Blades of Glory? What did you think of it?
I thought it was funny that they based Jon Heder's character off of me.
Johnny, you and Tara are amazing. Question: What is the most beautiful/MAGICAL place you've ever skated?
This past year, while filming with To Russia With Love, I skated on a frozen lake in Lake Louise, Canada, in the middle of Winter, it was snowing, it was natural ice, outside, and I just... felt like it was the most beautiful place to skate on top of the world.
Hi Johnny! I'm a skater recently turned judge/technical specialist and I've come to realise there are a lot of things about the judging system I disagree with, especially regarding the politics. My question is what aspects of the current judging system do you disagree with or would like to change? Thanks for doing this AMA!
I like the new judging system for the jump element, but for the spins and step sequences, the judging system leaves very little space for originality or performing elements well. It's difficult to be an individual. So I do like the judging for jump but for spins or step sequences, I think there should be more freedom.
I'm so thrilled you're doing an AMA! I don't follow figure skating at all, except for you. Years ago I saw you perform on TV and it made me cry because it was so lovely. I tried to have the same reaction to the other performers, but it just wasn't the same. You're just different.
What on Earth is that hanging hoop that you posted a photo of on instagram? Skate-blades and a large spinning hoop at head-level seem like a terrifying combination to me.
Люблю вас. <3
Oh! Okay. While I was in Russia last week, and the proceeding 2 weeks, I was doing rehearsals for a new tour with Evgeni Plushenko, and I was learning some new acrobatic skills using the hoop.
I live in Delaware and see you went to high school here in Newark. Favorite Delaware memories?
My formative years were spent in Delaware from age 12-22. And I have so many wonderful fond memories of growing up in Delaware, and I don't think I would have been a 2 time Olympian without my training in Delaware!
How much did you love seeing Frank Carroll get caught on camera clearly saying "shit" this weekend at Skate America?
I didn't enjoy it as much as his reaction and seeing him turn bright red afterwards.
Hi Johnny! Thanks for doing this.
Back in the early-mid-90s, I was an aspiring young figure skater, winning all kinds of medals and basically kicking ass and taking names. At one competition, I was dancing the Foxtrot with my partner, but we had trained exclusively on international-sized ice, and this was our first time dancing on NHL-sized ice, so about a minute in, BAM full-tilt straight into the boards.
As a single skater, I soon met my match at one contest, Make It A Date To Skate. Following one particularly spirited routine, either to the theme of DRAGNET or If I Were a Rich Man, I can't quite recall, I was completely and utterly trounced by then-unknown Jeffrey Buttle.
Following his routine, Jeffrey and his coach came back to the dressing room, saw me upset, and talked me through it, told me very constructively what I'd done wrong and how I could improve for the next meet. It was thoroughly humbling - he was so nice and helpful, not at all gloating or rude. For me, the day I lost to Jeffrey Buttle was the most defining moment of my figure skating career. For him, it was Tuesday.
Do you have any good stories from your youth in skating? Any humbling or embarrassing moments, brushes with fame, etc?
Shannon, if you're out there and reading this, I haven't forgotten our collision. Sorry if I ruined dancing for you!
The first time I ever performed with Champions on Ice was a 2 city run when I was 17 years old, and Champions on Ice was the epitome of an ice show - it was the best skaters in the world, and I was just a 17 year old kid, and I was always so proud when I was performing those 2 times because the entire cast of the show would come to the curtain and watch me perform. So I was excited that there was this family bond in figure skating that i hadn't known before.
Thank you <3
Gotta love a tight and high ass! lmao!!!
About how many calories an hour you think someone who is a beginner skater can burn???
A lot. Haha! Between the nerves of standing in the ice, plus the actual exercise, you can burn a lot, even as a beginner skater.
Johnny! My fiance and I were really digging your accessories during the Sochi Winter Olympics.
My favorite breakfast cereal is... Chocolate Lucky Charms actually!
Do you watch Hockey? What do you think of Hockey players' skating skills? :)
I catch hockey when it's on TV, but I can't say that I''m a hockey fan who watches every game. But I think hockey in its way is beautiful, and so savage in the way that they skate. So I appreciate how hard they work on the ice, and I'm a big fan of hockey players in general for the amount of hours they put in on the ice.
What was it like training for the Olympics? What training did you go through?
Training for the Olympics is a very lonely world to live in. I spent a lot of my time resting, I spent a lot of my time dieting, and I spent a lot of time on the ice. And there was very little time outside of those 3 things to do anything else, i was so dedicated to my Olympic journey.
So training for the Olympics was very enriching and necessary, but it certainly was a difficult and lonely world to live in.
Would you rather fight 1 Matt Lauer sized duck or 100 duck sized Matt Lauers?
i'd rather fight one large Matt Lauer duck. I have thighs of steel.
Hi Johnny, are there plans to make the documentary available for an international and perhaps also Russian audience? And have you had any feedback/ responses from the Russia regarding your documentary?
We certainly have the hope of showing the film on Russian television, but it's up to Russian television to want to show it. Certainly we will tour the world and distribute the film internationally. And we hope as many people can see this film and remember the Russian LGBT community, as MANY as possible. And yes, there have been several people that have seen pieces of the film from Russia, and they enjoyed the message of the film and they enjoy what the film is all about. There have been a few people from Russia who have commented that they love the film and the message of the film and my role in the film.
How long did it take you to become reasonably fluent in Russian? Obviously working with Russian coaches & spending time in that country made it easier, but do you have any tips for someone just trying to learn the basics? What Russian music do you like?
The first thing you need to learn Russian is to learn the Alphabet. It seems scary because it's different, but once you have the sounds down, you can read, write and learn much easier. As far as being fluent, it depends on your own mindset and the amount of practice you have. I speak Russian on a daily basis, and that helps me speak with a better accent and make fewer errors in my grammar. Tips are to take your time and not put too much pressure on yourself. It will come through training and through practice.
I recently saw on Twitter that "To Russia With Love" has secured an international distributor. Great news! Will it also be making the festival circuit?
Our hope is that we will be on the festival circuit and be able to tour with this documentary because it's so important we get the message out to as many people as possible, so we are hopeful for a festival tour with To Russia with Love.
I would love to see you skate pairs with Yuzuru Hanyu, do you think that will ever happen?
I love your Instagram, btw!!
Yuzuru is WONDERFUL, but he's so slim I don't think he could push me! But a dream of mine would be to skate together on the same ice, and perform something special and beautiful for all of our fans!
Hey Johnny thanks for doing this! I'm a big fan.
How long have you been active in the LGBT community?
I've been gay since I was born, so I supposed I've been active in the LGBT community since I was born, but I don't consider myself an activist, however I consider myself a member of the LGBT community.
Are there any misconceptions about LGBT athletes in Russia that you hope To Russia With Love may correct with its viewers?
PS - You and your mom are amazing.
I think that there are many LGBT athletes around the world, in MANY different sports. But sports are about sports, they aren't about your sexual identity. And this was my fight at the beginning, when people wanted to boycott the Sochi Olympics - the Sochi Olympics were about the Olympics, they were about winning gold medals, they weren't about who you sleep with at night. To me, sports are sports, and if (in my opinion) - the best thing LGBT athletes can do is to win. Through winning, you open yourself up to being respected as an athlete, and if you choose to bring your personal life into your sports, you will be respected as a champion and as a great athlete.
First - I'm SO excited that you're doing this. The first AMA I've cared about.
1) Do you have any "good luck" rituals?
2) In your opinion, are you ever too old to learn how to figure skate?
Tara made me want to be an Olympic skater when I was 7, but I was poor and lived in sunny South Carolina. You rejuvenated the dream that I could learn for fun. Thank you for always making the world smile with you. Your confidence is an inspiration.
1) I have SO many good luck rituals, depending on various aspects of my life! I have good luck rituals when I fly, I have good luck rituals when I leave my house, I have good luck rituals for everything. I'm pretty mystical in that way.
2) Thank you. I think age is just a number, and if you have a dream or an ambition to do something, you'll be able to do it, because it's something that you want.
HUGE fan of your fashion sense! Do you and Tara plan your outfits together or do you just hope you both match when you show up to the events?.
What has been your friendship with Tara like over the years? Were you always as close as you appear now?.
Tara and I are kind of on the same cycle as far as fashion is concerned, and even when we haven't discussed an outfit when we appear together, somehow we magically match. But when we do have major TV appearances, we throw ideas back and forth so we can coordinate, so we can be more of a team because that is what we are in life both personally and professionally.
Tara and I knew of each other, because figure skating is a very small world. But we didn't get close until NBC paired us together to cover figure skating last fall. It was an immediate love fest and we've been together and happy ever since.
Sup homie. Thanks for representing the U S of A like a boss. What was the most interesting/exciting part about being in the Olympic village, and what was the least/most disappointing part about being cooped up there? Thanks, friend
Most exciting part is the feeling of unity - with peers and contemporaries from all over the world under one roof, all trying to achieve Olympic Gold medals, it's pretty amazing. Hundreds of the world's best athletes, and as a result of that, everyone is pretty hot, so it's pretty great eye candy to walk around the Olympic village. The worst part about being trapped in the Olympic village is the inability to hide alone, because there are so many people in the same small space, you have to really try hard to find a space to calm down or just have a moment of solidarity.
Which is your most favorite starburst flavor?
Any hope that NBC will increase the number of hours of skating coverage leading up to the 2018 Games? And any chance of showing more coverage of pairs and ice dance? Congratulations to you/Tara/Terry on becoming the lead NBC team for figure skating.
We certainly are in a year of Renaissance and rejuvenation at NBC sports, and my hope is to expand figure skating to more coverage, more hours, and more interest. And that's my goal as an ex-Olympian and analyst of figure skating. My goal is to have as much coverage of figure skating, like we had in the 80s and 90s. And what we need from the skaters is that they perform well, and that they will appear on our channel.
Hi, Johnny! I have always been a huge fan. What can be done from here in the US, to help the LGBT community in Russia?
The biggest thing that we can do, as the United States and as a community, are to keep the Russian LGBT community in our thoughts and prayers. If you are so willing, you can donate directly to LGBT activism groups in Russia.
But the main thing to remember is that Russians are a strong people, and they will create their own revolution within themselves. We are a different country. We can't do anything but support these people in their fight for Equality.
Hi Johnny! I'm a huge fan of yours and have been for a while now. I really loved your commentary with Tara in Sochi. Were you two friendly before the Olympics? Also, can we be besties?
I think Tara would be very jealous and upset if I were to find a new best friend.
We were friends before appearing together in Sochi. We worked together in the fall last year, on the Grand Prix series, and which just kicked off this past week for NBC. We have become very close friends and spend a lot of our time together.
Hi, Johhny. Just wanted to say that I adore you and my friends and I are obsessed with you.
What is your favorite music to skate to? Who was your biggest role model in the skating world?
Also edit: Do you have any crazy stories from the Olympic village?
My favorite music to skate to is actually, probably, more of the classical sort of music, sometimes a remix or not, but I love tradition, the tradition of ballet and dance in my sport, so if i'm on the ice by myself, I love classics.
In the skating world my biggest role model is Evgeni Plushenko. Was and is my greatest role model in figure skating. I admire his mental toughness and his ability to fight and his performance ability.
In the Olympic Village, I mostly sat in the corner being nervous, so I don't have many stories from the Olympic village. I didn't partake in the crazy bonding experiences.
Did you experience any discrimination while traveling in Russia during the Sochi Olympics?
Did you ever experience fear that you would experience discrimination or be a victim of hate crime while in Russia?
I have never experienced discrimination more than random words being yelled at me, or overhearing a conversation about me in Russia. I have experienced more homophobia in Las Vegas than I ever have in Russia.
Because I live in the United States, and I mainly saw Western Media reports about this topic before I went to Sochi, of course I was nervous that something could happen, simply for being myself, but after arriving in Sochi, I realized that nothing would happen to me, I would simply be safe and I would be comfortable while I was there.
Will the U.S. men who will compete at Rostelecom Cup be warmly received by the Russian spectators in the arena? Any thoughts about the competitive landscape for them?
I always enjoyed having a very international fan base, and when I tried to return to competition at Rostelecom Cup, i was welcomed to the ice as a "hometown boy" and that is an incredible feeling to have as an athlete performing in a foreign country and as an ambassador of the US. To have that kind of reception made me so proud to be an American and a citizen of the world. In figure skating, Russia, currently in my opinion, has the strongest team in world figure skating.
Johnny, I'm a huge fan!! I noticed in Instagram you practice in Delaware. Are your practices open to the public? I love seeing what songs you skate to!
I actually practice completely alone in an arena, because it's my workspace, it's where i create my performances, what i am going to do for my fans and my audiences. So I don't like to give any secrets from my training away. But I hope that my instagrams entertain people and I hope you can join us for a live performance one day.
Has your perspective on the sport has changed over the years?
And one other question, if I may; What's your favorite food?
My perspective certainly has changed, first as a young person I was in the sport and not really understanding the underbelly of figure skating. That changed into having more understanding as I became a well-known skater, and then being an analyst. But the constant is that i love my sport, and I am so proud when people can enjoy it.
Salad... no, not lying.
Love your outfits and style, who and what are you influenced by? Xoxo
I'm influenced by my mood - if I feel troubled some days, maybe I will just wear a sweatshirt and sneakers, haha! But I use fashion to lift me up and inspire me to be happy on a daily basis. I love the process of putting a look together, even if I don't have an audience that day. Some of my greatest fashion inspirations come from Karl Lagerfeld, Lady Gaga (of course), and of course, the fact that I am a performer for a living, so my fashion choices certainly reflect the fact that I am a performer.
What do you think about figure skating music allowing words in it the songs now?
I think it can benefit skaters who are not overly artistic... but I am nervous as to what songs people will choose and how out there people will get.
And in addition, I think that the fact that skaters are allowed to use lyrics opens up figure skating to show more of the personality of the skaters, and I've already seen this season that the skaters themselves are taking different routes and everyone is already showing more of a personal side on the ice - whether through costuming or music - so I think that's a positive change.
What was the hardest skating move for you to learn?
Because I started late in figure skating, I didn't have 5 years of learning to skate properly under my belt, I had to learn everything all at once, so I believe the steps in the actual skating skills were the hardest for me to learn. I always loved to jump and spin, but actually skating was the hardest for me to learn.
Thanks for doing this AMA Johnny! What has been your favorite Olympic experience?
My favorite Olympic experience was in Vancouver in 2010, when I finished my long program, and I did the performance of my life, and the performance of my dreams, and I could stand in the middle of the ice and smile and have the world standing up and applauding me. It was an amazing experience.
Johnny! Got to say you are a great guy, really know your stuff, and are a blast to be around (So I've heard)
With all the work you are doing for the skating culture, what's one of the biggest things you miss about having down time?
What's your favorite movie quote?
What's the number one tip you can give some one just getting into skating (just for fun)?
When's the next time you will be on the west coast? specifically the Utah area XD
I love a moment to relax, and I'll actually go on a vacation soon, but I'm not good at resting. I constantly need to be doing something, I'm like a shark, if I stop swimming I die, so I have no problem being busy and running all over the world to work. I think the person that has the biggest problem with me traveling for work is my puppy!
Oh! It's from Meryl Streep, playing - haha - Miranda Priestley in the Devil Wears Prada, and the quote is: "Why is no one ready?"
Don't be afraid to fall down. It doesn't hurt that bad, haha.
I've flown through Utah, but i haven't been in Utah for quite some time. I suppose if enough people want me to come to Utah, then I will just have to make a visit!
when did you first decide to become a figure skater?
I decided to become a figure skater when I was 12. I'd been a fan of figure skating, watching it on TV for many years, and when I was 12, my parents bought me a pair of skates and I tried skating for the first time on a cornfield and fell in love immediately. A frozen-over cornfield, not a cornfield with dirt!
Hi Johnny! I see that your documentary "To Russia With Love" comes out tomorrow. What is something that you learned about the experience in Russia for LGBT athletes and the LGBT community as a whole there?
Also, I wanted to say I loved watching you on Rachael vs Guy! What was that experience like?
Something that I learned is that the will of any activist or any person that their rights are being violated and they are fighting for equality is that they are SO strong. The Russian LGBT community is close knit and SO strong. And I believe the Russian LGBT community will solve this problem from within, themselves.
I'm going to go off on a tangent: one of the greatest experiences while working on this documentary was meeting a young Russian gay activist named Vlad who was able to sit in front of me directly and show me what his life was about and what he was going through in Russia, a country that I love so much. And because he was able to do that, and because he was able to lift my rose-colored glasses, I was able to see something that I knew I had to fight for with this film, and with as many people seeing this film and getting educated as possible.
I also began to appreciate activism for what it is. And appreciate the lives and energy of so many men and women.
Rachael vs Guy was a terrifying experience because I don't consider myself talented in the culinary arts. But I had SO much fun improving my cooking skills and being challenged to do things I had never done!
Hi Johnny! Thank you for coming here :) First, you will always be my favorite skater! I'm around the same age as you and enjoyed growing up watching your journey! I love how you connect to music and appreciate it. Your Ave Maria continues to move me! What are your thoughts on eating disorders and figure skating? I am a former skater who has struggled with disordered eating/body image. I have been following the sad struggle of Yuliya Antipova. I hope she recovers!
I sat a few rows behind where you and Tara were commentating at Boston Nationals last year. LOVED seeing your bags and furs each day :) I told my mom I had to dress to impress in case I ran into Johnny. I'll be at nationals this year, hope to see you!
Eating disorders and body image issues are prevalent in many sports, and figure skating and gymnastics and you can even think about boxing and wrestling. There are certain things that we do, to a certain extent, that would be deemed as eating disorders by the outside world, but we are trying to get to a goal weight to try to perform at a maximum level, and sometimes people are swallowed by the demands of our sport, and it is so sad when that happens, but to be a professional athlete, there are certainly pressures that one pound can be the difference between gold and silver, or winning and losing, so it's a very difficult issue - because on one side you have to be conscious of your weight, but on the other side, you can't go to far. My heart goes out to anyone who struggles with eating disorders.
Thank you! My favorite thing about fashion is every day you can put a new face and fresh face forward. I love getting dressed up, even just to go to the Supermarket, so I hope everyone else can be inspired to just dress up daily!
First of all, I love you! Tuned into the Olympics when you commentated and I remember watching you when you were competing. I really couldn't think of a question so...
What's your favorite color?
You've been back to Russia since the Olympics ended. Do you notice any differences after all the media frenzy around Sochi or is it sort of back to the same old, same old there?
Many Russian activists felt too little happened after the world professed they would come and support them during the Sochi Olympics. Many Russian activists felt nothing would happen, and now that the world spotlight is off of Russia and this issue, they feel forgotten, so Russians themselves have turned somewhat inwardly and are trying to find the best solution they can create themselves, which I think is strong -you have to change yourself first. So in a positive way, Russians are fighting for their own equality.
In tennis, the Americans haven't done well in developing the next generation of talent post the Williams sisters. What is your outlook for Americans in figure skating 5 years down the road? How does the talent pipeline look?
The talent pipeline in US figure skating is very strong. But because we have such a large country and our athletes are spread out all over the place with different levels of support & financial support, it's very difficult to predict. But i am very optimistic about our current national team, and our continued greatness in the sport over the next 5 years.
Who would win in a Lutz-off? You or Tara?
I think I would. I skate more often than Tara does.
Hi Johnny, greetings from Russia! Do you know if your documentary will be shown here? I think it's extremely important that people in the USA will learn about the situation happening here but I do hope that we'll have a chance to see it as well. People need to know that they are not alone in their struggle and fight.
My hope is that the film will play in Russia.
Johnny, where are you from in Pennsylvania, and what towns do you most often visit while there? I see the pictures on your Instagram, and I'm curious, cause I have relatives in the same area! :)
I grew up in Quarryville, Pennsylvania. And I visit my family in Lancaster County. And I enjoy seeing all the places I grew up.