Who Is Johnny Weir?
Born in 1984 in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Johnny Weir was 11 years old when he first learned to skate. In 2001, he won the World Junior Championships. He later won three U.S. Figure Skating Championships titles and competed in two Winter Olympics.
Off-ice, he's appeared in several films and television programs, as well as hosted his own reality TV series, Be Good Johnny Weir. Starting in 2014 for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Weir teamed up with Olympic ice skater Tara Lipinski, and the duo has been covering Olympic and ice skating events for NBC and have branching out into lifestyle hosting.
John Garvin "Johnny" Weir was born on July 2, 1984, in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Shy and unassuming as a kid, Weir struggled to fit in with other kids his age.
"I was the awkward, skinny, smart, driven kid," Weir once recalled. "I was an honor roll student. I spoke fluent French. I was a bit antisocial. I can't say that I had a really booming social life."
His mother, Patti Moore Weir, worked as a home inspector, while his father John Weir, a former high school linebacker, hardly worked at all. He was injured in a car accident the year of his son's birth and hurt his back, forcing him to go on disability.
How Old Was Johnny Weir When He Started Skating?
Weir was already 11 years old when he first strapped on a pair of skates and tried to make his way around patches of ice in the backyard of his home in rural Quarryville, Pennsylvania. Within a week he was performing a successful axel jump.
While not flush with disposable income, Weir's parents supported his skating as best they could. And they watched in astonishment as their son quickly moved up through the ranks. Within a year of Weir first getting involved in the sport, the family moved to New Jersey so he could live closer to his coach and rink.
International Skating Success
Just five years after first trying on a pair of skates, Weir won the gold medal at the 2001 World Junior Championships. Three years later, Weir won his first U.S. Figure Skating Championship, a title he defended successfully in 2005 and 2006.
At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, Weir proved to be a star. Journalists flocked to the media-savvy Weir, a veritable quote machine who ended up finishing fifth overall. Four years later, at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, Weir finished sixth.
Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski
Starting with the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, the ice skating duo resonated with audiences and used social media to bring in new fans. Weir and Lipinski were so well received on NBC that they were asked to cover every major figure skating event for the network going forward.
“We’re very proud to educate people in a different way than maybe they have over the last many moons,” Weir said in an interview in December 2017. “Tara and I do things more conversationally. We’re very direct with our audience, and it’s a huge audience for us to be carrying figure skating.”
Weir and Lipinski have also graduated beyond the ice skating rink and positioned themselves as lifestyle personalities. They worked the red carpet as fashion commentators at the 86th Academy Awards and have also appeared at the Kentucky Derby in 2014, the Super Bowl in 2015 and the National Dog Show in 2017, among other high profile events.
Widely considered figure skating's most outspoken and controversial athlete, Weir has gotten into verbal tussles with fellow Olympic skater Evan Lysacek. At the 2010 Games he upset anti-fur activists by stating his desire to incorporate fur into his skating costume.
His love of the limelight, however, has led to plenty of off-ice opportunities, including his own reality TV show, Be Good Johnny Weir. He also appeared in an episode of TLC's Say Yes to the Dress in 2012, in which he tried on a wedding dress himself while accompanying a bride-to-be.
Coming Out Later
In 2011, after years of speculation about his sexuality, Weir admitted he was gay. He made the announcement through his biography, Welcome to My World.
In January 2018, on the heels of ice skater Adam Rippon becoming the first openly gay American man participating in the Winter Olympics, Weir explained via Twitter why he chose to come out after his second Olympics and not during.
Husband to Divorcée
On December 20, 2012, Weir married his boyfriend, Victor Voronov, in New York City. The couple divorced in 2015.
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