Johnny Weir caused a stir when he wore real fox fur during the U.S. men nationals figure skating. He told the anti-fur critics to shove it and delighted in tweaking PETA. Now Weir has changed his mind and will wear fake fur during the Vancouver Olympics.
Weir said he made his decision since he does not want there to be disruptions by anti-fur activists.
"I would like to announce that due to pressures and threats from a certain animal rights group, I will be changing the genuine fox fur on my free program costume that I will use in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C., to white faux fur," Weir said in a statement first posted on icenetwork.com. "I made this decision after several threats were sent to me about disrupting my performance in the Olympic Games and my costume designer, Stephanie Handler, was repeatedly sent messages of hate and disgust. I do not want something as silly as my costume disrupting my second Olympic experience and my chance at a medal, a dream I have had since I was a kid.
"I hope these activists can understand that my decision to change my costume is in no way a victory for them, but a draw," Weir continued. "I am not changing in order to appease them, but to protect my integrity and the integrity of the Olympic Games as well as my fellow competitors.
Weir said that Friends of Animals sent "hate faxes" to his costume designer, but a spokesperson for the group said no one from that group threatened Weir.
With Weir, one never knows if he is being overly dramatic about his reasons for not wearing real fur. Regardless, it does remove potential controversy from his performance.