Openly gay figure skater Johnny Weir has been getting a lot of attention for his views on Russia's anti-gay laws in view of the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics, but he won't be attending as an athlete. From the Associated Press:
U.S. Figure Skating confirmed Tuesday that Weir did not register for the qualifiers for the national championships, where the Olympic team will be selected. The deadline to register was Sept. 1.
Weir also is not eligible for a bye into nationals, which begin Jan. 9 in Boston. According to U.S. Figure Skating, only skaters who placed in the top five at last year's nationals, or won medals at the most recent Olympics or world championships, are eligible.
Weir competed at the 2002 and 2006 Olympics but was considered a longshot to make the U.S. team in 2014. Weir last competed 10 months ago in a competition in Russia.
He has long been one of Outsports' favorite athletes, so we're sorry he won't be competing in Sochi. But something tells me that NBC will find a slot for him during its hours of coverage since he is funny, articulate and provocative and says what's on his mind. In 2006, while he was competing in the Torino Olympics, NBC aired segments with the skater called "Weir Eye for the Skate Guy" and "He's Here, He's Weir." This was before Weir came out publicly as gay. It was all wink-wink-nod-nod and made for terrific TV.