No longer in the running to compete in next month’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, figure skating medalist Johnny Weir has instead signed on to be a commentator for NBC. As one of the most harshly criticized voices that denounced a boycott of the Games earlier this year, Weir is speaking up again in an interview with Reuters, claiming “just being there and being gay” is support enough.
“I’ve come under so much hate and scrutiny from within my own LGBT community for my views on the Olympics,” he said, still affirming that his “lifetime of sacrifices” should not be ruined by laws affecting minority groups. “As somebody who watched my parents sacrifice everything so that I had at least one chance of making the Olympics, I could never boycott the Olympics whether they be in Pyongyang (in North Korea), in Uganda, in Iran or Mars.”
Weir then asserted that being gay “was not something that I chose” and being an athlete, however, was something he chose. “I worked hard for [my career] and I’ll see it to a necessary end,” he said.
“The entire Olympic team is not made up of LGBT people. It’s people who’ve sacrificed their livelihoods, it’s people who’ve sacrificed their parents’ finances and health and sometimes even marriages to get that one chance at glory.”
“As an athlete who’s lived it, I could never turn my face to that. While equality is necessary all over the world, the Olympics is not the place for me to make a stand.”
Weir continues a long rant about how the Olympics are an athletic event and not “a political protest,” offering one final statement about how he’ll act (not “more gay,” he says) in Sochi next month:
“I’m just going there to be me, to be gay, to be proud and to be a strong light for the Russian LGBT community.”
Do you think it’s enough?