Weir headed back to Korea for the holidays

GPF bronze medalist will perform in show with Yu-Na Kim

Johnny Weir and Viktor Petrenko after their holiday show in Wayne, New Jersey.
Johnny Weir and Viktor Petrenko after their holiday show in Wayne, New Jersey. (Lynn Rutherford)


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By Lynn Rutherford, special to
(12/22/2008) - Johnny Weir is heading to South Korea to join good friend Yu-Na Kim for her Angels on Ice show Christmas day in Seoul, and will miss celebrating the day with his family.

Not surprisingly, his mom said she will miss him.

"Normally, we're all together, but not this year," Patti Weir said. "On the other hand, the show is a wonderful thing, because it's for children's charities, and Johnny and Yu-Na are very close."

Weir said he's looking forward to the show.

"It's always so much fun performing for Korean audiences," he said. "I think I'm pretty popular there. It's kind of a perfect present for me. Yu-Na and I are even doing a pair number, but I promise I'm not lifting her.

"Yu-Na always writes, calls, checks in -- she's a very, very sweet girl. I always say I love people who are sweet and also good at what they do."

As always, Weir turned a critical and honest eye toward his recent performance at the Grand Prix Final. He won a bronze medal, his best-ever result at the event, but came away less than satisfied.

"It was a disappointment," he said. "I wanted so much to do better and win, especially after Brian Joubert pulled out. I just didn't skate very well."

After Korea, Weir turns his attention to preparing for the 2009 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held in Cleveland on January 18-25. He's not sure whether his quadruple toe loop will make an appearance there or not. Like many skaters, he questions the calling of under rotated jumps.

"It's tough [to justify] trying a quad, because if you try and miss it, you can get more points with a double Axel," he reasoned. "Mine are always downgraded. There are times where I've re-checked the landing [on video] and I've made the [four] rotations, but landed on two feet, and that's been downgraded.

"Galina [Zmievskaya, his coach] is convinced I need the quad at worlds and Olympics, so we're still working on it."

Meanwhile, back on the home front, Patti is planning a simple holiday.

"We always have a quiet Christmas; the boys [Johnny and younger brother Brian] open gifts and then we have Christmas dinner. Then, we usually visit with my family," she said.

Patti added that Johnny, who trains in New Jersey while the rest of the family lives in Delaware, has not been home since May.

"He's been working a lot; training costs money," she said. "Brian and Johnny did get to go on vacation in July in Cayman Islands, which was great."