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Weir absolutely thriving professionally, personally

Busy skater considers return to competition, prepares for marriage

Johnny Weir has found his perfect match in Victor Voronov, a lawyer from Russia.
Johnny Weir has found his perfect match in Victor Voronov, a lawyer from Russia. (David Ingogly)

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By Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com
(12/29/2011) - Olympic fame can be fleeting, but nearly two years after his final bow in Vancouver, Johnny Weir's time in the spotlight continues.

His porcelain image was featured in Vanity Fair as the face of MAC's "Glitter and Ice" make-up line. His docu-series, Be Good Johnny Weir, soon begins its second season on Logo Channel. And his most recent skating appearance, in "Holiday Dreams on Ice" held Dec. 23 in Philadelphia, drew a respectable crowd, including a few dozen fans from Tokyo.

"I couldn't be more proud to bring other skaters here and have it sell well and get people excited to see us," Weir said as MAC stylists sprinkled his cheekbones with glitter before the show.

Moments later, 60 friends of the Weir family from his hometown area of Lancaster, Pa. piled into the building, greeting the skater and his parents, Patti and John, before taking their specially selected seats. Their open friendliness gives a hint of the common-sense beginnings which may never be too far from Weir's "fabulous" exterior.

"I could never have predicted my life to be the way it is right now," he said. "I never could have chosen this path.

"Those MAC ads were all over, in the New York airports, magazines. I'm used to promoting myself, but promoting this giant makeup corporation was an incredible opportunity, and it was incredible for them to handpick me as their spokesmodel."

The campaign is just one in a series of gigs that Weir admits has him spread thin.

"When people ask me what I've been doing, I'll remember the week before, but before that I won't remember specific details," he said. "Let's see -- we're promoting MAC, I was in the [Macy's] Thanksgiving Day parade, and then we lit up the Christmas tree in Union Square in San Francisco."

After the Philadelphia show, there's an extended break in Weir's schedule, and for good reason.

"I'm getting married on New Year's Eve," he said. "His name is Victor [Voronov], he's kind of everything that I've ever looked for and aspired to be in a relationship with. We've known each other for a long time and we reconnected over the summer, and it's just been a whirlwind.

"I'm very happy with my personal life and also my professional life, and I thank God I can be exactly where I'm at."

As if all that weren't enough, the 27-year-old Weir -- who generally limits his triple jump repertoire in shows to a toe loop or two -- said he plans to resume serious training with his coach, Galina Zmievskaya, with a possible return to competition in mind.

"This is my last show of 2011, and for 2012, I have nothing planned yet because I did clear my schedule to train and work with Galina every day," he said. "Victor and I are going away on vacation, before I close myself off from the world and see what I can still do.

"I can do all my jumps and spins and I enjoy performing now more than ever. I do miss the structure of competition and training and everything that goes into it, the dieting, looking hot all of the time. But in the past few months, I've really started to enjoy going into the rink and working on different spins, things like that. I've fallen back in love with it."

Is he serious about possibly returning to competition?

"We're keeping our lips tight about all that. I have made it no secret to my fans, especially, that I am resuming training with Galina at the end of January, and I want to see where I can go. If there is a moment for an official announcement that is yes -- or no, after training I realize I am too old and I have to retire -- then there will be some kind of announcement in the spring. But for now ,I really want to close myself off from the world.

"I'm not saying no, I'm not saying yes. A yes or no will come soon. I am going to start training as though I were to come back."

When asked for more about Victor:

"He's wonderful. He's totally not in my field at all. He didn't even know I was a figure skater when we first met or even when we reconnected. He is Russian. He worked in [New York City] for a long time, and then he went back to Atlanta to do work for his family, and in a couple of weeks he's moving back up to New York. He's a lawyer. He's in the legal field, completely separate from all of my razzle dazzle.

"He's here tonight [watching show in Philadelphia]. He loves watching me perform and seeing what I actually do, because he was kind of sheltered from it for a little while."

Was he a big figure skating fan?

"Absolutely not. I met the in-laws, I flew to Moscow for one day and then went to Atlanta, and then had [Disson Skating's] Improv on Ice in Greenville, and then went back to Atlanta for a couple of days to sit down and really meet his family. I've never done that before so it was a very interesting situation to be in, but of course it is a Russian family and I've dealt with Russians for quite some time now, so I knew what to expect and that made it a lot easier. Everything is going perfectly.

"He is moving to Jersey. We will be [living in] metropolitan New York. I can't picture myself living anywhere else."

What's going on with his TV show?

"We finished season two just three weeks ago. We finished shooting, and it will come on LOGO channel early this new year. I think they're partnering us up with RuPaul's show, so it's their two biggest shows [shown] back-to-back.

"I was just thrilled to get a show in the first place, and I thought after the Olympics, what more could they shoot. But I've seen some of the [new] episodes and they're really funny and you know, something I've learned is to expect the unexpected."

Has he kept up with what's happening in the eligible ranks?

"I've seen a little bit. I've been following my kids, Yuzuru Hanyu and Elizaveta Tuktamisheva, and Adelina Sotnikova and Ksenia Makarova, of course. The pairs are very interesting to me right now, too. I haven't seen as much as I would like, but [the pairs] have been good.

"I don't know how a certain person keeps winning by falling down. When I was competing, falling was bad and you would lose for falling. I just don't understand.

"I also don't understand how ladies can win events and not do all of their triple jumps. No matter how good they are, this is the top tier of women's figure skating and they should do the jumps."

Is he going to the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose?

"I was thinking about going to nationals, but I'm going to be back in the rink with Galina at that point. I'm sure people who have watched my show know that Galina doesn't really enjoy me traveling and going away without her when we are in training. Especially in the beginning, I need to respect that. If I am going to compete again, if that is in the cards for me, I'm going to do it 100 percent. If not, I'm going to take all those benefits from training and perform to the maximum in shows.