Weir says he needs to step back, prepare more

Weir says he needs to step back, prepare more

Three-time U.S. champion still leaves door open to return in 2013-14

Johnny Weir feels he needs to raise the level of his skating before he competes again.
Johnny Weir feels he needs to raise the level of his skating before he competes again. (Getty Images)

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By Johnny Weir, special to icenetwork.com
(12/07/2012) - Johnny Weir announced Friday that he will not compete at the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Omaha, Neb., thus ending his 2012-13 season. Below is his full statement.

It is with deep regret that I announce my withdrawal from the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Omaha, Neb.

Since my return to competition this fall, I have seen my competition and what more I wanted from this sport clearly. I worked very hard to compete this season, with many obstacles and detours, but I made good on my promise to return to competition, and I am very proud of that. My performances so far have not been to my satisfaction and, combined with the stress of competing, I feel that I need to take a step back, prepare more and be ready for the Olympic season, beginning next fall.

After seeing the level of my competitors and how much stronger I needed to be to be competitive, my original plan of competing just for my fans and myself changed. The level of competition has increased dramatically since I left the sport in 2010, and although I was prepared to the best of my abilities, competing relit the fire in me, not only to compete and perform but also to win. Winning takes greatness, and I hope with the time I'm allowing myself to improve my skills, I will return next fall with a clear shot at competing in the next Olympic Games as a favorite.

I want to thank my fans all over the world for supporting my comeback and supporting me in person at so many events and exhibitions. I will still be performing, and I hope you can come to see my exhibitions and galas this spring and summer.

I want to thank my coach, Galina Zmievskaya; my family; my manager, Tara Modlin-King and her company, Fireworks Sports Marketing; my friends; and my silent supporters for your love and generosity. I would like to thank U.S. Figure Skating; its president, Patricia St. Peter; and its executive director, David Raith, for their continued support of my career.

I wish all the competitors luck for the rest of the season, and I pray for your individual success.