Pressured Johnny Weir Switches to Faux Fur for Olympics
Figure skater Johnny Weir says he'll wear faux fur at the Olympics after threats of disruption from animal rights groups angry that he is defiant about its use in some of his costumes.
Said Weir: "I would like to announce that due to pressures and threats from a certain animal rights group, I will be changing the genuine fox fur on my free program costume that I will use in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C., to white faux fur. I made this decision after several threats were sent to me about disrupting my performance in the Olympic Games and my costume designer, Stephanie Handler, was repeatedly sent messages of hate and disgust. I do not want something as silly as my costume disrupting my second Olympic experience and my chance at a medal, a dream I have had since I was a kid. I hope these activists can understand that my decision to change my costume is in no way a victory for them, but a draw. I am not changing in order to appease them, but to protect my integrity and the integrity of the Olympic Games as well as my fellow competitors. Just weeks away from hitting my starting position on the ice in Vancouver, I have technique and training to worry about and that trumps any costume and any threat I may receive."
Weir angered the groups last week by defending his use of it:
"I totally get the dirtiness of the fur industry and how terrible it is to animals. But it's not something that's the No. 1 priority in my life. There are humans dying everyday. There are thousands if not millions of homeless people in New York City. Look at what just happened in Haiti. I tend to focus my energy, if there is a cause, on humans. While that may be callous and bad of me, it's my choice."