Posted by April MacIntyre
Feb 3, 2010, 20:41 GMT
ESPN has been blogging and covering the flamboyant Olympic hopeful/reality TV star Johnny Weir, who loves his fur embellishments on his sparkly costumes.
Johnny Weir doing his thing, furless now EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA
Because of the political nature of wearing fur in this day and age, despite Kanye West and his bald girlfriend's current fur-only policy for fashion photo-ops, Weir will wear fake fur for future skating competitions.
Weir received so many protests and hate mail from animal rights advocates that he chucked the real deal for faux fur after his free program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships two weeks ago.
Weir issued a statement:
"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," Weir said in a statement first posted on icenetwork.com. "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.
Sundance Channel also features Johnny in a reality TV series, "Be Good Johnny Weir."
"I hope these activists can understand that my decision to change my costume is in no way a victory for them, but a draw," Weir continued. "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."
Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, told The Associated Press that no one from the group had threatened Weir.
"If he's made the smart decision I hoped he'd make, to shun the skins of animals and not decorate his costumes with them, that's a very good thing and I'm happy to hear it," Feral told The AP.
Weir previously told ESPN: "PETA has been up my butt since the 2006 Olympic Games. I get postcards and nasty hate mail and videotapes of animals being skinned. And while I feel bad and understand their side of things, I take my little autograph card and I sign my name and I draw a chipmunk with X's over its eyes and I mail it back. Don't attack me for a personal choice. You're protecting animals. We have soldiers dying all over the world. Choose your battles. Don't pick on me."
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