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Weir must clean up his act in order to medal

Pregame rituals are ubiquitous in sport: LeBron James throws chalk in the air, Tim Tebow inks up the eye black and Johnny Weir cleans. Yes, the eccentric American figure skater dips into the cleaning supplies to calm his nerves before he hits the ice.

"Last night I was nervous, so I Pledged everything," Weir said Wednesday. "Some people eat, some people drink, some people smoke. I Pledge."

Perhaps the thinking goes, a clean house makes for a clean program. Maybe he just needs to keep his mind off the rink so he keeps it on the sink.

Weir's pre-skate Pledge didn't seem to help, as he sits in sixth place following the men's short program, 8.15 points out of third.

By John Kiernan  |  February 17, 2010; 7:17 PM ET
Categories:  Figure Skating , Johnny Weir , Vancouver 2010  
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Comments

And so reporters continue to just make it up in order to create a story with some tension. Kiernan says: "Weir's pre-skate Pledge didn't seem to help, as he sits in sixth place." Uhmmm, sixth place? Didn't seem to help? Seems pretty good, I think.

Posted by: dogthinks | February 17, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Kiernan, if you KNEW anything about figure skating (and had watched Weir's performance), you'd know that he skated a clean short program. He delivered about as good a performance as he is capable of -- given that he's not a super-jumper like Yagudin or Joubert. His jumps were clean, his spins crisp, his footwork complex and interesting, and the whole package delivered with an artistic flair and passion lacking from some of the other top men (and better than he showed at US Nationals last month).

Knowing his tendency to clutch when the pressure is on, I was pleasantly surprised he managed to hold it together so well. Sixth place is about the best he could realistically have hoped for. May I point out that Jeremy Abbott, who defeated Weir and Evan Lysacek at Nationals, imploded in his short and is buried in fifteenth place?

It is, after all, within striking distance of a medal. Johnny is in the final warm-up group along with three former and current world champions (Lambiel, Plushenko, Lysacek) and if he can manage another clean skate, might sneak in for the bronze if some of the guys above him choke.

How about we encourage him to deliver his best in what is almost certainly his last Olympics, rather than snipe at him? You don't have to know an axel from a lutz (which, clearly, you don't) to quit knocking the guy. Yes, Johnny is flambuoyant and outspoken, which turns some people off, but he proved Tuesday night that he can still skate.

Posted by: maryqjones | February 18, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

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