NPR logo The Frankness of Johnny Weir

The Frankness of Johnny Weir

Johnny Weir performs in the men's short program figure skating competition. i

Johnny Weir performs in the men's short program figure skating competition in Turin, Feb. 14, 2006. Getty Images hide caption

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Johnny Weir performs in the men's short program figure skating competition.

Johnny Weir performs in the men's short program figure skating competition in Turin, Feb. 14, 2006.

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Johnny Weir, the top American male figure skater, is currently in second place after the short program at the Olympics. The free skate portion will be held Thursday. Weir is a terrific skater. He is also known for sequined costumes that defy description and for refreshingly unrestrained quips and observations to reporters.

Here's a Johnny Weir sampler:

On the dilemma he faces over whether to try a difficult quad jump in the Olympic free skate competition:

"It's going to have to be perfect tomorrow, and the day after, for me to want to put it in…I could very likely wake up and feel horrible, like Nick Nolte's mug shot"

On waking from a nap in a state of high anxiety before his winning performance at the U.S. nationals:

"I was like, 'Is this really happening? Should I even get up?' It's hard. [But] slowly, I started to get ready. I put on my self-tanner and went from there."

On his sport:

"Figure skating is an amazing ride. It takes you from feeling like the lowest scum in the pond, like two hours ago. And now I feel like a flower growing out of the pond."

On the red glove he wears during "The Swan," his short program:

"His name is Camille — two 'l' s'... when I skate badly, I blame it on the glove."

About his teammates on the men's figure skating team:

"I'm so proud of the other two guys on the team. I'm usually not a team person. I usually don't root for people on my team."

Jokingly correcting a reporter who had written he had worn a feather boa to a news conference:

"That was a scarf, not a boa... dead chinchilla, not feathers."

Comparing his performance to that of another skater at the U.S. nationals:

"This one, they kind of sat back and had their cognac and cigarettes and relaxed. His was more like a vodka shot, let's-snort-coke kind of thing… um, sorry for the drug references."

On his swan costume:

"It weighs more than I do… it's the rhinestones."

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