Weir decides show must go on

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

Disenchanted with the sport and hampered by back spasms for the first time in his career, Johnny Weir almost missed last night's men's qualifying skate.

"I was going to pull out this morning and then I was going to pull out after practice ... It has just been a rough week," said the flamboyant American.

"I don't really like to stand up -- to walk or to skate -- but it's what I signed up for.

"I'm not going to promise anything but I'm going to try."

Admittedly stressed out and tired following what turned into a tumultuous Olympic experience, the 21-year-old Pennsylvanian said he had little desire to continue skating after leaving Turin with a fifth-place finish.

"I was really disappointed with the Olympics, how it went and then sort of the media circus I created over there and all the bad things that happened after with the fans and the media," said Weir, speaking for the first time since the Games where he made headlines for his pricey shopping spree, colourful quotes and general openness.

"I was really disenchanted with it and was like, 'Oh I don't need to go to the worlds.' "

Changing his mind after getting some advice on a couple touring gigs, he said he's learned some lessons about dealing with the media after reading one report that called him one of the biggest disappointments of the Games.

"I was really disappointed to have so much anger directed at me after the Olympic Games because I never thought I did anything that bad," said Weir, who received plenty of hate mail from fans after his long program meltdown bumped him out of the medals.

"I didn't think I disappointed my country that much with a top-five finish at the Olympics.

"I didn't think I presented myself any differently than who I am and that's how I've always thought I should be with media and fans because what's the point of living life if you're not going to live it your way and for yourself?"

So, is he here to prove his critics wrong?

"No, I know how good I am," smiled the three-time American champ.

"Coming back from a disappointment will be satisfying but not necessarily proving anything to myself.

"It's been a quick turnaround and I've learned to take things with a grain of salt and not worry too much about what you guys write about me and also not think too much about what I'm saying.

"I don't want to lose what kind of candid responses that I give because then I'll sound just like any other skater.

"That's not my objective."

And what is his objective?

"To make myself happy," he said after a routine he called "nothing special."

"That's it. Very simple."


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