American figure skater Johnny Weir finished sixth in the men’s singles, which ended last night. A lot of people are wondering why Weir, whose flamboyant style was matched by his technically sound skating, seemed to get the short end of the judging. And support for Weir is coming from the oddest places…like the Christian Science Monitor.
Part of that, he acknowledged, was because “I did a lot of leave-outs,” lowering the difficulty of his routine.
Yet his execution kept him in medal contention. His technical score of 79.67 was 6.19 points higher than that of bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi.
So how did Weir lose his chance at bronze? Simply put, the judges didn’t like his routine much. Weir scored 77.10 points in the more subjective program components. Takahashi scored 84.50 – 7.4 points higher.
Weir–who hosed down his dorm room in the Olympic Village with Pledge to prepare for his long program routine–might be a freak, but dammit, he’s America’s freak. I happened to watch his short program routine, which I found inspiring and technically sharp, and couldn’t understand why the judges (and even the announcers on NBC) seemed to be mistreating him. It’s disappointing that even in the 2010 Olympics that we expect our figure skaters to be so butch.
UPDATE From Rob Iracane:”Technically, the CSM isnt a religious newspaper. It is owned by a church, yes
but not one bit a religious paper. It’s run by the First Church of Christ Scientists in Boston. Far from jesus freaks.” Our mistake.