Exclusive Portrait: Figure Skater Johnny Weir For New Book ‘Welcome to My World’

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CHICAGO – Johnny Weir is the showiest celebrity in the showiest sport ever concocted: figure skating. Last month, he made an appearance in Chicago at Borders on State Street for his new book “Welcome to My World”. HollywoodChicago.com got these exclusive photos by Joe Arce on Weir’s tour bus.

Weir is seemingly everywhere in the figure skating world. After moving from Pennsylvania to Delaware as a child (to get nearer to his training facilities), Weir won his first gold medal at the age of 16 at the 2001 World Junior Championships. He moved up the ranks from there, peaking in 2006 with his third consecutive title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. He automatically went to the Winter Olympics that year, finishing fifth.

Star Skater: Johnny Weir at Borders Books State Street Chicago, January 18th, 2011
Johnny Weir at Borders Books State Street, Chicago, January 18th, 2011
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com.

His skating career hit a series of ups and downs from there, culminating in a sixth place finish in the Winter Olympics of 2010. But his celebrity star rose unrelentingly, with appearances in several skating shows across the country (Kings on Ice, All That Skate), his own reality show on the Sundance Channel (“Be Good Johnny Weir”) and his capacity as judge on ABC’s “Skating With the Stars.”

Be Good: Johnny Weir Strikes a Pose in Chicago on January 19th, 2011
Be Good: Johnny Weir Strikes a Pose in Chicago on January 19th, 2011
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com.

“Welcome to My World” ended speculation on Weir’s orientation, as he came out gay in his memoir because of recent youth suicides regarding that identity. “With people killing themselves and being scared in the closet,” he said, “I hope that even just one person can gain strength from my story.”

”Welcome to My World” by Johnny Weir is available at Borders Books and wherever books are sold.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Senior Staff Writer

© 2011 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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