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Fourth-Place Medal

Johnny Weir braids hair in tribute to Ukraine violence victims

Jay Busbee
Fourth-Place Medal
Olympics: Figure Skating-Ladies Short Program
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Feb 19, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; NBC Olympics correspondent Johnny Weir before the ladies short program during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Iceberg Skating Palace. Weir's hair is done in traditional Ukrainian style to support the people of Kiev. (Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)

Johnny Weir has drawn attention for his outfits every day he's been in Sochi, but on Wednesday, his hair held greater significance than his clothing.

Weir has had his hair braided in a traditional Ukrainian style to support the people of Kiev. Ukraine, less than a thousand miles from Sochi, is currently locked in a brutal civil struggle, with more than 25 people having died in the last few days in riots. The Ukrainian people are protesting what they contend is a corrupt government regime, and the government is cracking down on the protests in force.

“I was planning, before I came, on doing braids because it’s the style here,” Weir told USA Today. “I wanted to do it today because everything is going so rough over there.”

Weir has been one of the unquestioned high points of NBC's coverage of the Games, winning praise from many corners for his honest yet humorous commentary. He's said in the past that he does not intend to take a political stand during the Games for gay rights. However, it appears he's decided to bring some awareness to this particular conflict.

Of note: the IOC has forbidden Ukrainian athletes from wearing a black armband to honor the victims of the attacks. It will be interesting to see if the IOC offers up any sort of resistance to Weir's stance.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter.

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