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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Just moments after the performance that cemented his place in America's hearts, Johnny Weir was contemplating turning his back on the sport that has given him his platform for extravagance.
No figure skater, man or woman, is more in your face than Weir, who delivered his usual dose of outrageous and unapologetic theater at the Pacific Coliseum, to finish the men's event in sixth place. However, as Weir exclusively revealed to Yahoo! Sports just moments after finishing his program, he might not be in your face for much longer.
“I am going to skate in the World Championships and then I have to decide how long I want to stay on vacation,” he said. “In figure skating your body can only last for so long. I can't be 50 and trying to skate but I can be 50 and be in fashion, so I have to look to my future and what I want to achieve.”
Weir is only 25 but the chances of him still being able to compete at the elite level by the time the Sochi Winter Olympics roll around in 2014 are slim.
He has already made steps into the fashion world through skating, and designed both his costumes for his short and free skate programs in Vancouver.
His love of fashion was highlighted in his television documentary series “Be Good Johnny Weir” – and a recent email exchange with Yahoo! Sports revealed that his long-term enthusiasm for the sport that was waning.
“The best part about my series to me is that I can show the world the real, difficult, lonely life an athlete has,” said Weir. “Especially a figure skater. We rarely have the opportunity to have a voice outside the costumes, makeup and music.
“I want to create art more than anything and the way I want to do it is through fashion. I want to go to the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and really learn the basics of fashion from the ground up.
“I want to create things while I have time on earth, and the art of costume and culture has always inspired me. I think being in the public eye can only help me launch into the world of fashion.”
Weir heads to the World Championships in Torino from March 22-28 before his decision that shapes his future looms. Whatever path Weir decides, don't expect it to be boring.