By Elliott Almond
VACNCOUVER, British Columbia – When it comes to men’s figure skating, it might as well be fun. We have Johnny Weir to thank for that.
Weir enters the free skate tonight too far behind to contend for a medal at Pacific Coliseum. Even he admits it.
“When I came in here a medal was pretty far-fetched for me,” he said. “I haven’t been a contender for a couple years now. I was left out of that 10. I have no problem with that. I accept that. I understand it. It’s.”
Weir, whose milky face and nimble body makes him a candidate to replace Johnny Depp as Edward Sissorhands, isn’t one to worry about judging.
“I do my triple flip on the wrong edge,” he said. “I’ve worked on it but I’m old. We try to hide it on the ice from the judges but it’s not hard to see. As long as it is pretty I don’t really care. And as long as I’m not on my ass afterward.”
Asked about one competitor’s Farmer John outfit of overalls, Weir said, “I thought it was very fashion forward and a very big risk –even riskier than a man with cleavage and ruffles.” He then looked down at his cleavage and ruffles.
As far as tonight’s program, the top three will make it interesting, starting with the comeback of defending gold medalist Evgeni Plushenko, who had an Olympic record 90.85 points. American Evan Lysacek is second and Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi is third with scores so close that it is all but a three-way tie.
Lysacek will skate first among the final six skaters in the long program, a distinct disadvantage. Plushenko got the advantageous final spot in the random draw. Takahashi skates third from the end, also a good position.
Plushenko, like Weir, speaks his mind, saying that only real men do quadruple jumps. Neither Lysacek nor Takahashi try the tough rotation. The Russian skater demanded that the men do more difficult combinations. He does so catch him if you can.
When Plushenko finished Tuesday to Spanish music, he drew an imaginary sword, kissed it and returned it to its sheath – not that the showmanship gave him extra points from the judges.