Johnny Weir withdraws from World Championships

Release courtesy of U.S. Figure Skating

Three-time U.S. champion and 2008 World bronze medalist Johnny Weir has announced he will not participate in the upcoming 2010 World Figure Skating Championships, which will take place March 22-28 in Torino, Italy.

“I have decided that it is not advantageous for me to partake in the World Championships in Torino, Italy,” Weir said. “While I understand the importance of competition, I feel that a short break at this time would be personally beneficial to me.”

Weir will be replaced by two-time (2008-09) World Junior champion Adam Rippon. Rippon won bronze at the 2009 Trophee Eric Bompard and finished sixth at the 2009 NHK Trophy. Following his fifth-place finish at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships, he took home gold from the 2010 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Jeonju City, Republic of Korea.

“I’m very excited and grateful for this opportunity,” Rippon said. “Since competing at Four Continents, I have been training well, and I will be ready to do my best in Torino.”

Weir, who most recently finished sixth at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, plans to spend the next few months training.

“After my sixth-place finish in Vancouver, I believe I must take time to reassess my strategies and goals,” Weir said. “I can assure everyone that I will be re-energized after I’ve had time to rework my technique.”

Weir’s 2009-10 season included a fourth-place finish at the 2009 Rostelecom Cup, a silver medal at the 2009 NHK Trophy and bronze medals at the 2009 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and 2010 U.S. Championships.

“I want to be a better competitor and win medals for my country, and I hope everyone can respect my decision to take the time to improve,” Weir said. “I want my fans to know that I love them, and I work every day to make them proud. I will continue to work hard, and I hope my work for next season will be the most exciting of my career.”