Johnny Weir withdraws from 2010-11 season

Press release courtesy of U.S. Figure Skating

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Three-time U.S. champion Johnny Weir announced today he will not compete during the 2010-11 season, taking time off from competition to concentrate on his skating technique and pursue other interests.

“My decision comes after months of weighing the pros and cons of competing this season,” Weir said. “I have decided that I need a year to rest and reinvent myself as an athlete and artist. I say this with the hope of returning as a competitor for the 2011-12 season.”

Click here to read his letter to fans and hear audio.

Weir’s 2009-10 season included a fourth-place finish at the Rostelecom Cup, a silver medal at the NHK Trophy and a bronze at the 2009 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. His bronze-medal win at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships helped qualify him for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, where he finished sixth.

“I believe this is the right step for me to make at this time in my career, and I’m very proud of everything I have accomplished so far in my life as a figure skater,” Weir said.

Weir said he has not ruled out a return to competition, with his sights set on the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

“It would be a dream come true for me to compete in an Olympic Games in Russia,” Weir said. “I think one thing my fans know about me is that I don’t give up on a dream easily.”

Including his three straight U.S. titles from 2004-06, Weir has medaled six times at the U.S. Championships, earning silver in 2008 and bronze in 2007 and 2010. He is the 2008 World bronze medalist and 2001 World Junior champion. Weir competed at the 2006 Olympic Games, where he finished fifth.

“I want to thank so many people,” Weir said. “My mom, Patti, my coaches Galina Zmievskaya, Viktor Petrenko and Nina Petrenko, my choreographer David Wilson, my agent Tara Modlin and Fireworks Sports Marketing, my friends, my family, and, most of all, my fans.”