Johnny Weir Says Vancouver Green And Clean

Vancouver is a great host city for the Olympics, said Johnny Weir at a press conference this afternoon. "Vancouver is so green and clean. Everyone is in love with this city and the fact that the games are here."

The Olympic contender for Men's Figure Skating called the press conference in response to the media frenzy fomenting around the derogatory comments a couple of on-air reporters made about Johnny regarding his sexual orientation while he was in the middle of his competitions.

"I grew my beard out today to show that I am a man, at the end of the day," said the 25 year old USA competitor. He told the assembled press that he's still in Vancouver preparing for the World Championships and training with his coaches who are all still up in Vancouver, B.C.

"I look forward to performing all around the world this year. I hope I can skate to Lady Gaga very soon," said Weir, referring to the song, "Poker Face."

Weir opened the press conference by thanking his fans for their outpouring of love and support. He also said that when he heard the derogatory comments made by the two reporters, he felt "pissed off" and defiant. He admitted to feeling that way because the criticisms were directed at him personally and not at him as an athlete and Olympic contender.

He said he chose to speak out about this issue not because he wants an apology, he believes, he said, in freedom of speech and that people have the right to voice their opinions, but he said that he felt it was important to set a strong example for the boys and girls who will follow.

"No one should be made to feel like a freak or a weirdo," he said.  "I just hope that more boys and girls have parents like me who allow their children to be an individual.  It's definitely the time for freedom. Time to be unique and to believe in themselves," he said expressing that this is the message he feels is most important to impart to the younger generations.

As for his thoughts on the quad?  He said that he is "so excited that Evan won [Olympic Gold Medal] without doing a quad."  Weir conceded that the judging in figure skating has always been suspect. "And when you're on the receiving end of it, it can be not nice, to lose to people who fall down, who make glaring mistakes, he said.

At attending member of the press from Canada's Quebec Province asked Johnny Weir if he was aware of the tremendous outpouring of support for him that has come from that province, where two radio announcers originally made the offensive comments. Weir said that a good friend of his from Montreal has already told him as such.

"Out of ugly, the most important thing in life is to make something beautiful," said Weir. "The only thing I ever wanted from this figure skating craziness was to perform, to perform my art."

He said he has plans to pursue a career in fashion design at some point.

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