Monday, March 21, 2011

Welcome To My World by Johnny Weir

I absolutely love ice skating, from figure skating to ice dancing. I love watching the National Championships, World Championships and of course the Olympics! When I heard that Johnny Weir, one of my favorite skaters and certainly one of the most outlandish too, was writing an autobiography I couldn't wait to read it.
Johnny was late to the game of ice skating, starting at the "old" age of 12 years old! One winter day, with nothing better to do he found a clear patch of ice in a cornfield and using the ice skates he got for Christmas he decided to give skating a try. Well, the rest is history. He took to the ice alright, within six months he would be competing! In a short while he was competing at the Junior National Championships with his skating partner Jodi earning all first place votes too. Pair skating didn't last long and Johnny was on his way up. His family completely supported his desire to skate at a competitive level even moving the entire family to be closer to Johnny's coach and the ice rink in Delaware.
Training and competing can be grueling and along the way Johnny made a name for himself by being himself. Designing his own costumes and picking his own music for his routines, following a strict discipline of training eight hours a day to staying close to his family and a few close friends he earned a reputation for himself that was not always kind. He made mistakes in a few decisions and as he got older he recognized them and more importantly learned from them as well. He continually pushed himself to train harder, to be stronger and to be the BEST male skater in the United States.
Competitions took him all over the world, exposing him to many different cultures. He loved the people and the culture of Russia the most. Johnny takes you through the years of his competing at the National level to eventually earning a spot on the Olympic team.
He discusses the publics perception of who Johnny Weir really is and the bias of the Federation of Ice Skating. Through all the ups and downs he remains true to himself and with the unconditional support of his family, he has the time of his life. Yes, Johnny Weir is flamboyant, yes, he dresses differently than many people expect, yes, he does things his way, and yes, he says exactly what he thinks and believes in. Through the entire book he opens our eyes to the world of competitive ice skating. At the end of the book, you recognize his love of the sport and how talented this young man is in the art of ice skating! What a great book. Enjoy.

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