clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Let's Reinforce the Stereotypes

I am posting this infuriating New York Times article only because it is written every time Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir face off (and obviously was being held with the expectation that they would face off again in the world championships this week) and it riles me up every time. The article says that Evan Lysacek is all athletics, and Weir is all artistry, essentially. This might make a bit more sense if Lysacek could actually consistently land a quad in major competitions, or if Weir had never done so. But I don't think that either fits their pigeon hole as well as everyone wishes he would. Lysacek does have an artistry - it might not be as smooth as Weir's (although it can be at times, just not with sequins). And Weir can attack jumps just as well as Evan. I mean, even Weir has it wrong:

In the normally placid enclave of figure skating, supporting either Evan Lysacek the Athlete or Johnny Weir the Artist has become a virtual referendum on matters from skating style and personal style to sexuality itself.

"If he doesn’t want to skate to music that’s pretty and wear a pretty costume, then go rollerblade or skateboard or do one of those extreme sports," Weir said of Lysacek.

Used to the outspoken Weir needling him from afar, Lysacek did not take the bait, and kept driving his truck down a Los Angeles highway.

"It’s a distraction," he said, "but Johnny doesn’t affect how I skate and how I push myself. If this is what it takes for figure skating to attract some attention, I can live with that."

Lysacek skated to "Carmen," for pete's sake! And although he played the male role, don't tell me that opera won't be best associated with females in figure skating. But Lysacek obviously sees through the ruse; he understands its better for the skaters and U.S. Figure Skating that these articles get written - and that's probably why Weir fuels the flames sometimes. The more articles, the more interest in them and that can translate to some payoff in the end for both the sport and the skaters. Or am I being too cynical? I would just expect NYT to maybe step up and find a new angle. And would it be too much to ask that I don't have to hear Weir call himself "princessy" anymore. Ok, enough venting, we'll obviously be hearing much more of this as Weir and Lysacek respectively plie and barrel (apparently) toward the 2010 Olympics so I'd better get used to it...

UPDATE: I said above that Weir has landed a quad in competition. This article says he hasn't - I think I was was counting the quad he (slightly) two-footed in the nationals as a landed jump but I am guessing he didn't get credit for it. Sorry for the error!