Weir Slams Choice of Antigay Olympics Chief
BY Michelle Garcia
May 06 2011 10:35 AM ET
Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir says it is "disgraceful" that the new chief of mission for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team has expressed antigay beliefs and is openly against marriage equality.
"It's wrong," Weir told the Chicago Tribune. "I certainly wouldn't want to be represented by someone who is anti gay marriage. It isn't just about marriage, it is being allowed equal rights as Americans. The fact this man who is very publicly against something that may be represented on the American team is disgraceful."
Weir competed in men's figure skating at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, and has been known for his flashy routines and fashion choices throughout his career.
Peter Vidmar, the winner of two Olympic gold medals in gymnastics during the 1984 games, was named to the post last week. He also donated $2,000 in support of Proposition 8, which ended the right to marry for gay and lesbian couples in California. He was also an active participant in the campaign, he told TheOrange County Register in 2008, because his religious beliefs as a Mormon dictated his opposition to marriage equality.
Vidmar told the Tribune this week, however, that he respects "the rights of everyone to have the relationships they want to have. I respect the rights of all our athletes, regardless or their race, their religion, or their sexual orientation. I will cheer and do all I can, passionately, for every athlete on the U.S. Olympic team."
Members of the U.S. Olympic Committee said they were unaware of his involvement in Proposition 8 but reaffirmed their choice of Vidmar in a statement shortly after the news broke last week.