By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com September 18 2013 11:03 AM ET
World-renowned gay figure skater Johnny Weir has decided not to register for the American national championships, therefore pulling him out of contention to head to Sochi, Russia for the Olympic games this coming February.
Weir, a three-time U.S. champion, did not register by the deadline, September 1, and therefore would not be eligible to be on the Olympic team. Skaters who placed in the top five spots at the 2012 national championships or won medals in the most recent Olympic games or world championships would be eligible to join the team without competing at this year's national championship, according to the Associated Press. Weir has only competed once in an elite competition since the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games, where he placed sixth. The report predicts that Weir may be angling for a broadcasting spot to cover the 2014 games instead.
Weir, 29, has not stated a reason for not registering to compete, but he has been an advocate of LGBT rights, particularly in Russia, as antigay laws have increasingly produced a hostile atmosphere for LGBT people there. Earlier this year, Russia rejected bids for an Olympic Pride House for LGBT and ally athletes, and the International Olympic Committee has asked athletes to remain respectful of Russia's laws.