Johnny Weir leads U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame Class of 2021

gsk8

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Johnny Weir leads U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame Class of 2021
Three-time U.S. champion joined by Special Olympics organizer Lamb, accomplished official Tanger

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Dec. 27, 2020) - Three-time consecutive U.S. Figure Skating champion Johnny Weir has been elected to the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame. Also elected to the Class of 2021 is the late Sandy (Schwomeyer) Lamb and accomplished official Gale Tanger.

Due to the ongoing COVD-19 pandemic, their inductions will be postponed until the 2021 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I am honored to announce the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame Class of 2021, which demonstrates the diversity within U.S. Figure Skating as we celebrate our 100th anniversary,” Nominating Chair Larry Mondschein said. “An exciting performer, Johnny Weir’s competitive career truly highlighted the athleticism and artistry of the sport, while Sandy Lamb helped create a competitive space for skaters with intellectual disabilities and Gale Tanger continues to make significant contributions at many levels.”

Johnny Weir is a two-time Olympian, three-time consecutive U.S. champion, 2008 World bronze medalist, two-time Grand Prix Final bronze medalist and the 2001 World Junior champion. A fierce competitor who exhibited a singularly personal style, Weir competed against three future U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Famers: three-time U.S. champion Michael Weiss, U.S. champion Timothy Goebel, and two-time U.S. and Olympic champion Evan Lysacek. Weir’s public and on-ice battles with Lysacek created one of the most memorable moments in U.S. Figure Skating Championships history: an unimaginable tie at the 2008 event in St. Paul. With Weir leading by 1.35 points after the short program, he and Lysacek finished with total scores of 244.77. Under the ISU tiebreaker rule, Lysacek was awarded his second title because he won the free skate. Fans responded to the dramatic moment by voting Weir as Skater of the Year, earning him the SKATING Magazine Readers’ Choice Award, which he also won in 2010 after finishing sixth at the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

Sandy (Schwomeyer) Lamb was a fixture of the Special Olympics Skating Program and the first female president of the Professional Skaters Association. Lamb developed the Special Olympics Skating Program in 1985 and served as its longtime skating director. Before dedicating her career to coaching those with intellectual disabilities, she coached U.S. ice dancers Judi Genovesi and Kent Weigle during the first Olympic ice dance competition held at the 1976 Innsbruck Games. Lamb, whose coaching career spanned 40 years, died June 2, 2020, at the age of 73.

Gale Tanger has served as a figure skating judge and official for over 50 years. The recipient of the International Skating Union’s prestigious Gold Medal of Honor for outstanding contribution and distinguished service, she is a three-time PSA Official of the Year (2017, ’10, ’06). Tanger has served on the U.S. Olympic Committee and was the first female Chair of the Winter Sports Organizations. She has served at six Olympic Games, including as Team Leader at the 1994 Lillehammer Games, held shortly after the attack on Nancy Kerrigan by a teammate. Tanger is a longtime Board member of the Wisconsin Figure Skating Club and the Pettit National Ice Center.

The U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame was established in 1976 to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of figure skating in the United States. The Hall resides inside the World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
 

karne

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I would not have thought it appropriate to induct someone who has openly confessed to faking illness and injury in competition whenever things weren't going his way...
 

mrrice

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I have only seen Johnny skate live once. It was the year he won Junior Worlds over Evan. He was really quite good and I am actually surprised he didn't go further as a competitor. I think he deserves this honor based on his entire career. He has done quite well as a commentator and as an ambassador for the sport.
 

Amei

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I would not have thought it appropriate to induct someone who has openly confessed to faking illness and injury in competition whenever things weren't going his way...

Also, he's not really all that much of a decorated skater, internationally he didn't win much, no major international titles except for a world junior title.
 

Mathman

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Also, he's not really all that much of a decorated skater, internationally he didn't win much, no major international titles except for a world junior title.
This is the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame, not the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. Johnny was three time national champion, plus he has brought a lot of publicity to the sport. He is, in fact, likely the most "famous" skater in the U.S., in the sense of being the best-known person in the country who is involved with skating at this time.
 

Mathman

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Sandy (Schwomeyer) Lamb was a fixture of the Special Olympics Skating Program and the first female president of the Professional Skaters Association. Lamb developed the Special Olympics Skating Program in 1985 and served as its longtime skating director. Before dedicating her career to coaching those with intellectual disabilities, she coached U.S. ice dancers Judi Genovesi and Kent Weigle during the first Olympic ice dance competition held at the 1976 Innsbruck Games.
Kudos to the USFSA for acknowledging her contributions to the sport.

By the way, her sister Judy Schwomeyer Sladky was a five-time U.S. champion ice dancer who afterwards went into show business. She was Alice Snuffleupagus on Sesame Street and played the Snoopy (the Charlie Brown character) in ice shows. :rock:
 

el henry

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I didn't put together Sandy and Judy Sladky until now, cool. And brava to Sandy as well.:clap:

And what @Mathman said about Johnny Weir. My youngest niece, who no matter how hard I try will not watch FS with Auntie El, knows Johnny Weir. As do her college aged friends. They couldn't pick Nathan or Adam Rippon out of a lineup, and they surely could not identify any non US figure skater, not even Yuzu.

But they know Johnny. Visibility counts.:)
 

BlissfulSynergy

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Johnny Weir - Wikipedia

Johnny has had an outstanding competitive career domestically and internationally. With his talent, certainly even more was expected and anticipated. But what he did accomplish is not peanuts. He is a 3-time U.S. National champion (arguably he should be a four-time U.S. National champion since he skated better than Evan Lysacek at 2008 U.S. Nationals). At that championship event, Evan was injured and he made mistakes, but he was still given the win over Johnny -- the fact that Evan won the 'tiebreaker' supposedly on the basis of 'artistic/ presentation' mark is rather WTF and head-scratching all by itself. But moreover, there shouldn't have been a tie in the first place. Then of course, Evan did not go to Worlds anyway because of his injury. At Sweden Worlds that year, Johnny was the only U.S. skater to medal in any discipline. (These reflections are not meant to denigrate Evan's accomplishments, his hard work ethic, his worthy competitive talent and his sheer determination to succeed, which are admirable qualities).

Johnny is a two-time Olympian and he won multiple medals of every color on the GP circuit over the course of his career, including two back-to-back bronze medal wins at GPF. At 2006 Olympics, Johnny placed 2nd in the short program behind Plushy. Arguably, Johnny should have placed first in the sp, with his bravura and iconic The Swan. At 2010 Olympics, Johnny should have placed at least 4th in both segments, instead of 6th in both segments. That he didn't was very much about politics and a lack of full support from U.S. fed, who were always more behind Evan Lysacek (when it came to Jeremy Abbott, Matt Savoie, and Johnny, U.S. fed tended to politically support Evan over them).

As I've always said, a lot of the negative attitudes toward Johnny seem to have more to do with the critics and their own peculiar hang-ups, rather than being valid reflections on Johnny's character and achievements. If fairly examined, Johnny's talent and his career accomplishments are obviously above average. At his peak, Johnny's smooth, effortless skating was mesmerizing. He had one of the most gorgeous and effortless looking triple-axels, with enviable ride-out and rarely seen erect posture. Johnny's straight back and beautiful posture came from his youthful career as a competitive equestrian. Bottom line, the OTT negative critiques about Johnny mostly don't hold water. He is certainly not a perfect person and he did not have a perfect skating career. I don't know any athlete or anyone in any field of endeavor who never made mistakes, or exactly accomplished every goal, or was perfect in every competition, or made all the right decisions. The fact that Johnny, over the course of his skating career, was and apparently still is a lightning rod for a lot of people's emotions is what it is.

BTW, Johnny is the one who in his memoir admitted to and apologized for feigning illness at a junior event. The reason why he rebelled in that way, even though it was a wrong reaction, is because U.S. officials were after him to not wear a costume that they felt made him look "too Russian." Such behavior by adult officials toward a teenager at an international event is reprehensible and uncalled for. There are a number of things I would criticize Johnny for, but his behavior at that junior event, and his pulling out of the fp at 2003 U.S. Nationals after a bad fall, are not things I think are worthy of being held against him. There was no reason for him to continue skating with injury during that 2003 performance, even though it looked bad when he withdrew. Johnny learned from both experiences, which is what matters. He had to come back the hard way the following year, which he did in amazing fashion, ultimately winning his first U.S. National championship, with at least a couple of perfect 6.0 scores for presentation.

One of the things I suspect about Johnny is that he did not always fully believe in himself and his talent, which happens to athletes and to regular people. Yet, it's not true that Johnny didn't train hard. I think he just didn't enjoy training. Plus, he seemingly allowed his anxieties as well as some extracurricular distractions to divide his focus at crucial moments. Johnny has also reflected that having begun to skate at age 11 with serious training beginning at age 12, was in certain respects a hindrance to his being able to fully develop a strong competitive mettle. That's probably one of the reasons why Johnny so admires Plushy, i.e., for his out-sized strength of will, determination and incredible competitive hunger. Still, even despite Johnny's late start in the sport, he amazingly won junior Worlds four years after his skating journey began!

One of the most important aspects of Johnny's career, IMHO, is the fact that he influenced and inspired so many of his peers, fans, choreographers, costume designers, et al. Not to mention the positive impact his skating and his courage to be himself had on a generation of skaters who came up in the aftermath of the meteoric, mesmerizing, messy and maddening Johnny Weir era.
 
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Brianne627

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Johnny Weir - Wikipedia

Johnny has had an outstanding competitive career domestically and internationally. With his talent, certainly even more was expected and anticipated. But what he did accomplish is not peanuts. He is a 3-time U.S. National champion (arguably he should be a four-time U.S. National champion since he skated better than Evan Lysacek at 2008 U.S. Nationals). At that championship event, Evan was injured and he made mistakes, but he was still given the win over Johnny -- the fact that Evan won the 'tiebreaker' supposedly on the basis of 'artistic/ presentation' mark is rather WTF and head-scratching all by itself. But moreover, there shouldn't have been a tie in the first place. Then of course, Evan did not go to Worlds anyway because of his injury. At Sweden Worlds that year, Johnny was the only U.S. skater to medal in any discipline. (These reflections are not meant to denigrate Evan's accomplishments, his hard work ethic, his worthy competitive talent and his sheer determination to succeed, which are admirable qualities).

Johnny is a two-time Olympian and he won multiple medals of every color on the GP circuit over the course of his career, including two back-to-back bronze medal wins at GPF. At 2006 Olympics, Johnny placed 2nd in the short program behind Plushy. Arguably, Johnny should have placed first in the sp, with his bravura and iconic The Swan. At 2010 Olympics, Johnny should have placed at least 4th in both segments, instead of 6th in both segments. That he didn't was very much about politics and a lack of full support from U.S. fed, who were always more behind Evan Lysacek (when it came to Jeremy Abbott, Matt Savoie, and Johnny, U.S. fed tended to politically support Evan over them).

As I've always said, a lot of the negative attitudes toward Johnny seem to have more to do with the critics and their own peculiar hang-ups, rather than being valid reflections on Johnny's character and achievements. If fairly examined, Johnny's talent and his career accomplishments are obviously above average. At his peak, Johnny's smooth, effortless skating was mesmerizing. He had one of the most gorgeous and effortless looking triple-axels, with enviable ride-out and rarely seen erect posture. Johnny's straight back and beautiful posture came from his youthful career as a competitive equestrian. Bottom line, the OTT negative critiques about Johnny mostly don't hold water. He is certainly not a perfect person and he did not have a perfect skating career. I don't know any athlete or anyone in any field of endeavor who never made mistakes, or exactly accomplished every goal, or was perfect in every competition, or made all the right decisions. The fact that Johnny, over the course of his skating career, was and apparently still is a lightning rod for a lot of people's emotions is what it is.

BTW, Johnny is the one who in his memoir admitted to and apologized for feigning illness at a junior event. The reason why he rebelled in that way, even though it was a wrong reaction, is because U.S. officials were after him to not wear a costume that they felt made him look "too Russian." Such behavior by adult officials toward a teenager at an international event is reprehensible and uncalled for. There are a number of things I would criticize Johnny for, but his behavior at that junior event, and his pulling out of the fp at 2003 U.S. Nationals after a bad fall, are not things I think are worthy of being held against him. There was no reason for him to continue skating with injury during that 2003 performance, even though it looked bad when he withdrew. Johnny learned from both experiences, which is what matters. He had to come back the hard way the following year, which he did in amazing fashion, ultimately winning his first U.S. National championship, with at least a couple of perfect 6.0 scores for presentation.

One of the things I suspect about Johnny is that he did not always fully believe in himself and his talent, which happens to athletes and to regular people. Yet, it's not true that Johnny didn't train hard. I think he just didn't enjoy training. Plus, he seemingly allowed his anxieties as well as some extracurricular distractions to divide his focus at crucial moments. Johnny has also reflected that having begun to skate at age 11 with serious training beginning at age 12, was in certain respects a hindrance to his being able to fully develop a strong competitive mettle. That's probably one of the reasons why Johnny so admires Plushy, i.e., for his out-sized strength of will, determination and incredible competitive hunger. Still, even despite Johnny's late start in the sport, he amazingly won junior Worlds four years after his skating journey began!

One of the most important aspects of Johnny's career, IMHO, is the fact that he influenced and inspired so many of his peers, fans, choreographers, costume designers, et al. Not to mention the positive impact his skating and his courage to be himself had on a generation of skaters who came up in the aftermath of the meteoric, mesmerizing, messy and maddening Johnny Weir era.
He got hosed in 2010. I just rewatched thanks to the Olympic channel re-air, even the commentators were puzzled. He had a mistake or 2 but not enough to drop him that low.
He really did have a lovely 3A. It looked effortless.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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He got hosed in 2010. I just rewatched thanks to the Olympic channel re-air, even the commentators were puzzled. He had a mistake or 2 but not enough to drop him that low.
He really did have a lovely 3A. It looked effortless.

Especially in view of the unfortunate errors by Stephane Lambiel (who was coming back from injuries at that time), and Patrick Chan (who was feeling the pressure of skating in his home country with heavy expectations on his shoulders). Both Stephane and Patrick were placed in front of cleaner skates by Johnny in both segments. The lowballing was obvious.

Anecdotally, Johnny taught himself the single axel in his backyard after becoming mesmerized by figure skating while watching the '94 Olympics. The axel was one of his best jumps. His ride-out on all of his jumps was superb, especially at his peak. Sadly, Johnny's latter coach Galina Z, began to fiddle unnecessarily with Johnny's jump technique which caused some noticeable hesitation by him on his entry into some jumps. So by 2010, Johnny didn't skate with as much noticeable effortless abandon, but he had worked out to get himself into fighting shape. And he had good programs that he skated very well.

All-in-all, It was an uphill battle for Johnny due to the politics. It looks like the judges simply slotted him for 6th place regardless. And he would have been placed even lower had he made even small errors, in contrast to how Stephane and Patrick were treated with errors.
 

anonymoose_au

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Anecdotally, Johnny taught himself the single axel in his backyard after becoming mesmerized by figure skating while watching the '94 Olympics.
While I'm not the biggest fan of Johnny's, I've always found this so impressive! Didn't he only start skating seriously at 12?

Of course thinking about that always makes me wonder if I could have become a decent skater after starting lessons at 12.

But then I remember my complete inability to jump (I can't even do a bunny hop) and absence of flexibility and realise "Nahh." :laugh2:

He should work on the commentary skills a bit, as a former skater, I would have thought he (and Tara) would be all for keeping talking to a minimum during a performance. Strange.

Congratulations to him for making the Hall of Fame though.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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He should work on the commentary skills a bit, as a former skater, I would have thought he (and Tara) would be all for keeping talking to a minimum during a performance. Strange.
Not so strange when filling air space by talking is what the network wants in their ignorance regarding what fans desire in fs coverage. They do overdo the talking during performances, but occasionally they heed fans' critiques and try to zip it somewhat, except for Tara who can be rather annoying in some of her pronouncements while skaters are performing. Johnny tends to keep his remarks to a minimum out of the three. Terry Gannon's job is to provide color commentary, and he's one of the best in the business having learned a lot about figure skating since his start working on skating events with Dick and Peggy in the 1990s.
 

corinthia

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Gale Tanger ... has served at six Olympic Games, including as Team Leader at the 1994 Lillehammer Games, held shortly after the attack on Nancy Kerrigan by a teammate...​
Okay, so I waited a bit because I didn't want to derail discussion about the newly awarded HOFers... But was anybody else a little intrigued by the above? The way they say the attack was "by a teammate" ???

Remember, all that Tonya has ever admitted and plead guilty to is learning about and helping cover-up the incident after the fact, and has insisted that she was never involved in or even knew about it before it happened...

Apparently USFS isn't having it.
 
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