Feb 1, 2010
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Weir drops fox for faux in fur flap

Feb 1, 2010

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Johnny Weir won't be wearing a costume trimmed with fox fur at the Vancouver Olympics, but the US figure skater says his switch to faux shouldn't be considered a victory by anti-fur activists.

Photo: AFP

Weir issued a statement posted on icenetwork.com, saying he was making the decision after receiving threats to disrupt his performance at the Olympics if he wore a costume trimmed with genuine fox fur, as he did at the US figure skating championships in Spokane, Washington, this week.

"I do not want something as silly as my costume disrupting my second Olympic experience and my chance at a medal, a dream I have had since I was a kid," Weir said.

Weir added that he hadn't used the genuine fur out of ignorance, but out of choice, despite "years of torment from several anti-fur groups in America and abroad."

"I hope these activists can understand that my decision to change my costume is in no way a victory for them, but a draw," Weir said.

"I am not changing in order to appease them, but to protect my integrity and the integrity of the Olympic Games as well as my fellow competitors.

"Just weeks away from hitting my starting position on the ice in Vancouver, I have technique and training to worry about and that trumps any costume and any threat I may receive."

Friends of Animals posted an open letter to Weir after the US championships.

Weir did not specify which individuals or anti-fur groups had actually threatened him, but said his costume designer, Stephanie Handler, had also received "messages of hate and disgust."

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