Press Release

Weir wins SKATING Readers' Choice Award

Johnny Weir's professional ups-and-downs are documented in the new movie and television series.
Johnny Weir's professional ups-and-downs are documented in the new movie and television series. (Kathy Slack )

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(07/24/2008) - U.S. Figure Skating and SKATING magazine announced Thursday that 2008 world bronze medalist Johnny Weir has won the 2008 Readers' Choice Award for Skater of the Year/Michelle Kwan Trophy. Weir becomes the first men's competitor to win the trophy since Michael Weiss in 2000.

Approximately 8,400 votes were cast on the U.S. Figure Skating Web site, with Weir receiving 1,156.

"I'm so thankful to my family, friends, fans and everyone who voted for me around the world," Weir said. "I think I'm safe in saying that I have the best fans of any skater in the world."

Last year's winner, the Miami University synchronized skating team, came in second followed by reigning two-time U.S. men's champion Evan Lysacek in third.

Weir's 2007-08 season was his most successful to date. He took home gold from both the Cup of China and Cup of Russia and finished fourth at the ISU Grand Prix Final. Following his silver-medal performance at the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Saint Paul, Minn., in January, Weir garnered bronze at the 2008 ISU World Figure Skating Championships -- his first world medal.

Weir is coached by Galina Zmievskaya, Viktor Petrenko and Nina Petrenko, all of whom he was quick to thank.

"I would like to thank my coaches who helped me achieve my best results over this season," Weir said. "I'd also like to thank [my former coach] Priscilla Hill for getting me to the point where I could be selected for an award like this and for her continuing support of my career and progress."

The full title of the award is the "Reader's Choice Skater(s) of the Year, Michelle Kwan Trophy." The trophy will be presented to Weir at the 2009 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Cleveland, Ohio.

Each spring, SKATING magazine readers are asked to vote for the eligible skater in any discipline whom they believe is most deserving of the award, based on the accomplishments of the past season. The Michelle Kwan Trophy, which represents both the sport of figure skating and SKATING magazine, is a one-of-a-kind crystal sculpture designed by Crystal Signatures of Pennsylvania.

The Readers' Choice Award is given annually by SKATING magazine, the official publication of U.S. Figure Skating. Voting was open to the public on www.usfigureskating.org.