Johnny Weir has arrived in Australia to take part in performances of Harbour Town Christmas on Ice at Dockland’s Ice House in Melbourne.
The US figure skating champion and Winter Olympian chatted to the Star Observer after his dress rehearsal today and spoke of his whirlwind visit to Australia and future plans to return.
Wearing a black and gold sequin number that rested somewhere between Adam Lambert and the upcoming Tron: Legacy, Weir said he had very little time to explore on this trip Down Under before returning home to complete filming on his US television show, Be Good Johnny Weir.
“I got in yesterday, woke up at 6am this morning and did a whole lot of media, then – with no warm up – did the dress rehearsal. But the hotel I’m staying at has Gordan Ramsay’s restaurant downstairs, so that’s nice,” Weir said, referring to his accommodation at the Crown Metropol.
Despite his gruelling schedule, the 26-year-old managed to squeeze in a visit to Triple M studios this morning to catch up with broadcaster Eddie McGuire.
The two became friends despite the controversy surrounding McGuire’s comments about Weir’s wardrobe and performance style during the Winter Olympic broadcast on Channel Nine this year.
“I saw him this morning and he’s coming to the show tonight, but we haven’t had a chance to properly hang out,” Weir said.
The invite extended to Weir to help McGuire style his guest room has also not been taken up on this visit.
“I’ll go when it’s renovated, I’m going to try and come down when it’s Australian Fashion Week,” he said.
Weir said he enjoys coming to Australia – this being his second visit – and that he feels very much at home.
“I’m so well taken care of after a long journey,” he said.
“Also, I feel Australia is so mystical to Americans just because it is so far away, and you have kangaroos and koalas and everything.”
While his festive Christmas performance and television show have taken up much of his time this year, Weir said that he may soon return to competition after this lengthy break.
“I’ve taken one year off and I’m not competing. I think for next season I’ll be prepared, I just needed a year to gather myself , think about my future and my life, because at 26 I’m already old for figure skating.
“I still have a very competitive fire, so if I can donate all my time and my efforts to skating then I’ll compete again. If not, I’ll find a new project and a new hobby, but for now figure skating is very special.”
One thing the skater will be taking back with him from this trip is plenty more Australian fashion pieces.
“I love Lime Drop, and Dizingof I’m a huge fan of; I’m taking two of their pieces home with me. But I’m very excited by Australian fashion, it’s on the verge of something; it’s very Japanese,” he said.
info: Harbour Town Christmas on Ice runs from December 2-4 at Dockland’s. Bookings: www.icehouse.com.au