Three-time U.S. National Figure Skating
champion John G. “Johnny” Weir opposes the Olympic appointment of
Peter Vidmar, an outspoken foe of gay marriage.
Vidmar was named chef de mission
for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team last week by the U.S. Olympic
Committee. The two-time Olympic gold medalist and chairman of USA
Gymnastics will share the post with Aimee Mullins. Together they'll
provide overall leadership to Team USA.
Weir, who recently came out gay in his
memoir Welcome to my World, told
the Chicago Tribune that he disagrees with the pick.
“It's wrong,” Weir, a two-time
Olympian, said. “I certainly wouldn't want to be represented by
someone who is anti gay marriage. It isn't just about marriage, it
is being allowed equal rights as Americans.”
“The fact this man who is very
publicly against something that may be represented on the American
team is disgraceful,” he added.
The 49-year-old Vidmar, a Mormon who
supported passage of Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban,
disagreed, saying he respects all athletes.
“I fully respect the rights of
everyone to have the relationships they want to have,” Vidmar said.
“I respect the rights of all our athletes, regardless of their
race, their religion or their sexual orientation. I will cheer and
do all I can, passionately, for every athlete on the U.S. Olympic