NBC Sports figure skating analysts Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir supported Gracie Gold‘s transparency in her comments about weight and figure skating.
“These are thoughts that every skater’s thinking about, but I think you don’t [see skaters] talk about it because in reality saying you need to lose weight when you’re already thin is a bit crazy,” Lipinski said. “In figure skating, gymnastics, ballet, there is always this pressure to be very thin, not only for aesthetics, but just for your actual sport and how you use your body. Weight definitely does play an issue. In skating, you’re three times your weight in the air, and you’re landing on one foot on a tiny blade.”
Lipinski and Weir said they struggled with weight issues while skating. They became too thin.
“Being a skater, I understand where Gracie was coming from,” Weir said. “To the masses, whenever you talk about diet and food and getting in shape physically, when you are an athlete on TV and you look like you are in shape compared to most of the country, it can be a little bit of a disconnect between the athletes appearing on TV and the audience.”
Weir lauded Gold for not only being open about not being at peak fitness — after taking much of the summer off — but also to compete at a top-level event like Skate America under those circumstances. (Gold said she considered skipping the Grand Prix season.)
“It’s all about telling the truth, saying, ‘I’m not in shape. I’m not there yet, but just wait, and I’ll give it to you,'” Weir said.
Weir said it could lead to more open discussions in the sport.
“You hope that, over time, you can start to look at the skaters that have been great champions and realize everyone has a different body type,” Lipinski said.Follow @nzaccardi