's public persona has always been so delightfully extroverted and
so frequently over the top that it sometimes is easy to forget he too
can be riddled with angst over the highs and lows of his skating career.
three-time U.S. champion and 2008 world bronze medalist has struggled
over the last three seasons, bottoming out with a fifth place at the
2009 U.S. Championships. That meant he did not make the U.S. world
team for the first time since 2003. It hurt even more when his
longtime rival, Evan Lysacek, became the first U.S. man to win a world
title since 1996.
Weir was so distraught over that experience
that, as his 25th birthday approached this July, he was ready to quit
skating until his mother, Patti, jarred her son from the funk.
heeded his mother's advice, but he still wanted a way to express how he
had felt about the blue period, even as his life and career were being
celebrated in a documentary, "Pop Star on Ice,'' that has drawn positive reviews.
So he called his long program for the 2010 Olympic season "Fallen Angel.''
-- with his usual candor, wit and insight -- Weir filled in reporters at
this week's U.S. Olympic media summit on the state of mind that led to
such a title and how he has found renewed confidence to approach the
The best way to narrate those thoughts is in his own words.
How does your long program, "Fallen Angel,'' reflect the state of your career?
the  national championships, it was a real struggle for me to
want to skate. I quit for a month and a half. I didn't want to be a
part of this world any more.
Then my mom called me one day. I
was really upset, crying. I had woken up with champagne that morning.
I was like, "Mom, I can't handle this any more. I don't want it. I
don't love it.''
And she said, "You're going to regret this.
You're going to be my age one day, and you're going to regret every
second of sitting here feeling sorry for yourself. You've got one more legitimate chance to make an Olympic medal a reality. You have to use it.''
I said, "I haven't worked this hard for this long to let myself
crumble and kind of disappear in the skating world.'' I dug deep, and
I found the strength to go back in the rink, to start pushing myself
every day. Slowly and surely, I started to get better. Now I think
I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm happy -- with my programs, the
situation with my coaches, with my life, and I'm happy I didn't let
this chance pass me by.