Gay skating fanatic Coy Covington’s rink-side report from Boston

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUPDATE: We’ve added a video of Jason Brown’s performance after the jump. You can see Covington, who’s directly in front of the Jif To Go sign, best around minute 5:00, during Brown’s finale.

Our roving correspondent, Coy Covington, spent the week attending the National Figure Skating Championships in Boston. He was front-and-center for most of it, which meant you could see his smiling mug from most camera angles during the broadcast.

From his vantage, he could see the skating of Sochi hopeful Ashley Wagner, a darling of U.S. women’s figure skating who had a bad performance — she fell twice during her routine and placed out of the top 3.

That should have meant that Wagner wouldn’t get to join the nationals’ gold, silver and bronze medalists in Russia … but it turns out, it was the bronze medalist, Marai Nagasu, who was snubbed.

“The consensus is that Marai got screwed,” Covington says of the controversial decision. “Judges over-inflated Polina Edmunds’ scores to make sure she placed high. Marai doesn’t currently have a coach and didn’t have anyone to fight for her. She’s a former U.S. champion and earned — and deserves — more respect.”

While medaling at nationals is not a guarantee of an Olympic berth, the few times it has not happened has been due to an injury, not a poor score.

“I personally would have kept Marai on the team, bump Edmunds and sent her to the World Championships,” Covington says. “The crowd was pretty bitter about the whole thing.”

On a fabulous note, male skater Jason Brown (pictured with Covington) was the overwhelming crowd favorite of the entire competition. “He outscored Jeremy Abbott in the long program, won the silver and made the Olympics team!” Covington rejoices.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Johnny Weir shocks the world and comes out

Johnny Weir

In the most shocking coming out since Sean Hayes confirmed he was gay a year ago, U.S. figure skating champion Johnny Weir came out this week. Weir had never denied being gay. He had just never confirmed it.

Weir has not avoided the LGBT community at all. In October, he was presented with the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award and had also been given a similar award by Equality California.

He has raised money for the Trevor Project and appeared on Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List.

Last year, Weir was on the U.S. Olympic figure skating team for the second time. He and Michelle Kwan are the only two skaters to ever be named Skater of the Year more than once. In 2001, he earned the title World Junior Champion. He was U.S. National Figure Skating Champion three times from 2004 through 2006.

Weir has a new book coming out Jan. 11 called Welcome to My World.

—  David Taffet

Logo announces 3 new gay shows

Johnny Weir

Logo, the LGBT entertainment network from MTV Networks, has announced three new original series for 2011.

Be Good Johnny Weir explores the life of one of America’s most outspoken and colorful sports figures, three-time U.S. National Figure Skating Champion and World Medalist Johnny Weir.

Pretty Hurts is a comedic reality series that follows the staff and clients of a high-end Beverly Hills medical office that specializes in “liquid face lifts.”

The third series is Setup Squad, a workplace docu-soap focused on a Manhattan-based matchmaking service that pairs up professional “wing people” with those who are unlucky in love. Setup Squad will follow the hard-working angels who make the dating world a better place, whether you’re gay or straight.

Logo also acquired Nip/Tuck, which started airing on Logo this month and Will & Grace, which will begin running in 2013.

—  David Taffet

An inspirational moment

Joannie Rochette of Canada tries to fight back the tears as she completes her short program in the 2010 Olympics
Joannie Rochette of Canada tries to fight back the tears as she completes her short program in the 2010 Olympics

Who watched Canadian Joannie Rochette skate her short program last night at the Olympics? I did, and I admit, it made me tear up.

For those who aren’t familiar with the story, Rochette is a Canadian figure skater who lost her mother unexpectedly to a heart attack less than 48 hours before skating last night. In a situation where most people would have been too overwhelmed with grief to even compete, Rochette stayed true to the dream she and her mother shared. She took to the ice and turned in the performance of her life. She earned a personal best score and is in third place going into the long program.

As she skated, the cameras showed her father in the stands, tears in his eyes. As she finished her program, the crowd rose to their feet as Rochette bent over, tears splashing onto the ice. It was a moment that, to me, encapsulated the spirit of the Olympics: Athletes defying the odds and doing their best, inspired by — and inspiring to — the people who worked and sacrificed alongside them to put them in that moment of potential glory.

Kim Yuna of Korea was near perfect in a dazzling routine and has a huge lead going into the long program. Mao Asada landed a triple axle (!)  and was nearly as perfect as Kim. She is in second place at the moment. Both deserved their scores and both deserve their places in the standings.

But it was Rochette who won people’s hearts last night and who I will remember long after the 2010 Olympics are over. Because sometimes, technical perfection isn’t as important as effort and emotion. (Read more about it here.)

—  admin