Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, former Olympic figure skaters, are said to be living out their dream jobs as NBC Sports commentators, covering various skating competition at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
"We're very lucky that we have each other," the two-time Olympian Weir told The Wall Street Journal
in an interview earlier in the week. "I find that Tara pushes me in this role."
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"To have found my co-pilot here, it's been almost like a rejuvenation," agreed Lipinski, who at the age of 15 won the ladies' singles Olympic gold medal in figure skating at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
The entertaining pair is known for wearing matching clothing during their broadcasts. Weir has donned outfits as garish as sparkling green sequin suits and pearl necklaces to match his partner. The ensembles have prompted Lipinski to joke with her on-air partner, "Anyone feeling 'Hunger Games' here?" referring to the outlandish outfits worn by the elites in the popular film series.
Whereas the 31-year-old Lipinski retired from Olympic competitions shortly after her 1998 triumph in Japan, the 29-year-old Weir was apparently planning on competing in Sochi as recently as last summer. Weir, who speaks Russian and whose husband is of Russian descent, announced in October that he would be retiring from the sport.
"It just got too hard, honestly," Weir told The Journal. "I had the option of choosing a happy life or to be alone for more time and completely alienate everybody and all of my friends and family once again, to diet like crazy, to get yelled at every day. It is all worth it, but there comes a time in your life when you have to decide what's next."
As for Russia's anti-gay laws, Weir said he never felt that he was at risk of being arrested for being openly gay; however, it did influence his decision to not wear his wedding ring.
"I didn't want to be provocative," he says. "They're with me, but I just don't wear them."
"My biggest stance is to be here, to wear my crazy clothes and to be me," Weir added.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Lipinksi
appeared to suggest that it was unfortunate that Russia's anti-gay laws stole the spotlight leading up to the Sochi Olympic Games.
"It's unfortunate that this is happening because all these athletes have worked so hard, no matter what your sexual preference is, they have worked their entire lives for this moment," Lipinksi said. "It doesn't matter if you're gay or straight, you want to be able to see these athletes just enjoy their moment and the focus be on what they're so good at, and what they're showcasing."
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