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US figure skater changes mind about wearing fur

US figure skater changes mind about wearing fur

U.S. figure skater Johnny Weir will replace the fox on one of his costumes with faux fur after he and his costume designer were targeted by an animal rights group.
Weir received "hate mail and death threats," agent Tara Modlin said on Thursday, and he doesn't want anything to disrupt his performances at the Vancouver Olympics.
"He's changing it because he needs to focus on skating," she said.
Friends of Animals posted an open letter to Weir after he added white fox fur to the left shoulder of his free skate costume for the U.S. figure skating championships. On Tuesday, the animal advocacy group called his costume designer, Stephanie Handler, and faxed a press release about its open letter to her business.
Since then, Weir has heard from other anti-fur activists, Modlin said. Although People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals made its case in a professional manner, Modlin said others did not _ to the point she and Weir were concerned someone might disrupt him at Vancouver.
Weir qualified for his second Olympic team by finishing third at the U.S. champs.
"I do not want something as silly as my costume disrupting my second Olympic experience and my chance at a medal, a dream I have had since I was a kid," Weir said in a statement.
Weir makes no secret of his love of fashion _ fur included _ and he's received letters and videos from PETA and other animal-rights advocates over the years. Although he respects their positions and was fully aware of how pelts are obtained, Weir has said wearing fur was a personal choice.
There are other causes that concern him more, he said, such as homelessness, soldiers dying and the devastation in Haiti.
"I hope these activists can understand that my decision to change my costume is in no way a victory for them, but a draw," Weir said in his statement. "I am not changing in order to appease them, but to protect my integrity and the integrity of the Olympic Games as well as my fellow competitors.
"Just weeks away from hitting my starting position on the ice in Vancouver, I have technique and training to worry about and that trumps any costume and any threat I may receive."


Updated : 2020-12-02 12:26 GMT+08:00