Thursday, March 10, 2011

This and That


Johnny Weir was interviewed at the show honoring Alexei Mishin.  Note how much he has going on and indicates that competing next year may not happen...which he will confirm later on when it doesn't.  He has interesting things to say about the US Men's team for the World Championships.  Though he is speaking English, Johnny makes sure to use his Russian affectation when speaking as though he was a student in ESL.

Dube and Davison officially ended their partnership today.  Both say they are open to skating pairs if the right person comes along.  It is amazing that they are splitting up now when they've had so many moments where one might've expected it.  They were involved in quite the love triangle, which was apparently tense at times.  He also sliced her face open at the 2007 Four Continents Championships when they got too close together on their side-by-side spins.  Jessica is going to continue skating singles in an attempt to carry on the glorious tradition of skaters like Karen Preston, Jennifer Robinson and Charlene Wong.

From the press conference quotes, it sounds like Jessica broke Bryce's heart yet again (this time on a professional level.)

Joey Hagerty, the WTF member of the 2008 Olympic Team, retired from gymnastics after never attaining the same level of success again.

Becky Bereswill and Trevor Young announced the end of their partnership today.

Fumie Suguri announced that she'll continue competing through the Sochi Olympics.  No matter how much she should retire, she just won't!

Voir are reportedly in shape and prepared for Worlds (according to Mike Slipchuk)

A feature on Roz Sumners' shops.

Shawn Sawyer has been added to the cast of Canadian Stars on Ice.  Now they just need to add Jeff Buttle to the American tour!

Miss Val answers the latest batch of questions for Ask The Bruins.

A video on Melissa Bulanhagui using technology to enhance her training.

Shannon Miller's Blog

35 comments:

  1. Dear Johnny:
    a.) you will not fool the Russian press by wearing the Russian jacket and putting on a fake Russian accent. (was he for real with that? He sounded like he was making fun of his coach or something).
    b.) 3 hours a week isn't "training." Everyone is doing at least 3 hours a DAY.

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  2. Seriously, why would Johnny think speaking in a fake Russian accent to the Russian press is a good idea? He does sound like he's mocking them more than anything. I wish one of the reporters had called him out for it... that's just ridiculous.

    AJ, do you think Voir will be ready by Worlds?

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  3. Johnny Weir > Johnny Weird > Johnny Weirdo > Johnny Wacko. #TOOMUCH

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  4. Gosh, Johnny Weir just gets weirder. The accent... I just can't. Talk about pretending to be someone that you aren't. What is he even talking about? TV? Film? Why would people want him for those types of things? I continue to be amazed that he could have so many "projects".

    Bryce's injury obviously sounds terrible, so I'm not surprised Jessica is walking away, but her doing singles is pretty interesting. I guess she can learn enough to be competitive in Canada, but ultimately I think she'll want another pair partner. Do we think Caydee Denney is putting in a phone call to Bryce right now? I know he has to get healthy first, but I figure he will seriously consider some US girls.

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  5. Jessica and Bryce got so weird once they broke up and insisted they had to skate to "The Way We Were". Everything was just odd and melancholy with them. The (another) bad injury just solidified the odd melancholy-ness surrounding them. Still, they had a great long career. I hope they both find partners.

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  6. I doubt that Johnny is consciously attempting a Russian accent. If you speak a foreign language and are surrounded by it for a few days, it easily (and unconsciously) affects the way you speak your native language. This varies from person to person, of course, but happens frequently to linguistically skilled people.

    I find Johnny's take on Adam's 3A interesting, and quite plausible.

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  7. Johnny always puts on a speech affectation for interviews, regardless of the language.

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  8. Okay, I'm VERY negative about how we selected the US men's Worlds team, but Johnny is going overboard. I don't think he understands anything or how you even get two spots. If we are down to 1 spot, I'd be shocked.

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  9. Um wow that accent he is doing there is embarassing. Awful. Degrading to the reporters. Either do the interview in russian or in regular english. He is nuttsssss

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  10. Johnny has been speaking that way in interviews in other countries for years. I'm never sure if it's an affectation, subconscious mimicry, or an effort to make himself easier to understand for non-native speakers, but it's certainly not new.

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  11. Am I right in saying that he sometimes even leaves out the words "the" and "a" (Russia doesn't have these words)??? I hope it's just my imagination, but if not, that's even MORE crazy over the top.

    I wish someone would ask him about this. I'm so curious why he does it.

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  12. I don't know what Jessica Dube is thinking about the singles thing. I wish Bryce the best and hope it works out for him now that he's spent time rehabbing and all.

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  13. Doesn´t Johnny confirm what Dave and many people have said concerning what American men will achieve at Worlds. No one was enthusiastic about the men who will go to that event and everyone whined about spots probably being lost. I remember what Dave said here and on Formspring very well. Isn´t that a bit double standard for people to complain about something that many people have been predicting and just have not spoken out loud?

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  14. No, anon @ 10:10, he does. I noticed the same thing; that's what stands out the most to me.

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  15. Johnny's speaking this way to make sure they understand clearly what he's saying. As a non-native English speaker myself I appreciate the effort.

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  16. To Anon March 10, 2011 7:56 PM

    "b.) 3 hours a week isn't "training." Everyone is doing at least 3 hours a DAY."

    Johnny isn't competing right now, hasn't since the Olympics and won't compete again. There's no reason for him to spend at least 3 hours a day on the ice. This is what "competitive" skaters do. Skaters who don't compete don't train this amount of hours. They train just enough to keep fit and perform in ice shows.

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  17. I don't think Johnny does that on purpose to mock people, he's a nice guy and loves all things Russian.

    The interesting thing about Johnny is, that although his Russian is broken, he manages to pronounce many Russian words without an accent. It's a rare talent, imo.

    But he isn't nearly as good as this guy ;)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dABo_DCIdpM

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  18. People are actually that desperate to pick Johnny apart that they are convinced he would put on an accent to "mock" people??? He's been doing that for years. Sometimes there are certain words he still pronounces in English when NOT in Russia, that sound Russian-accented.

    And his thoughts on the US team chances at Worlds are nothing new from what most skating blogs have been saying. I fail to see how it's insulting or inaccurate. Johnny doesn't sugarcoat his opinions. People should know that by now.

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  19. Whatever, Johnny sounds like a fool. I doubt he's actively mocking Russians, but it's pretty insulting to speak to the press with this bizarre stereotypical accent. He's not Russian, no one in his family is Russian, he has no claim at all over Russia. It's just weird. I have never heard anyone else do this seriously before when speaking their native language. The reporters spoke excellent English; they obviously would have understood him without the accent.

    I don't care if he's been doing this for years, it's still fucking bizarre.

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  20. Any articles about Joey Haggerty?

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  21. Can Mike Shlipchuk be considered a reliable narrator? :)

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  22. I'm the same as Johnny, when I'm in a foreign country speaking that language for a period of time my mother tongue comes out with an accent. It's pretty common and not really offensive since it's not done on purpose.

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  23. I live in a country where people speak different languages and I tend to speak differently with the people who are not native speakers. I speak clearer and slower, no slang, simpler sentences etc. It is natural to make sure that the other person understands you.
    I bet the bitterest people here are monolingual themselves.

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  24. Yup, just to confirm: I'm trilingual I unconsciously slip into simplifying sentences and mimicking the accent of whoever I speak to who's a non-native speaker, in any language. I've even noticed myself taking on Aussie, London or Scottish accents. It just happens. And like Anon 8:04 AM, I recommend people who "have never seen anything so odd or insulting" to learn a foreign language and go use it abroad. Get out more, generally. And chill out...

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  25. Chiming in to second anons 8.04 a.m. and 8.24 a.m. My family has also told me that when I return home from abroad I tend to speak my native language strangely at first. Switching between languages and cultures can be weird and difficult, but it's also rewarding.

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  26. Regarding Johnny's speech pattern, not that I'm defending him, but I remember going to Britain one summer as a child. When I came back, my friends noticed a subtle difference in my speech for a few days. The British English had rubbed off on me more than I thought. Also, if you're a child of immigrants like me, sometimes you'll notice that you do the accent when talking to your parents. Not consciously, but it just happens as a way to meet the other person in the middle, so to speak. I thought I was the only one who did that, but I noticed a friend of mine doing that once with her mom, and I remember Ann Curry (that Today show host) who said the same about her and her Japanese mom.

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  27. The guy is a weirdo, plain and simple. Remember, this is a guy who wore a SOVIET jacket at the OLYMPICS. When are we going to stop making excuses for his pathetic behavior??

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  28. I don't think he's mocking Russians...He would never do that. It's the exact opposite-- he is PRETENDING TO BE RUSSIAN HIMSELF. He is speaking accented, not-completely-grammatically-correct English in order to seem MORE RUSSIAN. He is obsessed with Russia and wishes he was a native. I can see having admiration for Russia, their culture, their language, etc, but Johnny goes overboard and is just plain STRANGE.

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  29. Not everyone has the means to go abroad.

    Also: I *am* bilingual and don't slip in and out of accents like that. Nor do any of the other people I know who are bilingual. It's strange.

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  30. I think that Johnny, like many people have pointed out, is trying to make it easier for the interviewer and, more importantly, the audience to understand him. The accent is too much, but dropping articles and superfluous words when speaking to a non-native English speaker makes interpretation much easier. When I've taught native French speakers to develop conversational English, I was encouraged to speak in rudimentary terms as Johnny is doing. I understand why people think it's crazy and pretentious, and it may very well be in Johnny's case, but I give him the benefit of the doubt simply because he's koo-koo crazy for Russian/Eastern European anything.

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  31. Ditto for me...a multi-language speaker (4 - US English native) and an American ex-pat (living outside the US for years). When I return to the US for visits, strangers think I'm Canadian - where I've never lived - because my English has taken on tones of other languages. Speaking constantly in foreign languages in foreign countries where the ear picks up new sounds that the voice unconsciously mimics "flavors" speech. I also at times scramble my word order unconsciously, for ex. speaking English with German word order. Silly, but happens.

    I doubt Johnny is purposely mocking anyone. He's probably somewhat consciously slowing down to be understood in English and he's probably also multi-tasking - listening to the Russian all-around him while speaking English at the same time, which is thereby flavoring his speech. When he really has to think hard and concentrate on his answers, and as he tires in the convo, the multi-tasking decreases and his regular English speaking voice takes over. This is typical stuff.

    btw: If I recall correctly, his "accent" is the same whether he's talking to Japanese or Russian press/fans.

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  32. Johnny is a douche. First of all, Ross Miner has been a senior all season, even on the Grand Prix. Second, Richard Dornbush is about 100 times more interesting and technically proficient than Johnny ever was. The complexity of his FS would blow anything Johnny has ever done out of the water.

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  33. I am Russian and I interviewed Johnny. I had no idea someone can consider his way of speaking to Russians as mocking. Instead, these suspicions sound ridiculous and mocking. In my opinion and from my experience, he’s trying to be as clear as he can, and people, including myself, are grateful for this and appreciate his attempts. Besides, since he has been working with Russians for many years, he is probably aware of typical ‘Runglish’ phrases that they use and may use them back in order to make clearer and familiar the form and meaning of what he’s saying. I assure you, I wouldn’t distinguish them anyway since for me they sound as ‘normal’ not ‘broken’ English :)

    As for imitation of Galina’s speech, he imitates her intonations first and foremost. It’s parody, which in this particular case would never be perceived as mocking by a Russian. He said something like “Johnny, don’t forget it’s a very big holiday!”. With Galina’s intonations it sounds funny and people around him laugh.

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  34. I agree with the poster at 11:47 - he isn't mocking. He has simply deluded himself into believing he actually IS Russian.

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