Johnny Weir to Retire from Figure Skating, Will Spend the Rest of His Days in a Sequin-Encrusted Retirement Community

After 17 years of skating and a countless number of rhinestones, Johnny Weir announced his retirement from figure skating Wednesday morning. While he won’t be going to the Sochi Olympics as a competitor, he will be joining the NBC News team in Russia to cover the Olympic ceremonies.

“At twenty-nine, it is odd to explain to the average Joe that I am retiring,” Weir explained. “While my retirement surely isn’t a shock to the skating world, I have been able to become a sort of face for my sport to people who rarely watch it, and I always quickly follow up the statement of ‘I’m retiring from competition’ with the truth that I will continue to skate and perform as long as my body will allow me and that I pass my presence in the competitive ranks on to some genius upstart, the youth that keeps the Olympics and sports alive. While I am not old, part of being a champion is knowing when your time is up.”

During an appearance on the Today show to announce his new role as a commentator, Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie asked Weir about any fears he might have about traveling to the vehemently anti-gay Russia. “I’m a gay American and I married into a Russian family,” Weir said. In 2011, Weir married Victor Voronov in a civil ceremony. “While this law is a terrible thing that you can’t be gay publicly in Russia … I plan to be there and not be afraid. Our presence is needed.”