One of figure skating’s biggest names won’t be competing in Omaha.
Johnny Weir, a three-time national champion who has competed in two Olympics, announced Friday that he doesn’t plan to compete at the 2013 U.S. championships at CenturyLink Center in January.
The 28-year-old retired in 2010, following a sixth-place finish at the Vancouver Olympics. Earlier this year, however, he announced he’d return to the sport, with hopes of competing in Omaha and continuing on to qualify for the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. He was assigned to compete in two international events this year. He placed fourth at the first of the two, the Finlandia Trophy in Espoo, Finland, but withdrew halfway through Trophée Eric Bompard in Paris, citing a hip injury.
In a statement released Friday, Weir said he got back into skating for personal reasons, but quickly figured out that he still wanted to win. He said the level of competition had “increased dramatically” since he’d left the sport and that he needed to step up his efforts. Weir still plans to attempt to qualify for the Olympics in 2014.
It’s unclear if Weir will attend the competition in Omaha as a spectator. At the 2012 championships in San Jose, Calif., he participated in fan events and worked as a commentator.
A second well-known competitor who recently came out of retirement still plans to compete in Omaha, despite setbacks from an injury.
Evan Lysacek, who won gold at the Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010, withdrew from one of his Grand Prix events this fall because of a groin injury. He has not announced plans to skip Omaha.