Congrats to Johnny Weir! The Olympic skater, fashion icon, former reality TV star, and gay rights activist married boyfriend Victor Voronov on New Year's Eve, beating fellow athletes Michael Jordan and LeBron James to the altar (Jordan reportedly got engaged on December 29; James in the first moments of 2012.)
Of course, the timing of Weir's wedding isn't the only thing that sets his nuptials apart from James' or Jordan's. Gay marriage may be more widely accepted than ever before, but in the sports world? Not so much.
Leave it to Weir to lead the way! Now, I know what you're thinking ... Weir is a figure skater, not a football player. Fair enough. But even as a skater, Weir has battled anti-gay sentiment, including vicious slurs from Canadian commentators suggesting the World Champion should be required to "pass a gender test." That's why his marriage to Voronov, an Atlanta-based lawyer, is no less groundbreaking than if Weir were a quarterback.
Weir himself probably summed up the perceived difference between "gay" and "non-gay" best:
I know that for the men's population of the Unites States, figure skating is a "gay" sport and that's a misconception. There are so many straight athletes in figure skating. But I think it's the music and the costumes that turn most men off. Because they want to see, well, they want to see spandex-ed men hitting each others' ass and throwing a ball. It's very different.
Ha! Touché, Johnny Weir.
According to Weir's tweets, the big ceremony is still to come: Sometime this summer (just the "official stuff is out of the way"). I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see what the newlywed wears for the main event.
Do you think Johnny Weir's marriage breaks new ground for gay athletes?
Image via Greg Hernandez/Flickr