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Original Issue

Q+A Michael Weiss

The three-time national figure skating champ defends his title at
the U.S. Figure Skating Championships next month

SI: You're married with two children, and your hobbies include
hockey and weightlifting. Aren't you too macho for men's figure

Weiss: Yeah, they're petitioning to have me thrown out of the

SI: How often have you actually kissed and cried in the Kiss and
Cry area?

Weiss: I'm usually trying to keep my wife [Lisa, his
choreographer] and my coach calm, so I don't think I've ever
kissed or cried.

SI: How's your on-ice relationship with your wife?

Weiss: Good. Most choreographers want their athletes to look good
on the ice. But she has a special interest because she doesn't
want to send her husband out there looking like a total dork.

SI: Your support team includes a hypnotherapist who helps you
before competition, right?

Weiss: Yeah. Assisted mentally imagery is what I call it. We just
go through the competition: skating clean, seeing the marks go
up, seeing my wife and coach celebrating. It gets your mind to
the point where it has already performed the competition.

SI: Are you worried your hypnotherapist might put you to sleep
one day and say, At the count of three, you'll wake up and be
Tonya Harding?

Weiss: No, the guy who does it is pretty cool.

SI: You turned 27 in August. Are you planning to stick around
until the 2006 Olympics?

Weiss: It's definitely possible. I'm still competitive.

SI: Who is your favorite female skater to watch?

Weiss: Sasha Cohen. She has such talent, and she's the most
flexible thing I have ever seen.

SI: An opposing coach said of your skating in The Washington
Post: "He could be brilliant and perform clean, or it could be a
disaster from hell." Fair?

Weiss: Yeah, and I kind of like it. How many people can say they
can be brilliant? That's what makes life exciting for me. I've
always been a big risk-taker. I've always tried quadruple jumps
that maybe I haven't landed enough in practice and probably
shouldn't be trying. On occasion I land them, and it can be a
brilliant moment. When you take risks like that, it means you can
also be bad. But I'm not afraid of taking those risks. That's
what athletics is all about.

--Richard Deitsch

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