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
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
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.
For more from Michael Weiss, go to si.com/siexclusive.
COLOR PHOTO: PAUL CHIASSON/AP (WEISS) Real men do Salchows