Johnny Weir Pledges His Room And Other Olympic Pre-Performance Rituals

My favorite figure skater ever, Johnny Weir, prepared for his Vancouver Olympic performance by, um, cleaning his hotel suite. Weir told People, “I was nervous. So I Lemon Pledged everything in my room. Some people eat, some people drink—but I Pledge everything.” [People]

It appears that many Olympians have their own rituals, from lucky Pledge to lucky charms. Here are a few of the wackiest.

  • American speed skater Derek Parra, who won gold and silver medals in the 2002 Olympics, has had the same ritual for over two decades. “I eat a pack of Fig Newtons the night before I race,” he said. “Both good luck and nutrition. Been doing it since 1989.” Fig Newtons are one of the most underrated biscuit treats ever. [MSNBC]
  • Canadian snowboarder Maëlle Ricker insists on rubbing snow on her neck before going down a run. Maybe it’s something like becoming one with the snow, but after having plenty of ice cubes down my shirts, I can vouch that it can’t be a comfortable one. [The Star]
  • Everyone’s favorite soul-patched speed skater, Apolo Ohno, has a collection of silver and gold medals and gives some credit to his lucky T-shirt which says, “No pain, no gain” on it. Ohno said of the tee, “I wouldn’t say that I always wear this particular shirt, but I do ALWAYS bring it with me to trips and competitions.” I wonder if it’s a relic from the ’90s No Fear tee shirt line? [MSNBC]
  • Olympic mogul skier Hannah Kearney has to wear her hair in two braids with flowers before she goes down on a run. I guess pigtails are useful if you tend to fall face-first into snow drifts like I do! [MindyHardwick.Blogspot.Com]
  • Canadian skeleton racer (which sounds like it should be Heman’s villain’s getaway car) Amy Gough brings a green baseball hat with her for her races. Apparently, it was given to her by her ex-boyfriend’s father, who is now her biggest sponsor. That sounds like a Lifetime movie waiting to happen. [TheStar]
  • Another gold medal speed skater, Chad Hedrick gets obsessed with fortune cookies. “I am really superstitious with fortune cookies and also the number of my hotel room. I usually add up all of the numbers of my hotel room, and if they equal, like, a lucky number, or all ones, that means I’m going to do really well. I opened this fortune cookie and I asked, ‘How am I going to do at the Olympics?’ And the fortune cookie said, ‘Soon you will be standing on top of the world.’” That sounds like a risky ritual, leaving it all up to fortune cookies! [MSNBC]
  • American Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn managed to win a gold medal despite nursing an injury on her right shin, which she got crashing in training earlier in the month. She’s been rubbing an Austrian cheese curd called topfen on the wound as a ritual … and to allegedly keep down the swelling. Maybe she got the idea after trying some Canadian poutine? [The Star]