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Michael Weiss Juggles Skating and Fatherhood

03/29/2009 at 04:00 PM ET
Ed Andrieski/AP

Professional figure skater Michael Weiss has the best of both worlds — for six months out of the year, he is a stay-at-home dad to 10-year-old Annie-Mae and 9-year-old Christopher, and the other six he’s on the road with Smucker’s “Stars on Ice.” Being away from his kids and wife Lisa for the time he’s on tour is hard on the skater — despite meeting up for mini-vacations throughout the tour — but no matter where he is, Michael makes sure to call his kids each night to put them to bed. Though they’re young, Michael and Lisa recently decided to give each of their kids their own cellphone due to the various activities that they are involved in. However, there are only a few people they have permission to call! “They’re only allowed to call their ‘Fave Five’ list,” which includes both Michael, Lisa, their home number and “maybe an aunt or an uncle.”

Michael began skating when he was just a boy, but so far neither of his children have shown much interest in the sport. “My daughter skated for about six months at one point,” but soon quit after becoming overbooked. “She had a bunch of activities,” Michael explains. “I was like, ‘There’s so many days in the week we can fit them … narrow it down to three things from the five that you’re doing.’ I don’t necessarily want to them to do what I’m doing just because I did it.” Michael’s parents were supportive and helped him to be his best, so he tries to do the same for his kids. “You have to find a balance as to when you’re pushing too hard,” he says. He also feels that parents should be their children’s role models, and that’s the reason he finds the entire Michael Phelpsbong incident quite sad. He shares,

“I think it’s a shame that it happened. I think role models should be your parents … If my kid is completely idolizing one person so much that they’re going to start doing any and everything that that athlete does, I don’t think I’m doing my job.”

Even though he was the first U.S. man to land a quadruple toe loop in competition — and the former National Fatherhood Initiative’s Father of the Year — Michael feels that “one’s a lot more important than the other … being a parent is a lot more important because you have a lot more influence. Landing a quad may have made a lot of difference in the skating world, [but] I’m glad to have had both.”

Source: Times Union

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Showing 6 comments

Rye on

He seems like a really hands-on dad. That’s great. This is not meant to be a mean comment, but I always find it amusing that there are straight male figure skaters. It’s almost an oxymoron! LOL. :)

Erica on

I completely agree with Michael Weiss with regards to idolizing celebrities. The whole Michael Phelps bong-gate situation was so overly blown out of proportion. The good which came from it being an opportunity for parents to talk to their kids about the consequences of drug use, of course. But yeah, his attitude that kids’ role models should be their own parents is spot on.

Colleen on

I think is he completely correct about parents being the best role models for their children. I don’t know of anyone though who idolizes someone so much, that they do everything that person does. I haven’t heard anyone say that they smoked pot because Michael Phelps did. On the same note, that was so completely blown out of proportion.

g!na on

aaw, michael Weiss! I’m an avid figure skater watcher! I loved Michael Weiss back in the day when he was skating senior men singles! 1998 he was my heart throb! I remember when his wife was pregnant with Annie mae, she was actually his choreography for skating! I loved him than and i love him now! wow, he looks great! by the way, i was so pleased to know he was a straight male because i was wishing for a chance lol. Actually, i met him twice in person and he’s so nice & sweet! 2 times @ champions on ice in Tampa, Fl.

Sam on

I have to agree with the Michael Phelps thing, too! I really doubt the kids eating Frosted Flakes are going to even KNOW about bong gate, let alone think that that means they should do pot, too. My parents taught me from a young age that drugs are bad, and I think that’s more important than what any celebrity says or does.

bill on

Just because he’s married and has kids doesn’t mean he’s straight! LOL…But anyone should be able to follow their dreams straight or gay with no judgment. My only wish for anyone is their personal happiness.

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