The Olympic figure skating royalty duo of Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir have become prominent television personalities whose credits include the Kentucky Derby, the Super Bowl and now for the second year in a row, The National Dog Show Presented by Purina.
The NBC analysts have become fashion experts and pop culture experts with a unique style that has wide-ranging appeal, so the dog show is right in their wheelhouse.
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A member of the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame, Lipinski came to national prominence at the age of 14 when she was the youngest person to win the U.S. and World Championship and became the youngest individual gold medalist in Winter Olympic history capturing the gold medal in Nagano at the age of 15. During his distinguished 16-year career, Weir placed fifth at the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics and sixth at the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010. He won three consecutive U.S. National Championship titles (2004-2006) and was the bronze medalist at the World Championships in 2008.
Avid dog lovers and media darlings, here they are in select media postings talking about one of their favorite subjects:
Q: What makes your dog the light of your life?
Johnny: There’s nothing like owning a dog – they always love you no matter if you’re good or bad. I have a Japanese Chin named Tema. He is my little prince and always there wagging his tail when I get home. He brings so much joy to my life, and I’m so thankful for his companionship. He would have made a great figure skater. He does what I call a "Chin spin," which is when he curls up into a little ball. Almost like he’s chasing his tail, but he just constantly spins. When he hears his treat bag open, he starts spinning. It’s perfect for me as an ice skater to have a spinning dog.
Tara: My dog’s name is Dublin. He’s a hugger. Seriously. I know in some ways it’s a bad habit, but Dublin just loves to wrap his paws around people and snuggle them face-to-face.
Q: Since you get to go backstage at The National Dog Show, you really have a bird’s eye view of things most people don’t get to see. What is special in the backstage area?
Johnny: Well, I enjoy seeing what kind of shade (competitive banter) the handlers throw at each other. I know there is a competition for the shortest ankle-length skirt among the female handlers and maybe a couple of the male handlers as well. I’m looking forward to seeing what drama unfolds between Shih Tzus and Greyhounds and Maltese and Japanese Chins. I am fascinated by how much The National Dog Show is like the movie, Best in Show.
Q: So why is your dog your best friend?
Tara: When I come back from traveling or just have had a DAY, Dublin’s there to give me the most unconditional love. I could just look at that puppy face forever.