However, I am slightly surprised in what he has to say in this IceNetwork article:
After seeing the level of my competitors and how much stronger I needed to be to be competitive, my original plan of competing just for my fans and myself changed. The level of competition has increased dramatically since I left the sport in 2010, and although I was prepared to the best of my abilities, competing relit the fire in me, not only to compete and perform but also to win. Winning takes greatness, and I hope with the time I'm allowing myself to improve my skills, I will return next fall with a clear shot at competing in the next Olympic Games as a favorite.
Now I don't really 'get' that. He had to have an idea that skaters like Chan and the Japanese have continued to push both technically and in the components. He finished 6th in the 2010 Olympics and he chose to come back earlier this year with absolutely no visible improvements to his skating. What did he expect?
I know he alludes to the idea that he was really just coming back for himself and seeing everyone else made him get back in the competitive mode, but I would be willing to bet he didn't expect to find that so many other skaters have either gotten to his own level or far surpassed it. I think it was obvious heading into the Rostelecom Cup that he was looking at a second-to-last or last-place finish whether he was injured or not.
For what it's worth, read my blog post from November 9th to see the suggestions I would have given him based on his programs and overall level at that point.
On the other hand, I am glad Weir realizes that had he competed at US Nationals, he was probably looking at a challenge to even get into the top 10. Yes, really. Tenth. That wouldn't bode well for the overall picture and trying to re-establish himself as a threat over the course of a few events in the fall.
I am all for skaters coming back completely new and improved, and if he can really do it this time and show up ready to fight in the fall of 2013, good for him. I can't fault him for trying.