Johnny Weir reacts to those 'Hunger Games' memes from the Olympics: Why the joke's on us!

Gibson Johns

Johnny Weir loved those "Hunger Games" memes during the Olympics just as much as everyone else.

Speaking exclusively with AOL Entertainment during his recent CoolSculpting on Ice event at Rockefeller Center, the NBC figure skating commentator implied that he was directly inspired by "Hunger Games" character Caesar Flickerman ahead of the Sochi Olympics -- four years ago -- but it took viewers until Pyeongchang to see the similarities.

"Before the Sochi Olympics [in 2014], I was trying to think of great hosts that I loved, and Caesar Flickerman was the only one that I could keep in my head," Weir told us. "He was fashion-forward, he was awesome and a lot of sports broadcasters will just wear a navy suit and a tie, but that’s not me, so I needed to find someone who I could find as a muse and he was it. It took four years for America to catch on, but it’s not new to me." 

The comparisons between Weir and Flickerman, who was played by Stanley Tucci in the "Hunger Games" films and is known for his splashy fashion sense, made waves during the Winter Games this year, but the 33-year-old former Olympian insisted that any attention being paid to figure skating -- whether for his fashions, his commentary or the skating itself -- was a win for the sport.

See photos of Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski together:

"People have been paying a lot of attention to my hair and my outfits and things that they maybe find snarky, but the fact that people have such a good feeling about figure skating was amazing," he explained.  "There was so much pressure on this Olympic games for me and Tara, because it was the first time that we were the primetime broadcasters and we had all of America inviting us into their living rooms. It was a different league for us, and I’m a very flamboyant gay man and I commentate figure skating, so you never know how people are going to react to you. The response that I’ve gotten has been so incredible, and people have been learning about figure skating, which is my ultimate goal."

Indeed, Weir and Lipinski -- along with standout skaters like Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu -- seemed to breathe new life and excitement into figure skating this year, with some of the biggest conversations, events and viral moments coming off the rink and out of the commentating box.

One of those moments, of course, was Weir and Lipinski teaming up with "Saturday Night Live" standout Leslie Jones, who returned to the Olympics again this year and starred in a catwalk video to Beyoncé's "Crazy In Love" with the pair.

"I wanted to meet her because I think her commentary on Twitter is hilarious," Weir told us of the clip's backstory. "As soon as she called me the empress of some country, I knew she was my girl. Tara and I went to meet her, and it was a spontaneous moment where we were like, ‘Let’s catwalk strut to Beyoncé through these abandoned hotel hallways.’ It just came to be. It wasn’t planned."

Weir also opened up to us about something else that wasn't planned, which was a recent procedure he underwent to fix what he called a "wine gut" that came from having too much of a "good time last summer."

"I’ve spent my whole life dieting and exercising and trying to be as healthy as possible, but I’m 33 and things are not as easy to get rid of as they once were," he told us of what led to his decision to do CoolSculpting. "Messing around with my body isn’t something I’ve really gotten into, because I usually do it all through crunches and salad, and I didn’t know what to expect. They made it very seamless and comfortable, though, and it didn’t make me feel weird."

And, as a former professional athlete used to putting in the hard work, Weir said that it wasn't easy for him to let himself go with the "easy" way out.

"Mentally it’s definitely hard to admit that there’s something you want to fix and that there’s an easier way than to do a million crunches and not eating for a few days," he laughed. "It took a lot for me to step over my ego."

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