It is with deep regret that I announce my withdrawal from the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Omaha, Neb.

Since my return to competition this fall, I have seen my competition and what more I wanted from this sport clearly. I worked very hard to compete this season, with many obstacles and detours, but I made good on my promise to return to competition, and I am very proud of that. My performances so far have not been to my satisfaction and, combined with the stress of competing, I feel that I need to take a step back, prepare more and be ready for the Olympic season, beginning next fall.

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.

I want to thank my fans all over the world for supporting my comeback and supporting me in person at so many events and exhibitions. I will still be performing, and I hope you can come to see my exhibitions and galas this spring and summer.

I want to thank my coach, Galina Zmievskaya; my family; my manager, Tara Modlin-King and her company, Fireworks Sports Marketing; my friends; and my silent supporters for your love and generosity. I would like to thank U.S. Figure Skating; its president, Patricia St. Peter; and its executive director, David Raith, for their continued support of my career.

I wish all the competitors luck for the rest of the season, and I pray for your individual success.

— Johnny Weir