Saturday, December 18, 2010

Born On This Day- Canadian Skating Champion Brian Orser

I have posted before that the Husband & I are fans of figuring skating on TV, & today's birthday gentleman was always a favorite stylish, athletic & artistic champion, combining unmatched on ice artistry with incredible physical prowess.

Brian Orser, former world figure skating champion, 8 time Canadian National Champion & twice Canadian Olympic silver medalist, was revealed as gay in an palimony suit filed by an ex-boyfriend. In an affidavit he argued to keep the suit's documents sealed. Orser: "Other skaters, both Canadian & American, guard their gayness closely because of the likely impact of public disclosure on their careers." 

In 1979, Brian Orser became the first man to land the daunting triple axel correctly (3 rotations in the air), which helped him win the Canadian Junior National Championship.

For the next 4 years, he was the only competitor to land the jump consistently & it became his signature move. In 1984, while on his way to an Olympic Silver Medal, Orser became the first man to land the triple axel in an Olympic competition.

In 1987 he won the world title, setting himself up for what many believe to have been the finest night of figure skating ever: the Battle of the Brians at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

Orser had beaten his American rival Brian Boitano in 7 of 10 competitions. But in what was described as "the best night of skating ever," Boitano barely edged Orser for the Gold.

Just 4 days later, Orser was hit with a palimony suit by former boyfriend Craig Leask. This is the first time an major figure skater was outed with irrefutable proof, rather than rumor.
Orser took to a life of drinking & partying while working as a professional skater.

Following the trauma of his best friend Rob McCall's death from AIDS, Orser devoted serious effort to fundraising on behalf of people with AIDS, as well as women's health issues. He is one of the most politically sensitive & savvy skaters. Orser was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada.

Today, Orser coaches some of Canada's most promising young amateurs.  This year, he began working with Elvis Stojko, Canada's 3 time World champion & 2 time Olympic silver medallist.  Last year, Orser was invited to the first Winter Goodwill Games - a prestigious tournament of the world's top professionals & amateurs. He won the silver medal.  Again, the gold went to Boitano. But for me, Orser's looks better in  silver. Who needs gold?

Dig that crazy 1980s hair!


  1. Have you ever seen Brian Boitano's cooking show, "What would Brian Boitano Make?" I think it's just about the gayest thing I've ever seen and I've seen a lot of gay things! Has he come out yet?

  2. We tried to get tickets to the nationals in Greensboro, NC. in January about a month ago. Sold out! Damn!! Men's Freestyle of course.

  3. It's very nice of you to post a tribute to a fine skater like Brian Orser here, but a couple of your facts are way, way off.

    I don't know where you got the idea that the palimony suit against him was filed only four days after he won the Olympic silver medal in 1988, but that could not possibly be more wrong. The suit was not filed until 1998.

    You also post "Orser took to a life of drinking & partying while working as a professional skater." That kind of makes it sound as if all he did while skating professionally was drink and party. While I wasn't a fly on the wall during that time I did see him in a lot of shows, and while I'm sure he had his partying moments, I don't think he could've skated as well as he did on tour if all he did was drink and party. Just saying.


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