(December 18, 1961 - living) Canada
Olympic Figure Skater
Figure-skater and commentator, born in Belleville, Ontario. He lives in Ottawa, Canada.
Two-time Olympic silver medalist and eight-time Canadian National Champion Brian Orser is one of the greatest competitors in the history of figure skating, combining unmatched on-ice artistry with incredible physical prowess.
He has helped raise the sport of figure skating to a new level, while capturing the imagination and respect of fans, critics and competitors around the world.
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 four years, he was the only competitor to land the jump consistently and 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 Olympic competition.
In the years since, Orser had distinguished himself through his artistry and versatility and dominated men's figure skating throughout the 1980s by finishing either first or second in every amateur competition he entered after 1983.
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.
Brian Orser had beaten his American rival Brian Boitano in seven of 10 head-to-head meetings. But in what was described as "the best night of skating ever," Boitano barely edged Orser for the Gold.
In his last amateur competition in 1988, Orser went on to deliver the performance of his life, and won the World Championships with the most stunning performance of his career - scoring three perfect 6.0s for artistic impression.
Just four days later, Brian Orser was hit with a palimony suit by former boyfriend Craig Leask. Orser tried but failed to get the file sealed. This is the first instance of an élite figure skater being "outed" as gay with irrefutable proof, rather than rumor.
Since 1988 Brian has made his mark as a performer, competitor, producer, and commentator. In 1990 he won an Emmy Award for his role in Carmen on Ice, and his television specials won numerous Canadian as well as international awards.
Brian has done live commentary on CTV and covered the 1992 Olympics for Macleans magazine. Over the past decade he has performed around the world in a wide rane of shows and international tours, such as Stars on Ice.
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 in-touch and savvy skaters. Brian was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada.
Brian has his own production company and has produced a variety of benefit shows, including Skate the Dream (1992, 1994), Rekindle the Flame (1993), Rhapsody in Blue (1995), The Big Skate with Brian Oser (1995), and Holiday Skate for Women's Health (1997).
Source: E NOTE
- World Champion (1987)
- Two-time Olympic Silver Medalist (1984, 1988)
- Four-time World Freestyle Champion (1984, 1986, 1987, 1988)
- Eight-time Canadian Champion (1981-1988)
- Emmy Award (Classical Music and Dance), Carmen on Ice, 1990
- Officer of the Order of Canada, most prestigious civilian award in Canada
- Gemini Award (Best Variety Special) for two television specials: Night Moves and Blame it on the Blues
- Golden Rose International Festival Award, Night Moves
- Member, Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame
- Member, Canadian Sports Hall of Fame
- Member, Royal Order of Canada
- Member, Order of Ontario
- 1989 Men's Professional Champion
- Jeep Main Event Professional Skater of the Year Award, American Skating World, 1994
Film and TV:
- Carmen on Ice (HBO Movie, 1990)
- Skating Free (Orser TV special, CBC, 1989)
- Night Moves (Orser TV special, CBC, 1991)
- The Planets (Duchesneys TV special, A&E, 1994)
- Blame it on the Blues (Orser TV special, CBC, 1995)
- The Big Skate with Brian Orser and Friends, benefit for the Rocky View General Hospital and the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, Calgary 1995
- Rhapsody in Blue, benefit for the University of Toronto, 1995
- Skate the Dream for Rob McCall, AIDS benefit for Victoria General Hospital, Halifax, 1994
- Rekindle the Flame, benefit for the Calgary District Hospital Group Foundation, 1993
- Skate the Dream, AIDS benefit for Toronto Hospital, Toronto, 1992
- Northern Lights tour of Yukon/Northern Territories, 1990