September 21, 2010 |
A poised young woman sits at a table near the front of a pleasant restaurant in a pleasant suburb of Los Angeles. She speaks softly, politely, comfortable in an adult world. But there's a little girl behind her mischievous grin as she plucks a roll from a basket across the table and spears a pat of butter to go with it. If Kim Yuna had been home in South Korea she could not have brought the roll to her lips without a dozen photographers capturing the image and triggering a run on rolls at grocery stores.
February 14, 2014 |
SOCHI, Russia - About 15 months ago, when the Grand Prix Final was a test event for Sochi's new Iceberg Skating Palace, Brian Orser and the young Japanese figure skater he had been coaching for only a few months, Yuzuru Hanyu, went for a walk along the Black Sea. "We started talking about the Sochi Games, and he just blurted out, 'I want to win that Olympics, and I want to win the next one,' " Orser recalled. When Hanyu accomplished the first Friday, he treated what some would be celebrating as the achievement of a lifetime with a maturity, humility and sensitivity that belied his 19 years.
February 21, 1988 |
O, Canada. O, how badly you wanted to host the Olympics. O, how badly you have done in the Olympics. You have thrown two of these parties now, a Summer one and a Winter one, but you do not have a single gold medal to show for it. The judges' score: 0.0. Everything was supposed to change here Saturday night, when you sent the Big O, Brian Orser, the kid with the Flash Gordon wardrobe and the Woody Woodpecker haircut, out after the gold medallion in men's figure skating.
February 27, 2010 |
It was nearly midnight Thursday, the day of triumph running into the day after, and both Kim Yuna and Brian Orser already were looking at the days ahead. The skater and her coach were in a car going from post-competition doping control to a news conference that would be aired live in South Korea, where half the country's 48 million people already had watched TV broadcasts of their national hero becoming their first Olympic figure skating champion. During the 20-minute ride, Kim and Orser could have sat back and looked at the gold medal she won three hours earlier with a performance of record-breaking, mind-boggling quality.
February 11, 2010 |
Kim Yuna had boot problems. The reigning world figure skating champion took the ice for her morning practice at the Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club, skated a few minutes, then limped off. Kim removed her right skate and gave it to her mother, Park Mee-Hee, who had been watching from beyond a glass wall that separates the club's lounge from the rink. This unremarkable episode two months before the Winter Olympics would have been headline news in South Korea, where three TV networks had shown her arrival at a November Grand Prix event in Lake Placid, N.Y., then run endless loops of her fall on a triple loop jump in . . . practice.
March 8, 1985 |
Alexander Fadeev's powerful performance in the men's final Thursday enabled the Soviet Union to win its second gold medal at the 1985 World Figure Skating Championships. Brian Boitano of Sunnyvale, Calif., took the bronze behind second-place finisher Brian Orser of Canada. The victory by Fadeev, the 1984 European champion, followed the winning finish Wednesday in the pairs event by Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev, also of the Soviet Union.