March 28, 2009 |
Kim Yu-Na knows figure skating history as well as she knows how to land crisp triple-triple jump combinations and bend her body into swift and supple spins, which is to say extraordinarily well. The South Korean teenager, who performed a mesmerizing short program Friday to separate herself from the field at the world championships, is coached by Brian Orser, the Canadian entry in the "Battle of the Brians" that was played out at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. His nemesis was U.S.
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 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.
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 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.
November 15, 2009 |
There are probably 10 men in the hunt for the figure skating medals at the 2010 Winter Olympics. And they all should be thankful South Korean woman Kim Yuna is not in their event. That is why the engraver can start putting Kim's name on the women's gold medal at the upcoming Vancouver Winter Games. The record score she racked up in her short program Saturday night at Skate America would have been second in the men's event. If reigning world champion Kim matches her season-best overall score in Sunday's free skate final, it would put her second in the men's event that reigning men's world champion Evan Lysacek won by a nearly 34-point margin Saturday.