Brian Orser | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Brian Orser

Brian Orser, figure skater (b at Belleville, Ont 18 Dec 1961).
Orser, Brian
Brian Orser was one of Canada's outstanding figure skaters. He is shown here in his silver medal performance at the 1988 Olympic Games (courtesy Canadian Sports Images).

Brian Orser, figure skater (b at Belleville, Ont 18 Dec 1961). An outstanding free-skate performer, Orser won the world figure skating championship in 1987, the first Canadian man to win this title in 24 years. He started skating at age 6 and by 1979 was the Canadian junior champion. Orser won the senior championship in 1981, and held that title through 1988 - a record 8 consecutive wins.

He began his climb to the pinnacle of the world's skaters in 1983, winning a bronze medal at the world championships. For the next 3 years, he placed second in the world championships and in the 1984 Olympic Games, seemingly unable to break the barrier to first place; his problem usually lay with the figures portion of the competitions, but in 1987 Orser improved on his figures. In his long program, he produced a flawless and beautifully choreographed performance, with 6 triple jumps. As part of this winning feat, Orser became the first competitor in the world championships to complete 2 triple axels successfully in one program.

At the Olympic Games in 1988, Orser staged a memorable battle for the gold medal with American Brian Boitano. Orser lost the gold when he stumbled in the long program, but he won another silver medal. At the world championships later in the year, the two duelled again, with Orser settling for silver once more. He retired from amateur skating after the world championship to turn professional. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1985.