2015 marks the Year of Sport and the 60th anniversary of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. In recognition of these important milestones, OLM will be featuring Honoured Members of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in a weekly Profile piece.
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame aims to share the stories and achievements of its Honoured Members to inspire Canadians in all aspects of life.
Brian Orser, Athlete, Figure Skating
Born in 1961 and raised in Penetanguishine, Ontario, Orser began skating when he was six years old. In 1977, he won the novice skating Champions of Canada and two years later took first prize at the Junior Canadian Championships. As well that year, he became the first Junior and second person ever to land the triple axel in competition. Nicknamed “Mr. Triple Axel,” he was also the first skater to land it in the Olympics. He won a Silver medal for Canada at the Olympic Winter Game in 1984 and four years later, won another Silver at the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary.
On top of these achievements, Orser was eight-time Canadian National Champion from 1981 to 1988. He also won the World Championships in 1987, where he became the first competitor to land two triple axels in the free skate and three in the same competition.
In 1986, Orser achieved one of his greatest honours — being inducted as a member of the Order of Canada. It recognized not only his skill as an athlete, but also his contribution as an unofficial ambassador of Canada. On top of this distinction, in 1990 he won a Primetime Emmy for his televised performance of Carmen on Ice.
After dedicating a career and lifestyle to professional figure skating, Brian Orser continues to show his passion for the artistic sport by generously sharing his knowledge with the next generations of skaters.
In 2006, he decided to retire from competing and fully devote himself to coaching. He has led both Kim Yuna (2010) and Yuzuru Hanyu (2014) to Olympic Gold along with Javier Fernández to the 2015 World title. He has also been the head skating instructor at the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club since 2005. Orser continues today to coach a variety of skaters from international medalists to up-and-coming youngsters.
To learn more about Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, visit sportshall.ca.