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Brian Orser lands prestigious lifetime achievement award

'Brian Orser is an outstanding athlete, performer and coach that has always pushed the limits ... leaving an enduring impact on generations of figure skaters,' says ISU

Local sports legend Brian Orser is being recognized for his many accomplishments, both as a figure skater and coach.

The popular, two-time Olympic figure skating silver medalist and successful coach has been named this year's International Skating Union’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Orser, who grew up in Penetanguishene, skated in both Midland and Orillia over his career, which transitioned to coaching afterwards.

“Brian Orser is an outstanding athlete, performer and coach that has always pushed the limits of the sport, leaving an enduring impact on generations of figure skaters,” the skating body noted in presented the prestigious award.

After winning his first national title at a novice level at the age of 16, Orser made the triple Axel his trademark jump at a time when few skaters incorporated it into their routines.

His ascent to prominence included a bronze medal at the 1983 World Championships, setting the stage for his inaugural Olympic appearance in 1984, where he secured the silver medal.

At the 1988 Olympics, Orser claimed another silver, cementing his status as one of the sport's greats.

His distinguished career also featured a world title in 1987 and a total of five world medals (four silvers and one bronze).

Following the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, Orser transitioned to a show career and performed for almost 20 years in shows and other events before focusing on coaching in Toronto.

He was elected to the World Skating Hall of Fame in 2009. He is also a member of the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame; he was inducted into the Orillia shrine in 2016.

The ISU noted that Orser quickly established himself as a renowned coach, guiding Yuna Kim of South Korea and Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan to Olympics gold medals, “showcasing his ability to nurture champions.”


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Andrew Philips

About the Author: Andrew Philips

Editor Andrew Philips is a multiple award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in some of the country‚Äôs most respected news outlets. Originally from Midland, Philips returned to the area from Québec City a decade ago.
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