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Orser is really in step with coaching

2009-02-07  苍穹之泪

Orser is really in step with coaching

 

 
 
 
 
In December, Brian Orser and Yu-Na Kim wait for the judges at ISU Grand Prix final in South Korea.
 

In December, Brian  

As a coach, Brian Orser is must-see TV, just as long as you have the split-screen option.

The Canadian skating legend''s most advanced pupil, Yu-Na Kim of Korea, is equal parts elegance and athleticism. Kim, 18, heads into tonight''s free skate at the Four Continents championships at the Pacific Coliseum with nearly a six-point lead after dazzling with a 72.24 effort in Wednesday''s short program.

As impressive as she was, it was difficult to not to watch Orser watching her. He shadow-skated the whole routine in his suit and loafers by the boards. He mimicked every spin, copied every jump, mirrored every hand movement.

He looked like he was having the time of his life. And he sounded like it afterwards.

"Never say never, because if you asked me 20 years ago about a coaching, I would have said, ''No, I don''t want to put up with people like me,''" explained Orser, 47, the Belleville, Ont., native who won two Olympic silver medals, a world title and eight national championships.

"There was the commitment, too. When I first turned pro it was fun. I''d do the touring and then I''d have the summers off. I''d go to my cottage for like three months. I''d wait for the weekends, for people with jobs to come and hang out. Now, I hardly ever get up there. I have very few days off. I had no idea. I started coaching because of her."

That''s basically true. Orser was working at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club about four years ago. Renowned Canadian choreographer David Wilson remembers seeing Orser on the ice with a bunch of youngsters. Orser couldn''t stop grinning.

"I told him when he came off, ''You got the bug...the coaching bug,''" said Wilson.

Wilson, who used to choreograph programs for Orser, has long had the bug and people know about it. The Korean figure skating federation was looking for someone to work on programs with Na, and they sent her to Toronto to tutor under Wilson for what was supposed to be a short period.

He initially sought out Orser to work on her jumps. Over time, a chemistry brewed between the former skating legend and the future star.

She moved to Toronto in 2006 with her mother.

"I showed her things, but we didn''t speak a lot, and I think she kind of liked that," said Orser. "We just somehow communicated. The next thing I know, I find out she''s staying. We have a nice comfort level with each other. You can''t force that."

A physiotherapist also moved to Toronto with Na, and that gives some idea how big a deal she is back home, thanks to winning the world juniors in ''05-''06 and placing third in the world at senior level the past two seasons.

Orser says that she "gets mobbed where ever she goes," there. And she counts the Hyundai Motor Company among her sponsors.

She could be one of the big deals here for the 2010 Games, especially with Orser at her side. And especially with as much fun as he has with her in competitions.

"I know the routine because she does it every day and I skate it with her during the training process when we''re trying to keep her in shape and moving through the program," said Orser. "I know all the steps.''''

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