Brian Orser is having an incredibly successful Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The out gay figure skating coach and former Olympic silver medalist is coaching five figure skaters at these Winter Games, and they are already producing medals.
His star pupil, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, successfully defended his Olympic gold medal from 2014, becoming the first male skater to repeat as individual champion in over six decades. The last man to do it was Dick Button in 1952.
Another of his students, Spain’s Javier Fernández, won the bronze medal. South Korea’s Cha Jun-hwan finished 15th overall in the men’s competition.
Two out of the three male medalists — not bad.
He’s not just coaching the men.
Canadian Gabrielle Daleman is another of Orser’s pupils. She skated to a seventh-place finish in the short program earlier this week. She already has a gold medal from the team event. She won a bronze medal a the World Championship last year.
Elizabet Tursynbaeva is a two-time Kazakhstan national champion who was 15th after the short program at these Winter Olympics.
Kazakhstan, South Korea, Japan, Canada and Spain. That’s a lot of cultures and personalities to manage separately, but somehow Orser has done it and watched his athletes shine.