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Thread: An Interview with Brian Orser

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    Custom Title lbc2138's Avatar
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    An Interview with Brian Orser

    Hi all,

    At the risk of some opinions that are sure to clash (that's what these threads are for!) Maria Victoria posted this article in the Yuzuru Hanyu fanfest but thought it would invoke some interesting and hopefully civil conversation.

    This is an a really long interview with Brian Orser, the famed former coach of Yuna Kim and is now training Javier Fernandez, Yuzuru Hanyu, and Nam Nguyen.

    Some quick points, he talks about the quads that he's jumped/trained, his coaching, and his feelings about the Yuna break up among other things. Very lengthy but interesting perspective from his own skating experience.

    Some starting off comments:

    It seems like he is still hurt over the Yuna Kim debacle. I'm sure as fans we've all read numerous articles saying a lot of different things that don't reconcile.
    And wow, quads!

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    On the Ice lyndichee's Avatar
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    I really wish we knew more about what happened between him and Yu-Na. It's nice to see so much info, didn't know about the quads either.

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    I wondered for a long time whether or not him and Yuna Kim interacted at the 2013 Worlds, I'm glad to see some more insight into his life

    I'm glad he's aware how problematic anonymous judging is, I'm just hoping the next time they vote they choose to get rid of it, really tired of it

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    missing Mao & Yuna satine94's Avatar
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    Love his stance on anonymous judging

    It’s a shame that this year at the ISU Congress they voted down the transparency in the judging system. It was closer, but it still got shot down, and that makes me crazy. There should be somebody accountable for every mark that goes up, and there should be a face behind it. These judges have to be under the microscope. The skaters are, the coaches are, and the judges get to hide behind the system. It’s just not fair and I don’t think it’s right. It puts them under the gun, yes, but I think they need to feel the pressure as we all do. They might make some better judgement calls that way. When you’re under pressure, you probably perform better. The judges should, but they just get comfortable and they think they can hide. The whole idea is to protect the judge, but I think that’s just backfiring completely.

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    Is the book he talks about the biography he came out with just after the Olympics, or does he have another? It was really interesting - lots of good choreography info. There were a few spots where I felt like the wording made him sound a little full of himself, but I don't know if that was the ghostwriter or if he just made poor word choices. (Easy mistake)

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    I think a lot of the misunderstanding between Brian and Yuna had to do with cultural differences in communication. In North American culture, most of the responsibility for communication lies with the speaker, not the listener, which means that we tend to say things more directly. In some cultures, the primary responsibility lies with the listener, and things are said more indirectly. This is magnified when the listener is of a higher status, for example, a teacher or coach. So a person will not be as direct with someone of a higher status as they would be with an equal.

    What I got from the situation is that Yuna was unhappy about something and felt she expressed it. But I suspect it was expressed in an indirect way (in line with her culture), with the expectation that Brian would understand what she meant. But because it wasn't said directly, coming from a North American culture, Brian failed to read between the lines. So he had no idea of her concerns, even though Yuna felt she had told him. Sad situation all around, especially knowing that it has affected him so deeply

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    Custom Title WoChair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by satine94 View Post
    Love his stance on anonymous judging



    same

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    On the Ice
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    Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if Yuna had kept Brian as her coach. From the earlier interviews (pre-Vancouver Olympics), Brian has said something like teaching Yuna to enjoy training and listening to her body and stopping training or jumping when it is necessary -- like how these things might have affected Yuna's motivation to skate and compete. I don't think we will never know fully what really happened because I don't think Yuna and her camp will ever discuss the issue ever.

    "These judges have to be under the microscope. The skaters are, the coaches are, and the judges get to hide behind the system." This is a really great point from him. The judges should be accountable for the scores they provide as much as the skaters/coaches/choroegraphers are. But it seems that some skating federations keep voting no on the matter, which I don't understand.

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    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Thank you! Can't wait to listen to the whole interview. I heart Brian O.!

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    Quote Originally Posted by satine94 View Post
    Love his stance on anonymous judging



    Same here. I kinda worry about that his students may be penalized for this, by some low creatures!

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    I never realized that he had started out as a "technical" skater. I always saw him as the more "artistic" Brian during the competition days.

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    Thanks very much for the link. I ♥ Brian O. too!

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    missing Mao & Yuna satine94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayW View Post
    Same here. I kinda worry about that his students may be penalized for this, by some low creatures!
    I doubt it. He's a high-level coach.

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    I wish more elite coaches would have Brian's stance on anonymous judging.....

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    Custom Title lbc2138's Avatar
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    Wish some countries would come on board for more transparent judging... can someone list out explicit examples as to how knowing the nationality of the judge affects scoring? i'm sure there has to be some sort of in-depth analysis involved but I only started learning about the points system after watching Vancouver so I don't know much about the old 6 point system

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