Brian Orser

figure skater, Stars On Ice

STARS ON ICE Brian Orser, Kurt Browning and other skaters perform tonight (Thursday, April 5), 7:30 pm, at the Air Canada Centre (40 Bay). $30-$130. Rating: NNNNN

WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT THIS SHOW? “We’re trying to share insights into skaters’ personalities, what they like, what they dislike. Most of the time you see the skaters but you don’t really know anything about them.”

THIS IS YOUR LAST PRO APPEARANCE. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO STOP PERFORMING? “It’s time. I’m 45 and I’ve been touring for 19 years. I direct a skating club – currently I’m coaching Yu-na Kim, who came in third at this year’s world championships. Everything has fallen into place.”

WHY HAVE ASIAN SKATERS ASCENDED SO SPECTACULARLY? “There’s something about their culture and their discipline. Our skaters are disciplined, too, but not all of our skaters work like that. And there’s the body type. It seems like Asian girls don’t mature in the same way. Western skaters develop wider hips and bigger boobs.”

ANY INNOVATIONS YOU’D LIKE TO SEE IN THE SKATING WORLD? “With the new rule changes, there’s so much emphasis on footwork. I’d like to pay more attention to the glide of the blade and get back to edge quality. But now that there are no compulsory figures, that’s hard to do.”

Download associated audio clip.

ARE YOU GUYS EVER GOING TO CHANGE THOSE COSTUMES? “Well, in ice dancing it’s changed a bit, and now the women skating pairs will occasionally wear long skirts. But when it comes to women changing their costumes – Irena Slutskaya wore pants once – it’s still a risk.”

WHAT’S WRONG WITH EMANUEL SANDHU? “I don’t know if he enjoys the training as much. He was so slow at the Worlds this year – it was as if he was skating with the emergency brake on.”

Download associated audio clip.

WILL YOU SEE THE NEW MOVIE BLADES OF GLORY? “Definitely. Those of us in the show are trying to figure out how we can make time to see it. It’s fun. We poke fun at football and at other sports in the movies, so what the heck?”

EVER SEEN A DECENT SKATING MOVIE? “Well, there was that recent one (Ice Princess) where the 17-year-old figures out the scientific theory behind jumping and learns how to skate – almost overnight. That was odd. It’s fun to hear the skating lingo. You can tell when you hear an actor talking about a ‘double Salchow’ or ‘sticking the landing’ that they’re not really in the loop.”

FAVOURITE TORONTO SPOT? “Kensington Market. I like the hustle-bustle.”

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