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  • Writer's pictureHarvey Brownstone

Getting to interview a good friend

Brian Orser is not just an Olympic and World Championship superstar figure skater and world class coach. He is my friend. When I told him that I had embarked upon a new career as an interviewer and requested an interview, he immediately said yes. Our interview occurred the day after he flew back to Toronto from the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships in Sweden. He must have been suffering from at least some jet lag, but you'd never know it when watching this interview. What a pro!

There is much to admire about Brian. He does whatever he sets his mind to doing. He sets goals for himself and then strategizes a plan to achieve them, not to impress other people but to be the best that he can be. He has reinvented himself numerous times: from child skater, to competitor, to star performer, and most recently, to being the top figure skating coach in the world. He has always kept himself current and relevant. Very few athletes have been able to do that.

Most of all, Brian is down-to-earth and humble to the point of being self-effacing. During the interview, I knew that if I didn't mention all of his remarkable achievements myself, he was not going to mention them at all. It has always amazed me that the people who have the least reason to boast and brag about themselves are always the ones who do it - often incessantly. Meanwhile, those who have accomplished monumental things, and would be entitled to sing their own praises, never do. Brian lets his achievements speak for him, while he just keeps focusing on being the best person, spouse, coach, friend and citizen that he can be.

I'm sure many viewers will compare the Greg Louganis and Brian Orser interviews. After all, they are both Olympic superstars from the same generation, they are both gay, and they were both subjected to a "Harvey Brownstone Interview". There is much to admire about these men: their sense of purpose; their capacity to focus on the prize while enduring incredible pressure; their ability to overcome obstacles; and their generosity of spirit in dealing with others. While Greg and Brian have led very different lives, they are both strong role models who inspire millions of people - young and old - the world over.

I am truly honoured to have had the good fortune to have spent quality time with these men, and through these interviews, to help you get to know them a little better. It's a wonderful thing to meet heroes who live up to their reputations - and even surpass them.

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