Yu-Na Kim and Brian Orser split

YuNa Kim and Brian Orser split

(Below) Brian Orser talks about his split with Yuna Kim and rumors about coaching Mao Asada

Some YouTube Comments

EricLensher 2 months ago:  Yuna Kim was the lucky ones because without it she would not have won the gold. Orsen was a great skater and a coach is recognized in your country and the world, the need to Juna not because he has other skaters who want him to train them, Javier Fernandez is one of them. She is the one that has lost.

ZarathuPower 2 months ago:  Yuna was already had super technicality, and much she needed was the artistry which have come from her choreographer. “In August 25, 2010, Orser caused controversy by revealing Kim’s 2010–2011 competitive program information to the press without Kim and her choreographer’s consent.” This tells you what kind of person Oser is…Such a pitiful person with not much of integrity.

lenegal77 3 weeks ago:  Do you ever use Google? This is so not true. He didn’t kill his boyfriend’s dog. He gave one away, and the other was put to sleep on advice of the Vet. This happened way back in ’98. And the jilted boyfriend sounds like a gay gigol

Yu-Na Kim and Brian OrserOlympic gold medalist  Yu-Na Kim has fired her Canadian coach Brian Orser, rumors suggests it may have something to do with Japan’s Mao Asada. In a statement issued by Brian Orser’ agent, it was announced Yu-Na Kim would no longer be coached by Brian Orser, but no reason was given. Now it seems, Brian Orser, had known about this for weeks before coming forward, Brian Orser been told by Yu-Na Kim’s mother, Park Mee-hee, and agent, Helen Choi, that his coaching services would no longer be required.

Mao Asada, meanwhile, is keeping quiet. So what’s the real reason? some people have said Brian Orser was in love with Yu-Na Kim and that made her uncomfortable, or that Yu-Na Kim’s mother was getting greedy and wanting all the revenues herself, neither of these reasons make much sense. What does make sense however is a rumor that talks about Yu-Na Kim main rival, Japanese skater Mao Asada, and how she’s been pressuring Brian Orser to coach her. Brian Orser. 

Mao Asada, Japan’s top female ice skater is yet to win an Olympic Gold Medal, In contrast Yu-Na Kim, has not only won the Olympic Gold Medal at the 2010 Games in Vancouver but also set two new World Records for the most points in both the free skate and the combined. Mao Asada had to settle for the silver medal and second place 23 points behind Yu-Na Kim.

Mao Asada has always had trouble finding a coach, She trained for a while in the US in 2006, but left there without a coach. Mao Asada went on to be coached technically only part-time by Russian coach Tatiana Tarasova, but that was as Mao Asada was in Japan while Tarasova remained in RussiaMao Asada has been looking for a new coach since the Olympic Games in Vancouver, not surprising then, that she might be trying head-hunt Brian Orser.

Yu-Na Kim currently ranked number one in the world with numerous World Records has been more then quite lucky with coaches. Training with Brian Orser for the last three years and, during that time Mao Asada sees Yu-Na’s artistic unbeatable performances every time she competes. Some athletes may tell you the competitive drive can make one do some questionable things. 

Yu-Na Kim must have been upset to hear rumors that Mao Asada was trying to steal her coach Brian Orser more so when Brian Orser admitted to have been contacted by Mao Asada. Things have been bumpy between Brian Orser and Yu-Na Kim ever since and finally, this month, the split become public.

Brian Orser told reporters he still doesn’t understand why he was fired, an angry Ya-Na Kim claimed Brian did know the reason and she was upset that he was lying. Korean agency AT Sports owned by Ya-Na Kim’s mother,  said “Ever since Brian Orser was offered the job to coach Mao Asada, it’s been awkward and Ya-Na Kim has essentially been training alone.

Sources:Olympic Gold Medalist Fires Her Coach – New York Times

Kim, Orser split – Olympic champion’s coach feels insulted and disrespected – Chicago Tribune

“It was a series of insults,” Orser said Tuesday morning via telephone. “I deserved more respect.”

For all that, Orser said nothing for the three weeks after Kim’s mother, Park Mee-hee, and an agent, Helen Choi, told the coach and Tracy Wilson, who also helped coach Kim, in an Aug. 2 meeting at the Toronto Cricket & Skating Club that they were no longer the skater’s coaches.

So much for the idea that you don’t mess with success.

Orser said he never was given a reason for the split. But he first hoped that it wasn’t irrevocable, and Kim still was training — with an occasional tip from Orser — at the Toronto Cricket Club.

So he kept the situation quiet until Monday night, when Orser’s agent, David Baden of International Management Group, issued a statement about the split on the coach’s behalf.


Choi rebuffed Orser’s criticisms in an email to the Tribune later Tuesday.  Click here to read her response.

Orser and Wilson had a final conversation with Kim last Thursday. They told her they still were confused by what had happened. According to Orser, Kim replied that she was confused as well and “had no idea what is going on, either.”

“We told her, `Whatever you decide to do, we support you, and we want you to be happy,'” Orser said. “I don’t want anything to deflate the memories of the four wonderful years we had together.”

Kim, 19, remains at the club, of which she is a member. Orser feels that situation is rapidly becoming untenable.

“It has created a tension that is having an impact on all the other skaters,” Orser said. “Something has to change.

“I think it would be better for her to leave the club. I don’t think she can train on her own at this level.”

Kim announced in July she would not be competing on the Grand Prix circuit this season but intends to skate at the World Championships. She turned to former Canadian ice dancer Shae-Lynn Bourne to choreograph this season’s short program after having worked solely with David Wilson, who is choreographing the long program.

Orser, two-time Olympic silver medalist, said Bourne called to tell him she would be working with Kim. After that, the coach said he sent several emails to a member of Kim’s management team but received no response.

“I thought that was disrespectful,” Orser said.

Orser began to suspect things were going off the rails when rumors circulated in April that he was interested in coaching 2010 Olympic silver medalist Mao Asada of Japan, who went on to beat Kim at the March world championships. Orser said he was approached about the possibility of working but immediately rejected the idea.

“I told Yuna, `Im sure you have heard the rumors, but I want you to know my loyalty is to you, and your skating is my priority,'” Orser recalled.

Kim split with her old management group, IB Sports, after worlds, when her mother founded a new company, All That (AT) Sports. Her primary agent at IB Sports joined All That Sports, which is run by Kim’s mother.

In a statement Monday reported by a Korean newspaper, AT Sports said, “Ever since Orser was offered a job to coach another skater, we have had an awkward relationship. Since June, Kim Yuna has essentially been training alone.”

Orser said financial issues had nothing to do with the split. He denied reports of having received a $1 million bonus after KIm won the Olympics.

“I’m the lowest paid coach at this level in the history of figure skating,” Orser said. “I get $110 an hour, and that is what I charged her. I did make something from Korean commercials, but there was no deal between us for that.”

A Forbes.com story last week said Kim, a national hero in South Korea, had earned $9.5 million in the past year. Forbes said Kim ranked fifth in earnings over that time period among female athletes, after tennis players Maria Sharapova, Serena and Venus Williams and race car driver Danica Patrick.

Kim started working with Orser and David Wilson as a 15-year-old in 2006. Within nine months, she had gone from an athletically talented junior to an artistically striking bronze medalist at the 2007 senior worlds.

She utterly dominated the competition at the Olympics with her mastery of the technical demands of the current judging system and and artistry that included sexy pizzazz in a James Bond-theme short program and a jazzy lightness of being in her long program to Gershwin.

Photo:  Kim Yuna and coach Brian Orser react with joy after hearing her free skate scores at the 2010 Olympics.  (David Phillips / Associated Press)


More Comments on this :

With all due respect, Mr. Hersh, would you care to deliver more balanced view on all this? All I read in your article is Orser’s bitter and emotional remarks toward ATS and Yuna. Yuna’s side should have their own version of this case and why the relationship had to turn out this way. Yuna was having an ideal relationship that any skater would die for with her coaching team and also from the support by the Canadian skating community – Sandra Bezic, Shea Lynn Bourne, Kurt Browning, to name just a few – that she became acquainted through her coaches. Yuna’s management must have assessed such side benefits Yuna will have to let go when she goes separate ways with Orser (and Tracy) in this not-so clean cut fashion. Yuna’s side to make that decision despite the obvious loss of the benefits from having the “Canadian connection” might be an indication that there is a very good reason for Yuna’s side to have decided to go that way.

I am certain that Brian Orser is a class act, but it is obvious that he (or anyone in his position) will not say to the press anything that would harm his future coaching career in any way, and portraying the client side so what unprofessionally in this stage can be a way of defending his own position. I am not saying that is what Brian Orser is doing now, but all I am saying is it is fair to hear from both sides in an equal ground. After all, we have this bright and talented young athlete’s future career on the line in this very conservative and heavily reputation-driven industry.

Posted by: Donny | August 24, 2010 at 01:18 PM

I think it is shameful what has happened. This is akin to the rich businessman who dumps his wife of thirty years for some cheap floozy, even though she supported him when he was nothing. I am sure that Brian will bounce back.

Posted by: Robin Byrd | August 24, 2010 at 02:50 PM

>Orser said he was approached about the possibility of working
but immediately rejected the idea.

It’s true that Orser himself ‘exposed’ to Korean media about this ‘secret’, but it’s officially denied by Mao’s agent. As you kow, or, as you don’t know???

Posted by: ellecat2 | August 24, 2010 at 03:41 PM

It’s really unfortunate to see a great partnership dissolve, at least that’s how it appeared from the outside. It seems that both sides benefited greatly from each other’s input, Yuna with her learning to skating with emotion and Brian with learning to coach. This makes me think of Michelle Kwan-Frank Carroll split, which also appeared to happen all of sudden and to have a strong parental influence. I hope Yuna doesn’t lose any of the goodwill built over the past 4 years of training in Canada and from the North American skating community and fans.

Posted by: EunHee | August 24, 2010 at 09:49 PM

Ha ha ha, watch Yuna – who already was faultering – become the next Park Tae Hwan. “Friends and family” f*cked with the coaching, created their “own team” and got f*cked at the world championship… Queen Yuna – nothing against her – she’s going for the ride… this is not a sport thing or a Korean thing, this is a what happens to child stars… you’ve got a Linsey Lohanish situation here.

Yuna will be a fixture to Koreans because of her place in history but her competitive skating career is over… any Korean will tell you, the scariest thing in Korea is the 아줌마 (Ah Joom Ma), middle aged women…

Korean athletes don’t handle success very well except Park Jisung of Man U… you name it, after the initial success, they all get complacent.

Posted by: Cee Kay | August 25, 2010 at 01:28 AM

Whatever has really happened here, it’s a sad and disappointing story.

Brian and Yu-Na should probably communicate to each other and clear up their issues, because it’s sad to do it this way.

Posted by: Lindsay | August 25, 2010 at 02:53 AM

I think there is a culture clash here so let me take a wild guess. The South Korean delegation was insulted and disrespected that Orser would even entertain the thought of coaching a Japanese skater, a strong rival to Yuna.
Since their honor was tarnished, and the humiliation they would face in South Korea, they could no longer continue with Orser.
And how many times have we read about crazy happenings when parents start meddling in their kids career? Kids, when they become adults, need the chord cut and their own space, and professionals to guide the professional aspect of their career.

Posted by: Bill | August 25, 2010 at 06:52 AM

I also hope that the following part will be clear.

“Orser said he was approached about the possibility of working
but immediately rejected the idea.”

As mentioed above, this was denied by Mao’ agent.
Three possibilities:
(i) This article is misleading.
(ii) Either Orser or Mao’s agent lied.

Posted by: S | August 25, 2010 at 09:39 AM

It’s like a Frank Carrol-Michelle Kwan thing. Frank Carrol was never given a real reason why their coach-student relationship ended. And Carrol taught Michelle ever since she was teensy weensy. He essentially helped Michelle become the Michelle Kwan. Same thing with Orser. Orser helped Yuna become the Yuna Kim.

The only difference is that Michelle was extremely sentimental (in private) about the split with Carrol, while Yuna seems to stand at a distance.

Oh well. Guess I can’t really say anything about this since I’m not a member of either team.

Posted by: Dyna | August 25, 2010 at 09:50 AM


The Japan Times contacted Mao’s agent, Mariko Wada of IMG, on Sunday and asked her
to provide some clarity on the issue.

“Very surprising,” she wrote in an e-mail of the initial reports.
“We never contacted him and never thought about it.”

Posted by: avril | August 25, 2010 at 01:24 PM

I’m going out on a limb and stating that AT Sports won’t be “all that” in a few years. Looks like the classic situation where the meddlesome parent sees the opportunity to make some $$$$ off their kid, and they and up getting a little too greedy.

Time will tell.

Posted by: Jack Armstrong | August 25, 2010 at 05:05 PM

My money’s on Wada being untruthful. Of course she’s not going to admit that Asada’s people approached Orser and were rebuffed. And Orser would have had nothing to gain by making up such a story.

Posted by: Erling | August 25, 2010 at 08:42 PM

There is no reason for Mao to approach Orser. Mao is looking for a Japanese coach. Is Orser a Japanese? And more over Orser’s guidance is non-sense for Mao. Orser coaches that skater not to do new things but to just polish present skills. So, that skater’s programs are always same. However, Mao always tries to do what she can’t do and new things. Is Mao and Orser’s partnership match? I don’t think so. Don’t involve Mao in this trouble!!

Posted by: anne | August 25, 2010 at 10:52 PM

Brian Orser himself said on TV(CTV) that Mao side people absolutely did’nt make such offer. Just give up to drag others in nasty skirmish like this.

Posted by: ellecat2 | August 26, 2010 at 12:05 AM

Brian Orser himself said on CTV program that Mao side people absolutely didn’t make such offer.

Posted by: ellecat2 | August 26, 2010 at 12:27 AM

Everyone misses an important thing: IMG World, who sponsors many figure skaters including Mao Asada and other Japaneses skaters, but not Yuna Kim. Yuna Kim in fact has left IMG a few years ago.

However, recently, IMG World made a contract with Brian Orser with big money and sent several young Japanese skaters to Toronto. Yes, there have been many Japanese skaters, parents, and other people roaming around Yuna Kim. It is not a pleasant experience for Yuna, as she is competing with many Japanese skaters, especially Mao Asada. So, she has ended contract with Brian.

That’s it.

Brian’s contract with IMG is understandable; Yuna’s firing him is also understandable. So what?

The only thing that wasn’t cool is what Brian did with media.

Posted by: K | August 26, 2010 at 11:36 PM

Brian Orser admitted that he was asked by Mao’s agency to work with her. There are diverse evidence for it.
Evidence Nr1: Brian’s email to Yuna in April this year => “…Her(Mao’s) agency did inquire about me (and team) working with her(Mao)…”
Evidence Nr 2: Brian’s telephone interview with SBS => “The thing is back in April going around that Mao Asada had asked me, I said ‘No’.”
After Mao’s agency made an official statement that they never asked Brian to be her coach, Brian changed his word in his CTV interview and said he was never asked by Mao’s agency to work with her. So who is the liar?
He says he wants the best for Yuna and blahblah, but what he does is totally the opposite of it.
Brian doesn’t seem to be a sincere person.

Posted by: grace | August 27, 2010 at 05:11 AM

We are a long way from knowing all the facts of the situation, but what Orser told me about the Mao issue does not contradict what he said in the CTV interview. He told me that Mao’s camp asked him about the POSSIBILITY of working with Mao, and he said no BEFORE any offer was made.

Posted by: Philip Hersh | August 27, 2010 at 08:05 AM


**Watch this video how Brian changed about Mao Asada’s coach offer comment to Korean media and Canadian media!..He is..really…

Brian Orser—OMG you are an arrant liar!!
And you teach Japanese Junior team at the same link in Canada where Yuna practices. You revealed Yuna’s secret Free Program for next year before Yuna and her agency tell to the media..What are you trying to do???You like Japanese MOney and You betrayed her loyalty first..You can see and you know that!!
What’s your intention? Yeah..Can’t help it..That ‘s all about your money and money and reputation..Your reputation is high with a new title, the Liar now!!

So disappointing about his two sided cunning heart. Ah,.can’t believe that just simple and normal split between Coach and player..he made a such an issue..God… for what Brian???

Posted by: Korean Girl | August 27, 2010 at 09:03 AM

1. Kim and AT Sportsy&fans seem to mixed up the figure skating for pseudo-Japan-Korean war. Orser has been coaching Gao, and it did not bother them, but possible Japanese juniors are unbearable fear.

When it come to Japan, they over-react and feel free to make up stories as they wish to believe; kim is innocent, Asada or any other Japanese juniors are evil, and caused all the trouble.

2. Both Orser and Korean side brought Asada as a scapegoat in to the trouble.

My guess is Orser might have suggested Asada’s name for wage bargaining. And AT Sports might have used his words to baffle the situation, shift the responsibility, and victimizing themselves.

3. Poor Asada.

4. I wonder Kim is still suitable person for the Olympic bid after such a mess.

Now I’m interested how they consider the pointless accusation to Asada? Any apologies for the involvement?

Or admit that their trust was sooo fragile, that can be ruined by a ‘rumour’??

Posted by: Helen | August 27, 2010 at 11:04 PM

First, Orser (or IMG) should’ve not used media play to reveal private business matter. It’s definitely immoral, immature and careless.

Second, its funny those who lose jobs always say oh, there is no reason, it’s unfair, I feel insulted blah blah…. Brian should know Yuna & mom treated him too mannerly ,nicely, respectfully to let him know any dissatisfaction with him when when he was a coach of Yuna. He should be grateful to Yuna & mom for the rest of his life for making him a coach and building up confidence as a coach. (too much??)


Posted by: csb7 | August 28, 2010 at 08:51 PM

All skaters have right to choose thier own coaches, they do this more often than not whenever they feel uncomfortable or want improvement for themselves. The contract ended in April between Yuna & Brian.(Actually there is no serious ‘contract’ or something between coach & athelte relationship) Yuna has practiced alone since May. Yuna & mom has never wanted to say loudly to the outside world anything against him even though they feel uncomfortable. Yuna & mom has kept the guideline on how to change coaches in the most respectful way.

As for Yuna Kim , just another WOW, She is really the GREATEST skater of all time. I can’t help loving and adoring her more and more. She uncovered the truth bravely and protected her mom courageously .She’s like a guardian angel. What a lady! Someone say ” Yu-na certainly is a great champion on and off-ice, and her sportsmanship is not only shown in competitions but shines even during her worst times ever” , Yes, indeed! God bless Yuna now &4ever.

Posted by: csb7 | August 28, 2010 at 09:46 PM

This whole story sickens me. I never imagined to read this result of the Orser/Kim alliance. Never.

In my eyes, no matter the spin or the speculations here by bloggers (which I find as alarming as the story, the whole mess sounds like one big fat LOSE/LOSE situation in all directions.

Since the whole thing has transpired for several months in a peculiar bubble of silence from both camps, I doubt the factual step by step account will ever sort itself out in the public forum. Time may eventually shine a beam of light into the dark corners of this story, I hope. In my opinion, the current ambiguity arising from the delayed announcement serves one side a bit more than the other but I still don’t know what actually happened here.

So I say this: none of us knows what happened to trigger or culminate this process. So STOP WITH QUESS FEST?
Such foolish remarks only muddy the waters further. SO STOP.

An abiding nausea floods my body every time I read another version of this story. Visions of the surprise, joy and mutual respect and affection in Kim and Orser with each triump flood my memory. And that combo of story vs images leaves me with a deep sadness and the thought that we may never again see either Kim or Orser as happy as they were when they worked together during the past 3 years.

I hope I am wrong. I do wish them both much success. I feel a terrible sense of lose in all this.

Posted by: Kate McDermott | August 29, 2010 at 12:49 AM

How can Yu Na Kim be the “greatest” skater of all time when she probably has one of the worst spiral sequences in history? And what about longevity? Like what Doris Day once said: “Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see.” Who knows? Maybe Yu Na will be another Tara Lipinski – a mere blip on the radar.


Posted by: Nicole Park | September 02, 2010 at 02:05 AM

I think this situation, whatever the truth is, is likely to end well for Orser, and poorly for Kim. If she doesn’t perform to gold standards, then people will see the separation from Orser as the reason. He becomes the coach of the decade, and she is left milking positive sentiment in Korea until they realize she’s not going to keep winning.

Given extremely hostile sentiments between Korea and Japan, if Orser really did coach any Japanese athlete, at any level, then that’s basically it for him. But I think a) he’d know that; and b) he’d be unlikely to risk losing Yuna Kim unless her crazy mom did/said something to make his long-term prospects look unreliable.

Posted by: Benjamin | October 21, 2010 at 07:25 PM







YuNa Kim and Brian Orser split

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