Olympic gold medalist, ice skater Kim Yu-Na from South Korea has fired her coach, Canadian Brian Orser. and rumor says it has something to do with Japan’s Mao Asada. In a statement issued by Orser’s agent on Monday night, it was announced Kim Yu-Na would no longer be coached by Brian Orser but no reason was given. It now turns out, Orser had known about this for three weeks before coming forward, as he’d been told by Kim’s mother, Park Mee-hee, and an agent, Helen Choi, his coaching services would no longer be required. Orser still denies he has any idea why he was fired. Kim Yu-Na, on several tweets on Twitter, says otherwise. Mao Asada, meanwhile, is keeping quiet. So what’s the real reason?
Although some people have said Brian Orser was in love with Kim Yu-Na and that made her uncomfortable, or that Kim Yu-Na’s mother was getting greedy and wanting “all the money” herself, neither of these reasons make much sense. What does make sense however is a rumor that’s been circulating for months in South Korea. A rumor that talks about Kim Yu-Na’s main rival, Japanese skater Mao Asada, and how she’s been pressuring Brian Orser to coach her. Mao Asada, although at age 19, is Japan’s top female ice skater, she’s yet to win an Olympic gold medal, and that’s what every skater dreams of.
Kim Yu-Na, on the other hand, not only won the gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, she also set a world record for getting the most points in the free skate and in the combined. Mao Asada had to settle for second place and the silver medal and, a full 23 points behind Kim Yu-Na, she wasn’t happy.
Mao Asada too has always had problems finding a coach. She trained for a while in the US in 2006, but left there without a coach. She’s gone on to be coached by Russian coach Tatiana Tarasova, but that was technically only part-time as Asada was in Japan while Tarasova remained in Russia. Asada has been looking for a new coach since the Olympic Games in Vancouver so it’s not at all surprising she might be trying to latch onto Brian Orser.
Kim Yu-Na, who is currently ranked number one in the world, has been quite lucky with coaches. She’s been training with Brian Orser for the last three years and, during that time, her always beautiful performances have become practically unbeatable. Mao Asada sees this every time she competes against Kim and, as any professional athlete will tell you, that competitive drive can make you do some not-so-nice things. Like trying to steal another skater’s coach maybe?
You can only imagine how upset Kim Yu-Na must have been to hear the rumors in South Korea that Mao Asada was trying to steal her coach and even more upset when Brian Orser admitted he’d been contacted by Mao Asada. Since that time, things have been bumpy between Kim and Orser and finally, this month, the split has become final.
While Oser told reporters he still doesn’t understand why he was fired, an angry Kim Ya-Na was on Twitter claiming Orser did know the reason and it made her upset he was lying. Meanwhile, a statement to a Korean newspaper by the agency owned by Kim’s mother, AT Sports, said “Ever since Orser was offered a job to coach another skater, we have had an awkward relationship. Since June, Kim Yu-Na has essentially been training alone.”
That pretty much says it all.
It’ll be interesting to see, now that Kim Yu-Na has officially dumped Brian Orser, if Mao Asada suddenly ends up the winner. I’m not a betting woman, but I doubt even I could really lose on this one. Could you?
Olympic Gold Medalist Fires Her Coach – New York Times
Kim, Orser split – Olympic champion’s coach feels insulted and disrespected – Chicago Tribune