1980sABCFigure SkatingJim McKayOlympicsOther Sports

Olympics – 1988 Calgary – Men’s Figure Skating – USA Brian Boitano


Brian Anthony Boitano (born October 22, 1963) is an American figure skater from Sunnyvale, California.  He is the 1988 Olympic champion….the 1986 and 1988 World Champion….and the 1985–1988 U.S. National Champion.  He turned professional following the 1988 season. He returned to competition in 1993 and competed at the 1994 Winter Olympics….where he placed sixth. Going into the Olympics, Boitano and Brian Orser each had won a World title….plus each had excellent, balanced repertoire….with Boitano being known as the slightly better technician….and Orser as the better artist.  Adding to the rivalry, Boitano and Orser were both performing military-themed programs.  Boitano’s was to the music of Napoleon.  The Battle of the Brians at the 1988 Winter Olympics was the highlight of Boitano’s amateur career. Boitano and Orser were effectively tied going into the free skating portion of the event….so, whoever won that portion would win the event.  Alexander Fadeev had won the compulsory figures section of the competition with Boitano second and Orser third.  In the short program….Orser placed first and Boitano second. The free skating was, at the time, worth 50% of the score….so Boitano’s lead would not be enough to hold him in first place if he lost the free skate.  Boitano skated a clean, technically excellent long program….with eight triple jumps….two Axels….and a triple-triple combination. Orser made one small mistake on a jump and omitted his planned second triple axel.  Boitano won the Battle in a 5–4 split….as Boitano won the gold medal, wearing skates with American flag appliqués that are now part of the collections of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution.  Following the Olympics, both Orser and Boitano went to the World Championships, which Boitano won. Boitano turned professional soon after.

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