Brian Orser, Joyce Hisey and Yu-Na Kim were honored for their individual achievements in the world of skating at a private celebration at the Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club on Thursday afternoon.
Orser and Hisey were inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame during the 2009 World Championships in Los Angeles last March while Kim made history in California by winning the first World title for her Korean homeland.
“For the kids here who are not really sure what the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame is, it is where the greatest names of the sport are celebrated,” Tracy Wilson, the 1988 Olympic bronze medalist in ice dance explained. “Many people in the skating world consider it the highest honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“Joyce was a figure skater, judge, referee and an International Skating Union technical delegate. During her career, when there was an Olympic event or a World Championship she ran the show,” Wilson said “Nothing that happened at those competitions did not go through her and that is why skating events were so well run for many years. It is people like her who make skating such a special sport.
“Joyce was also the team leader at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics, which means she had the enormous task of taking care of both Brian and I,” Wilson added.
Hisey said she had wonderful memories of her long career in skating. “It is an extreme pleasure to have been involved in the sport for so long. It has been fabulous,” she said.
The Cricket Club has always had a special place in Orser’s heart. “It is a great honor to work here. Whenever I came to Toronto during my career it was my first choice of a place to skate. It really is the best place to train and skate on the planet,” he said.
Kim received a loud ovation when Wilson introduced her. “Following in the tradition of great skaters the club has produced, we now have Yu-Na Kim. Yu-Na is not only a role model but such an inspiration to all of our skaters,” Wilson told the assembled guests. “It is not just her athletic excellence but also her work ethic … and we get to watch her every day. Thank you so much, Yu-Na.”
Kim was presented with a plaque that will be hung in the skating lounge. “Thank you for supporting my journey. I am really honored to train here, especially with Brian and Tracy. Thank you so much,” Kim said as the crowd cheered.
Kim had left her World medal at her home in Korea, but the ever-thoughtful Orser had a surprise for his gifted student. He brought the gold medal he claimed at the 1987 World Championships and placed it around Kim’s neck. She wore it with pride the entire afternoon.