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Ice skating, Rolfing®, Brian Orser, Kim Yu-Na

Helen James, CAR, first Rolfed Brian Orser during his performing career, several years before I met her. When she first worked with Brian, she didn’t have the advanced Rolfing training yet, she did that in the same class I took in 1989.

You may remember the battle of the Brians, which could have turned on a heartbeat, a second of better turning out of a triple flip according to the commentator in this video.                       

Helen had been introduced to Brian through a relative of her partner, and Brian immediately saw the value of Rolfing.  Many skaters were Rolfed with Helen after that, including Kim Yu-Na, and Michelle Kwan.

Brian has become a fabulous coach with fabulous colleagues in choreography of skating and training.  The Olympic massacre win of Kim Yu-Na that took place at the last Games showed a great talent and a great coach.

So, what happened?  Why this week did Kim’s mother represent her at a meeting where Brian was unceremoniously without a stated reason, fired from being Yu-Na’s coach?

As an honorary Korean mother at the Curtis Institute of Music, I can only speculate without “knowing”.  BTW,  I was also an honorary Jewish mother at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge MA,  thusly I feel I have full speculative qualifications.

I’m mind reading here, without portfolio—To me there is a sense of desperation in this move.  I’m seeing a mother who is losing it all:  her daughter simply didn’t want to go out there and skate in the foreseeable future.  Her daughter probably didn’t make this plan to get rid of Brian, she just wanted to step off the merry-go-round for awhile.

To me, the mother is grasping for help:  who can inspire her daughter to get back in the harness?  We’ll see if that can happen.  I’m sure Kim Yu-Na would not be where she is without her mother.

A performer’s mother story: in the music world there is the perhaps apocryphal story of Nathan Milstein, a fab violinist of yesteryear.  At his debut, 12 years old, 2 elderly violinists are kibbitzing in the balcony about Nathan and his chances, which look pretty good, lol.  One says, “But, his mother is such a pushy witch”, and the other says, “with little Nathans, there is always a little Nathan’s mother”.

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