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Figure Skater
    (April 20, 1949-January 24, 2015)
    Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Won a bronze medal in men's singles at the Innsbruck Winter Olympics (1976)
    Named to the Order of Canada (1977)
    Inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame (2004)
    His two middle names were Shalitoe and Montague.
    He always did poorly in the compulsory figures (which he called 'an expensive practical joke'), which kept him from ever winning a world championship.
    He expressed his contempt (or frustration) by throwing the skates he wore for the compulsory figures at the 1976 World Championship into a canal.
    He was fired as a commentator from the CBC after the Canadian Figure Skating Association complained that his brutally frank opinions were demeaning to Canadian skaters (1991).
    He briefly coached Christopher Bowman, then blamed Bowman for getting him hooked on cocaine.
    After a couple of years of depression and drug abuse, he sold his house in Toronto and most of his possessions and moved to Mexico (1992).
    When he was thirteen, he developed Osgood-Schlatter disease (an inflammation of the knee ligaments) and was told he would never skate again.
    After eight weeks in a cast, he resumed training and won the 1964 Canadian Junior Championship.
    He was a good enough painter to finance his skating training through sales of his works.
    He placed first in the free skate portion of three World Championships and the 1976 Winter Olympics.
    The figure skating establishment eventually came around to his opinion of the compulsory figures, eliminating them in 1990.
    He sued the CBC over his firing, winning a $60,000 settlement.
    His more theatrical style was a major influence on the next generation of male figure skaters, including Brian Boitano, Brian Orser and Kurt Browning.

Credit: C. Fishel


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