Brian Orser to Be Named Honorary Seoul Citizen
By Kwon Mee-yoo
Brian Orser, 48, coach of Vancouver Winter Olympics figure skating gold medalist Kim Yu-na, will become the 608th honorary citizen of Seoul. The city submitted the motion to the Seoul Metropolitan Council, Thursday.
Orser, a two-time Olympic silver medalist ― at the 1984 Sarajevo and 1988 Calgary events ― has coached Kim since 2006.
“We recognize Orser’s contribution in winter sports and decided to name him as an honorary Seoul citizen,” a city official said.
The city will present the honor to the Canadian when he visits Korea for the show “Festa on Ice 2010” from April 16 to 18.
The benefits of honorary citizenship in Seoul include VIP invitation to special city events and free entrance to city-affiliated institutions such as the Seoul Museum of Art.
“Being an honorary Seoulite is considered as a privilege since prominent figures have been selected previously,” the official said.
The list of past honorees includes noted figures such as Guss Hiddink, the coach of Korean national soccer team at the 2002 World Cup; former U.S. ambassador to Korea Christopher Hill; and Jay Kim of Foreign Policy Korea, the first Korean congressman in the U.S.
Among those from the sports world, Korean-Japanese wrestler Rikidozan and Korean-American football star Hines Ward have received the honor.
Established in 1958, Seoul City has honored 607 expatriates from 90 countries who have provided distinguished services to the city or set a positive example for Seoulites.
March 18, 2010