Tony Guadagnino is a marketing consultant. Located in New Jersey, his clients are based across the country, focusing on social media to build their presence on the internet. He studied creative writing in college and is currently working his first novel on the subject of bullying. He lives with his partner Mark.
Brian Boitano is a legendary American figure skater. He was first brought to America’s attention during the 1988 Winter Olympics. Having grown up in California, he made his first dent into the figure skating arena by winning the bronze medal at the 1978 World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Today, he is known as a sports icon and a pop culture phenomenon.
Brian was primarily known as a jumper on the ice. In 1982, he became the first American (male or female) to land the triple Axel (The skater springs into the air from bent knees instead of using a toe to push off the ice and completes three rotations before landing on the opposite foot that the skater had taken off from.). At the 1983 World Championships, he became the first skater to ever land all six triple jumps in competition. He won the gold in 1986 World Championships but failed to retain his title the following year. It was at that moment, he realized he needed to spend time working on the artistic side of skating and less on the technical aspect of the sport. He has been described as a “jumping robot.” He hired choreographer Sandra Bezic to choreograph is upcoming programs, and he wound up winning the 1988 World Championships and qualifying for the Winter Olympics.
The Men’s Figure Skating competition that year became known as the “Battle of the Brians,” between Brian Boitano and his direct competitor, Brian Orser (who also announced later to be an LGBT member). With Boitano stronger in technical, and Orser as the better artist, and both of them performing military-themed programs, it was a competition for everyone to watch. The competition was fierce, but in the end, Brian Boitano won the Gold, and Oser took the Silver.
NOTE: Brian’s skates, which were decorated with American flags, are now in the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institute.
Following his win, Brian Boitano went professional, performing and competing in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. In 1996, he was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
During his years on the ice, he was able to hide his sexuality from the public. It wasn’t until December 2013, when he was named to the U.S. Delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia when he publicly came out as gay. In fact, even after his “coming out,” he continues to keep his personal life private. There is no public documentation of him having relationships, affairs, or even married to anyone.
But, we do know that in 2009, the song “What Would Brian Boitano Do?” was included in the film South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut. And Brian, self-taught cook, shifted his career into the culinary area, having written some cookbooks and starring in his own TV series, “What Wound Brian Boitano Make?” on The Food Network in 2009.
Brian Boitano is a proud member of the LGBT community, and an influential one, too. Adam Rippon and Johnny Weir, have called him their “inspiration” for coming out as well. The strong, silent type, Brian will have a lasting impact on the figure skating world.