A group of figure skaters are leading the fundraising push for this year’s Pride And Remembrance Run, having already raised more than $28,000 in the name of Canadian ice-dancing champ Rob McCall, who died of AIDS-related illness in 1991.
Called Silver’s Bullets, the 25-member strong team is led by two-time Olympic silver-medallist Brian Orser and includes Skate Canada CEO William Thompson, former skaters Patti Cooke and Michael Slipchuk, and current skaters Chris Mabee and Joey Russell.
“A lot of these kids who are on the national team remember Rob,” says Orser. “It was important for me to get them out and run for the right reasons.”
The team’s name comes from McCall’s nickname for Orser, “Silver,” which he earned after he twice missed out on Olympic gold in 1984 and 1988.
“He was the only one who could get away with calling me that,” says Orser. “He had an incredible sense of humour. He was a bit of a partier and a fantastic skater.”
Originally from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, McCall and skating partner Tracy Wilson became the first ice dancers to win an Olympic medal, capturing bronze at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. The duo also won three World Championship bronze medals. McCall will be inducted into the 519 Community Centre’s AIDS Memorial in Cawthra Square Park during the vigil on Thu, Jun 21.
Orser, who has participated in the Pride Run for the past two years on the now-rival team All the Queen’s Men, hopes that Silver’s Bullets will become an annual tradition.