Brian Pockar

Canadian national champion 1978-1980
1982 World bronze medalist

Brian Pockar was a three-time Canadian national champion, who later served as a sports commentator for CTV and artistic director of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics closing ceremonies. His pro accomplishments included skating the lead opposite Dorothy Hamill in "Romeo and Juliet on Ice" and touring with Stars on Ice.

According to Brian Orser's affidavit in connection with a palimony lawsuit, Pockar came out during his employment as a commentator, which Orser says led to Pockar being fired. Other than that, the only other public mention of Pockar's sexual orientation has probably been in Scott Hamilton's 1999 autobiography Landing It, in which Pockar is credited as one of the gay people who helped Hamilton reverse some of his homophobia.

Pockar died of AIDS in 1992, after being a pallbearer in Rob McCall's funeral only months earlier. A skating fundraiser in Pockar's memory marked one of the first times that top Olympic skaters lent their names publicly to AIDS activism, forever breaking a taboo within the sport.

In Zero Tollerance, Toller Cranston movingly relates what happened when Pockar first told him of having AIDS: "We talked as skater to skater, brother to brother, father to son, human to human, artist to artist. We had to talk, because there wasn't much time left. We talked without emotion. We talked about anything that had to be said. I told him things that went to the grave with him, and he told me crtain things that I can never disclose to anyone. We traded notes and confidences. The next day I had to skate again in the freezing little rink, but we vowed to meet a second time. Three nights running, we met at the same restaurant, the same table, had the same drinks, and talked" (p. 320).

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