CALGARY, FEB. 15 -- World men's figure skating champion Brian Orser of Canada has acquired an entire staff to help him win the gold medal over Brian Boitano of the United States and Alexander Fadeev of the Soviet Union.
Orser, who will begin competition Wednesday morning with the school figures, has an entourage of eight: a masseur, nutritionist, sports psychologist, choreographer, costumer, public relations consultant, manager and, of course, a coach. All told, the staff costs about $40,000 a year in salaries . . .
Romania's speed skating team, three women racers and their coach, inexplicably left just hours before the Winter Olympics began. Canadian officials first learned of this when the head of the Romanian delegation settled their bill Monday. Romanian officials would not explain. One organizing committee official said he assumed the Romanians were being disciplined by being sent home. Six Romanian officials and seven athletes remain . . .
In the first training run for the women's downhill scheduled Thursday, Canadian Karen Percy of Banff had the best time yesterday by more than three-quarters of a second: 1:29.35.
Defending Olympic downhill champion Michela Figini of Switzerland had the fourth best time in 1:30.65. The fastest American was Edith Thys of Squaw Valley, Calif., who was 12th in 1:31.81. Pam Fletcher of Acton, Mass., who is considered America's best downhiller, was 31st in 1:33.79.
Last Man May Move Up
Eddie (The Eagle) Edwards, the flamboyant British ski jumper with the Coke-bottle glasses and a fine feel for the theater of the absurd, wants to be a stuntman when the Games are over.
Edwards, who finished 58th and last in the 70-meter ski jump Sunday, says he's already had an offer from a car manufacturer who wants him to take a four-wheel drive vehicle up the 90-meter jump . . .
Soviet pairs skater Ekaterina Gordeeva, the 5-foot 16-year-old who is favored to win the gold medal Tuesday night with partner Sergei Grinkov, has also stolen the heart of her own press corps. Her mother Elena is a teletype operator for Tass, and the news organization has claimed "Katja" as its own . . .
British two-man bob pilot Tom De La Hunty said he came close to killing a track worker Sunday as he hurtled down the Olympic chute in practice for next weekend's event.
"He got out of the way just as I got to him," De La Hunty said. "I wouldn't just have had his leg off if I'd hit him -- he would have been dead and so would I.
"I've never had anything like it happen to me before. I've never ever felt so scared."