At the 1988 Olympics, he was part of the Battle of the Brians. He and AmericanBrian Boitano were both favorites to win the competition. Boitano won it in a very close call over Orser.
In 1998, an ex-boyfriend of Orser announced in a court of law that Orser is gay. Orser did not want this known at first. He thought that people knowing that he was gay would affect his career in a negative way. However, he has since embraced being outed.
Orser retired from show skating in 2007. He now is a co-director of skating at a rink in Toronto.