Brian Boitano (born October 22, 1963 in Mountain View, CA) is an American figure skater from Sunnyvale, California. Once a champion in the amateur ranks, he became a professional skater following the 1988 season.
Boitano is probably best remembered for his incomparable jumping technique, having propelled the technical aspect of the sport in both the amateur and professional ranks. He was the first American to land the Triple axel in 1982; he was the first skater to attempt a quadruple jump in competition; and in 1987, he introduced his signature jump, the Tano triple lutz in which the skater, while performing the already extremely difficult jump, raises his left arm above his head.
The extent to which Boitano helped push the technical limits of the sport is quite astounding when one considers the type of elements that skaters regularly executed during the 10 years prior to Boitano's final competition as an amateur and the 10 years following his departure. The contrast in the difficulty of elements between a winning performance in 1978 and 1988 is quite stark, while the elements that Boitano executed in 1988 are still very much part of a top performance today. Possessing such technical ability enabled Boitano to compete as a favorite in the second Olympics following his victory while previous Olympic champions would have found the technical landscape of their sport to have dramatically changed such that they would not be able to contend. Even in the professional ranks, Boitano was the first skater to regularly execute Triple axels and land 6 triple jumps at the World Professional Championships. Prior to Boitano's entrance, professional skating had not at all emphasized technical prowess, but that significantly changed.