Skating Stars Laced Up to Dazzle on Ice
||April 28, 2001|
Copyright 2001 Sun Media Corporation
Kurt Browning lets out the odd groan during the phone interview as
a trainer works on his knee after rehearsal.
The skating star, who was in Halifax preparing for an 11-city
Canadian tour with the Chrysler Stars on Ice, will be in Edmonton's
Skyreach Centre today for a fun-filled evening of music, pageantry
and, of course, skating.
Browning is one of several top-flight skaters in the show - Brian
Orser, Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz and Josee Chouinard are also
"It's hard, but you get used to it," said Browning of his
gruelling road schedule.
When he spoke to The Sun, he'd just finished a 56-date American
tour and it had been almost a month since he last saw his wife,
Sonia. But that's just par for the course when you're Canada's
highest-drawing figure skater, one who spends at least half of the
year on the road.
The physical demands of performing so many shows does become a
factor and "it's harder every year," said Browning, but he has no
intention of retiring soon.
As long as he keeps challenging himself out on the ice, Browning,
34, sees no reason why he should quit. He points out that Scott
Hamilton, who's 42, still performs a strong technical routine complete
with backflips, despite a (successful) battle with testicular
cancer. Hamilton, one of the founders of Stars on Ice, has announced
this will be his last year with the tour, but he will stay involved in
figure skating through workshops and guest appearances.
Like most Canadians, Browning says he is "looking forward to
summer" and some well-deserved time off.
This summer will be special for Browning. In June, there will be
an unveiling of his star on the Canadian Walk of Fame in Toronto,
which recognizes outstanding Canadians in the arts, sports and
Browning said that three years ago when the Walk of Fame was
started he made a guest appearance - singing while wearing
Rollerblades. He jokes about being given the star "to make me stop
Browning is no newcomer to awards or recognition, but said he's
"really hapy" about this one.
Browning's a four-time world figure skating champion and a member
of the Order of Canada who's been inducted into the Canadian Figure
Skating Hall of Fame.