Stars on Ice

Rubber boots road hockey

Source: Saskatoon Star Phoenix
Date: April 1, 2005
Author: Cory Wolfe

As a regular feature, StarPhoenix sports reporter Cory Wolfe gets personal with a sports personality. Today, figure skater Kurt Browning -- a four-time world champion -- gets cornered. Browning's 12-city HSBC Stars on Ice tour comes to Credit Union Centre on April 27.

The SP: You were the first figure skater to land a quad. What's the next achievement that you plan to pioneer?

Browning: I plan on becoming a children's book author. A company has hired me to write a figure skating version of an alphabet book. They do sports with soccer, baseball . . . They've asked me to write the figure skating one, so 'A' is for axel, 'B' is for blade, that sort of thing. I have a son, so it'll be great. But it's a lot more work than I thought.

The SP: Have you ever thought that a cartoon character was hot?

Browning: Yeah, I'm gonna go with Belle from Beauty and the Beast. The whole fish thing with The Little Mermaid, she's pretty hot. But there was a little attitude about Belle that I liked.

The SP: Whenever the kids from South Park are faced with a moral dilemma they sing a song called, What Would Brian Boitano Do? So, if sequins and Spandex were outlawed from figure skating, what would Kurt Browning do?

Browning: Survive. I'd be just fine. Oh, Spandex, too? Trouble. (Laughs)

The SP: What if the Hokey Pokey song is right and that really is what it's all about?

Browning: (Laughs) Then I'm gonna be fine because that's all that goes on at my house is -- the Hokey Pokey and peek-a-boo and pull my finger and all of that stuff.

The SP: Canadian Jennifer Robinson is the body double for the figure skating scenes in the Disney movie, Ice Princess. Computer experts superimpose the face of actress Michelle Trachtenberg on Robinson's body.

Browning: That's why when I saw the clip I was like, "I could have sworn Jennifer did it, but that girl . . ." Wow, OK.

The SP: So whose head would you allow on your body?

Browning: Oh, Brad Pitt. I'd love to look that good.

The SP: As a follow-up, which movie role would you like to live?

Browning: I think Kevin Costner's Field of Dreams. If I build it, they will skate. I love that movie. It would be so cool to have ghosts come and play baseball for you. But you know what? (Costner's character in the movie) isn't really rich, so maybe Hugh Hefner.

The SP: (Laughs) Tell me the first album that you ever bought and also the most recent addition to your music collection?

Browning: The first album was Styx, Paradise Theatre, and the most recent addition is the newest album by Joni Mitchell. I love Joni Mitchell, but technically, I bought it because I think I'm going to skate to one of her songs called River.

The SP: OK, Alberta guy . . . what proves you're still a little bit redneck?

Browning: My vocabulary changes every time I go home and my wife says, "Every time you go home, you talk different." I get local.

The SP: How many rednecks get to marry ballerinas?

Browning: Oh, I recommend it. (Browning is married to Sonia Rodriguez, a dancer with the National Ballet of Canada.) No, I'm a bit redneck. I'd like to play hockey on the street every day if I could. Here's a better answer. What proves that I'm still a redneck? I'm very, very happy in a pair of rubber boots.

The SP: (Laughs) You've just clinched it. You were spotted in the audience at Canadian Idol. What would be your schtick if you were a celebrity judge?

Browning: I'd make fun of everyone that had hair. I'd be like (sarcastically): "Good (performance), but nice hair." I'd last one show and never be asked back.

The SP: What makes you worry that you might be heading toward a mid-life crisis?

Browning: When you're going through a magazine and you're the mid-life guy who is looking at the ads to see if they could actually replace hair and make it look good. I'm like, "This might be a mid-life crisis or this might be something that I have to take seriously." Usually, I just go past the ads, but now I'm actually starting to read them.

The SP: Given the option, would you rather: a) have a figure skating move named after you; or b) win the lottery?

Browning: Well, if they named a move after me, it might last longer. A lottery I'd just spend quickly. So, it's an easy answer -- definitely win the lottery.