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Kurt Browning AOL Chat Transcript - April 12, 2000

April 12, 2000 - Live from rehearsals in Halifax, where Chrysler Stars on Ice, and AOL Canada presented a live chat with Canadian Figure Skater...
Kurt Browning


BPerez: Hi everyone, welcome to AOL Canada's live chat with Canadian figure skater Kurt Browning.

BPerez: Myself and DJ here will be your hosts for the evening. You may begin sending your questions, they are kept in a cue and will be presented to Kurt when he arrives.

BPerez: Hi DJ, will you be going to the show this year?

CLCDN DJ: Hi BP, yes I will be attending the show in Vancouver on May 2

BPerez: super, I'll be at the one in Montreal

CLCDN DJ: I am looking forward to it...:)

BPerez: Kurt is in the building!! should be here in a moment or two i think he is removing his skates :-)

CLCDN DJ: The shows begin Sunday April 16 in Halifax and are going across the country look for the show in your area

BPerez: Hey everyone, welcome Kurt Browning..

BPerez: Hi Kurt, glad you could make it
SOI Kurt: Hi everyone,, psst tap tap,

CLCDN DJ: Hi Kurt nice to see you with us again

SOI Kurt: Hello DJ

BPerez: Kurt, you are presently in Halifax right?

SOI Kurt: We are all here in Halifax.. once again, and everybody is very excited about this years to tour.

BPerez: Today was a rehearsal?

SOI Kurt: Today was the third day of rehearsal, and we think we are ahead of schedule. As we speak they are out putting together some new music for the show, and YUUPP,, i am typing by myselff

BPerez: lol, great, and doing a super job too!!!

BPerez: How many cities will the tour be in?

SOI Kurt: We do ten cities this year.. nine regular and proud to say we will be going to Kitchener for the first time.

BPerez: WOW, 10 cities in how many nights?

SOI Kurt: Tour runs April 16th through to May 2nd.. Vancouver is the end show

CLCDN DJ: What can you tell us about the tour this year?

SOI Kurt: Tour this year is about the millenium,, sort of. We touch base with most countries in the world through music. At the top of the show we hear the Words ( What A Wonderful World ) in about 5 different languages. Dancers from the National Ballet of Canada were the voices to these different languages.

BPerez: and you speak 5 languages right? :-)

SOI Kurt: I speak only one language,, too bad though

BPerez: super, there are lots of fans in the audience and lots of questions in cue, shall we take a few member questions?

SOI Kurt: Lets go to the phones Bob

BPerez: ok, as usual lets start with a doozy :-)

Question: Hi Kurt!! If you had to pick one female skater to skate pairs with, who would it be and why?

SOI Kurt: Good question,, somebody tiny cause I am a wimp? Tara, I have done some pair work with Tara,, love skating with her.. she is fun and it is great to do side by side triples with her,, and she is truly truly tiny

BPerez: ok while on the subject of doozies.....

Question: Are you planning on starting a family soon, or just concentrating on skating for now?

SOI Kurt: i think that I am concentrating on skating now,, Sonia is very busy with her dance but we are doing well with our new puppy,, maybe it is a first step.

Question: Hi Kurt..I just saw you as an Ultimate Bid winner in Long Island, NY. Your triple axel was HUGE! I've been hearing rumors of Lutzes and quads? Any truth to them? See you in Canada next week!

SOI Kurt: Steve Cousins told me he likes my old triple flip take offs,, I told him that they were really closer to lutzes, and so a few minutes later I landed my first lutz in ,,,,,,,,,,,,years and years Quad,, this year has only been in practice,, and even then only once or twice getting old! Somebody would sell their youngest child to see me do a lutz,, how much..? I have ways of hearing everything out there :)

Question: In your latest special, when you were skating on the pond, was that your parents property. If so, was that your beautiful home in the background for when you go home to visit?

SOI Kurt: in the TV Special Tall in The Saddle,, I skated on a lake close to my parents home. If you saw a log cabin,, then it is on our families property

SOI Kurt: I don't know,, how to get a copy of Tall in The Saddle anymore.. sorry.

Question: We have tix to Mike Bullard show next Thursday, since Scott Hamilton will be there. Any chance you will make a surprise appearance on the show? You & Scott always make for a great interview together.

SOI Kurt: i did not know Scott would be on Mike Bullard,, a surprise skate through the set might be in order. Scott is the best interview ever.

Question: Do you think you will do any coaching or choreography when you are ready to leave the show scene? You would do a wonderful job?

SOI Kurt: I am doing some seminar work,, especially at the Granite Club in Toronto where I am working as a skating consultant. This will be my first coaching ever,, a little nerv nervous..

Question: I congratulate you on continuing to skate. I quit in highschool due to peer pressure, and I am a female. I now kick my butt. I know what you must have gone through some times? Did you get bothered by people very often.

SOI Kurt: When I was very young,, 10 or 11, and I lived in a super small town in Alberta. there was some teasing but since that time,, nothing really if you are serious and honest with whatever you do,, I find people will respect you.

BPerez: so true

Question: I really enjoyed your most recent TV special. It was alot of fun watching all of those great programs again and hearing your comments on them. Are there anymore "big" plans for the future such as another TV special or a book?

SOI Kurt: Funky White Boy Pants,,,,, Purple,,, designer Jef Billings is right beside me.. he hopes you liked them .. No books, but maybe another TV Special.. would love to work with my wife and some dancers in it.

Question: I have been to see your arena. My uncle lives in Rimbey. It must be an honour.

SOI Kurt: My arena? Oh,, of course In my hometown of Caroline, they renamed the arena the Kurt Browning Arena.. a very strange feeling and an honor for sure. Weird though, I played pee wee hockey in that rink.

Question: Can you tell us anything about the new program you'll be doing for this tour?

SOI Kurt: Maybe Chrysler Stars on Ice could go to Caroline,, I guess not though. My new solo for Chrysler SOI this year is Dave Mathews,, Crash Into Me. Sandra Bezic and I have just put some finishing touches into it,, she says it better ooze.

BPerez: ooze?

SOI Kurt: It should feel,, like you are offering yourself to the audience,, you know us artsy types, hard to understand. LOL I hope.

BPerez: ah I get it!! :-)

Question: Hi Kurt! I was just wondering -- what happened to your Tracy Chapman "The Promise" program that you skated at Ice Wars this season? And thanks a bunch for waving to us from the bus after the Hershey show -- that was very sweet of you!

SOI Kurt: Wow,, I skated terrible in Hershey,, sorry. I had a super practice before the show,, ? The Promise,, I hope this program comes back somewhere, I feel it could be performed better and maybe grow too. It is a special song to me.

Question: I heard that you own Portugese Water Dog, a breed that nearly went extinct...is this true? And what made you decide to get one?

SOI Kurt: I did not know they almost went extinct? I know they are a bit rare, but growing because they are a super dog. Our puppy Leah is in the Aol Canada commercial with me,, she is amazing,, but all parents are too proud are they not.

BPerez: <-- sharing dog pictures with Kurt

SOI Kurt: A new commercial should be coming out,, showing more of Leah. I hope some of you folks out there like Simon and Garfunkel, they are big in the show this year.

Question: Hey Kurt! What do you do for fun, and who do you hang out with in between shows during the touring season? BTW, I love Rag-GIDON-time!

SOI Kurt: I think we do what anybody else does for fun,, movies,, books While on tour it is always special to find a good resturant. I hang out with Todd Sand, Scott hamilton and Steve Cousins.. all better golfers than me.

SOI Kurt: By the way, Thank You to Aol Canada.. this is fun, good for our show and, well to be honest it was really fun to do the commercial. There,back to business.

BPerez: lol

Question: How different will Canada SOI be from the US SOI?

SOI Kurt: Of course there are more................................. Canadians !!!!!!!!!
SOI Kurt: Scott Hamilton,, Tara Lipinski are still with the tour, but except for Todd Sand and Jenni the cast changes totally. Isa and Lloyd, Josee and Brian Orser join us. The group numbers stay the same,, individual numbers change of course.

Question: Kurt - for those of us who saw the US tour, how much of the choreography in the group numbers will change on the Canadian tour? - Susan in Wisconsin

SOI Kurt: Hi again Susan,, the number called Old Friends changes the most. This number centers around Scott and is about love and friendship using the music of Simon and Garfunkel. Now, instead of 5 people it is more like 10.

Question: Kurt, what is your all time favorite program?

SOI Kurt: My all time fav... has got to be Singing In The Rain. it was more like being in a movie than skating. I just wish I could do it,, with Rain.. at Stars on Ice shows.

Question: Kurt, what is the craziest gift you have recieved from a fan?

SOI Kurt: Craziest gift was a Grover Doll.... like from Sesame Street. It was so crazy cause this Groverhad every costume I had ever had.. almost all of them. Talented people in Winnipeg

BPerez: wow!!

Question: It was nice to see the triple axel back...what inspired you to find the jump consistently again?

SOI Kurt: It had been about a year since I had given any time to training the jump,, that was way way way way way too long I started doing it again while on tour,, during practice, for Stars in the States in Feb. Being around such great skaters every day helped.

Question: Who was your biggest skating inspiration in your early years?

SOI Kurt: in my early years of skating, my biggest inspiration was another athlete from Caroline named Marvin Trimble,, he was my first skating idol mostly cause he was the only one who could remember all the steps to the dances. Scott has always been an idol of mine,, Brian Orser of course. Not just saying that cause they are in the show.

Question: Hey Kurt!!! your the greatest! 1) How do you feel when people refer to you as their hero? 2) do you think that you have made the best of your figure skating career? if not what would you still like to achieve? Brenda, 16, Brampton Ontario

SOI Kurt: Being someones hero is wonderful, but a big responsibility, but nothing compared to being a parent. A good parent is the biggest hero to me. In my career, I would still like to enjoy it till the end.

Question: Kurt, I was wondering if you had a fanclub or a newsletter about you.. and if you do- how would I get info on it?

SOI Kurt: I think there are few clubs out there,, Kurt Klub, What A Wonderful World, etc. but it gets hard to keep up with it in my head. i stick to the skating.

Question: What is Kurt's favorite music group right now?

SOI Kurt: I just don't know what could happen to change The Tragically Hip from being anything but my fav group to listen too. I hope we can do another number together like we did for the Antares program. Bare Naked Ladies, Counting Crows, REM .. all good.

Question: Kurt, are you still on AOL and if so what is your most favorite way to spend your time on-line with AOL Canada?

SOI Kurt: I am online every day, but if I go online 100 times,, maybe twice do I surf the net, email email email.. it is great for friends, business and long distant relationships too.

Question: You're a wonderfull skater Kurt, how old where you when you first laced up your figure skates? Hugs from Maria XX

SOI Kurt: Hi Maria,, I think I was 6 when skates hit the feet.. about 10 or 11 when pointy toed skates got under me.

Question: Kurt, will you please consider performing your challenging, Chris Dean-choreographed "Ain't No Sunshine" program at least one time on U.S. television next season? Thanks in advance! :-)

SOI Kurt: Will try,, yes. Tried to get it maybe in Stars U.S. next year but I don't think so.

Question: Kurt, any hints on what the costume for your new number looks like for those of us who can't get to a Canada show?

SOI Kurt: Jeans, sort of. Burgandy in color,, did I spell that right? The top will have a muscle shirt with built in muscless....... kidding, and a top over it with short sleeves,, now none of this has been made yet so, even I have to wait a few more days.

Question: Hi Kurt. Thanks for the salute from you and Steven in Trenton. My question is: who is going to replace Kristi and Katia in Old Friends? We're looking forward to seeing the show in Halifax.

SOI Kurt: I remember the salute, you must have been the folks with the Canadian Flag.??? Josee and Shae Lynn would probably be the replacements,, sort of. The number will look much different.

BPerez: :-) we have a few rapid ones to shoot your way...

SOI Kurt: OK .. fingers getting tired.

BPerez: favourite colour?

SOI Kurt: Whatever my wife is wearing.

BPerez: favourite food?

SOI Kurt: Mom's chili. or her PIE.

BPerez: favourite city?

SOI Kurt: fav city ????? wow, guess I don't know really.

BPerez: favored to win the Stanley cup?

SOI Kurt: My pick are Edmonton or Toronto.. but I know they are from the heart not the stats.

BPerez: lol

Question: Hi Kurt..I wanted to ask you what you think of all these young guns coming up quickly to the top? With the amount of pressure on these guys and the number of quads they are doing, do you think they will burn out quickly?

SOI Kurt: Burning out quickly is easier to do now,, I believe because of the difficulty, but look at Elvis,, he is tough as nails staying in there. You have to remember that a quad is as hard now as a lutz used to be. It is what you are used to when you are young and learing your craft. I grew up thinking you had to do a triple axel to win, thank you Brian, now they know it is one or two quads.. you just change with the times.

Question: Kurt, does your beautiful wife travel with you when you perform? ... Maria thinks your the cat's meouw!

SOI Kurt: Our schedules are BOTH super busy, she does not travel with me very often. Looking forward to summer for that.

Question: What is your most memorable performance and why?

SOI Kurt: I guess my most memorable would have to be Casablanca,, simply because it helped save my Olympic experience and , in a way, my image as an athlete, a competitor and a Canadian. That long program did not help me win, but it helped me in bigger ways.

Question: My Grandmother Helen Mazurick considers you to be one of the best figure skaters in the world. I really don't follow skating that much, but her birthday is just around the corner and could you please say hello to her? I would really appreciate it.

SOI Kurt: hi Gramma Mazurick.. I love Gramma's they always spoil you. Mine fed me canned peas too much, but other than that I loved her.

Question: Kurt, why don't you use as much rock music in your routines anymore? I loved your "Wishing Well" (Terence Trent D'Arby) routine from awhile back, and also your "Brick House" (Commodores) number from a couple of years ago. I still love your stuff though!

SOI Kurt: i guess I am getting older. this new program to Dave Mathews is very * current * as far
as hits on the radio go. I skated to LIVE, can't remember the name of the song now but it was rock?

Question: How long have you been skating in professional skating for?

SOI Kurt: i think this will be my 6th season as a pro.. I can tell you I am enjoying my 6th season better than my first.

Question: I really enjoyed Hough and Ladrey when they skated. Could you tell me what they are doing now? Thanks

SOI Kurt: Glad you did,, I think Christine Hough and Doug Ladret were one of the best. Tuffy is living with her new husband and twin boys in the States. She is teaching skating and as you can imagine twins keep you busy. Doug Ladret and his wife Lara live in Arizona teaching skating and he also works with Stars on Ice ( he is here with me this week ) doing choreography and keeping all of us in line while on the road. Whew !! .

BPerez: ok, now of the "tell the truth variety..." :-)

Question: Kurt, what's your best golf score?

SOI Kurt: Best ever,, 79 on a super easy course,,a 12 foot put to break 80 on the 18th green,, very exciting for us golfer types. I am happy with anything in the eighties though.

Question: Hi Kurt, my daughters and I have met you a couple of times. Once in Lake Placid and in Montreal. We think you are and amazing entertainer, have you ever thought of going into acting?

SOI Kurt: Thought about it, don't know what to do about it?

Question: OK, fess up! Who's the better golfer, you or Scott Hamilton?

SOI Kurt: I am sure that I can beat Scott, but on average he is a better golfer for sure. Darn.

Question: ~ Hi Kurt! I always enjoy watching your television specials. Kurt: By Request was a lot of fun to watch. Do you have any more specials in the works?

SOI Kurt: Not right now. Glad you liked that special, the idea for it was my Dad's.

Question: What advice about skating would you give young boys out there today about climbing the ranks?

SOI Kurt: Wow, serious now. I think that getting some dance training helps ,, learning how to move to different types of music makes you have a better range as a performer. Work out, and good luck. I have no dance training, just throw stuff around and smile tons.

Question: how much time do u practice in a week

SOI Kurt: A week of Chrysler Stars on Ice.. only 40 minutes or so before the show. At home in the summer,, I skate a little over an hour a day, 5 days a week. Work out more then as well.

Question: ~ One of my favorite elements that I enjoy watching you do is your great footwork. Is there a particular element that you really enjoy doing when you skate?

SOI Kurt: I love the footwork too,, but the footwork falls are always way worse than the triple axel or quad falls. ug. But, ya just can't argue with a perfect triple axel.. real fun.

Question: What would you do for a living if you weren't skating?

SOI Kurt: i don't know what I might be doing, ???????????????????????????
SOI Kurt: ????????????
SOI Kurt: ?????????
SOI Kurt: ????????
SOI Kurt:..///????
SOI Kurt: glad I did not have to find out actually.

Question: i'm a 13 year old male and i cannot find a good pair of skates to do my double jumps in can u help me?

SOI Kurt: Good skates,, hard to find sometimes,,even for me but I love my Riedell skates. If you can't find a good pair then,, well it depends on where you live but skate shops are all over.. sometimes even used ones are good. cheaper for sure. If you are tall,, then it can be tough.. good luck.

Question: hi kurt, what is the biggest thrill in skating in front of a large audience for you?

SOI Kurt: The biggest thrill about a large audience is in the amount of people you can influence in one given moment of time. Really, to leave the ice knowing that 15,000 people feel great because of the last 4 minutes spent with you on the ice feels just as amazing as how BAD it feels when you blow it for that many people. I always think of how great this moment could have been for all of us if I had only skated better.

Question: Does Kurt's wife help choreograph his programs?

SOI Kurt: I just read that... deep Kurt.. ??? No, she does help me with my skating though. Helps in all sorts of ways and quite often at the side of the ice. Her opinion,, even on jumps, is usually very good.

Question: What was the routine that made u feel the proudest?

SOI Kurt: That is an easy answer, it happened in the rink where I am right this very minute. I am at the Halifax Metro Centre and it was at World's in 1990. The short program where I had to put a triple axel in the last few seconds and it worked,, probably saved my world title for sure.. stuck out my chest pretty far after that one .

Question: who's your favorite skater to work with?

SOI Kurt: To tell you the truth, it is Sandra Bezic,, but that is choreography isn't it... Hmm my fav skater to work with.. um.. aahhh... um.. tough one.... tick tock... next question????

BPerez: lol

Question: Hi Kurt from Providence, RI. Saw you in March, in fact was one of the people standing in the rain outside waving to you. Anyway, I was wondering what your plans were for next season. Will you be doing SOI, Worlds? Thanks, Brenda

SOI Kurt: At this moment, I think I will be doing Stars on Ice,, in the States next year this is not for sure, have decided to take things one year at a time from now on. World Pro.. just don't know,, but it is nice to have triple axel back.. hmm. maybe I can do World Pro again this year.


SOI Kurt: hardest thing about touring.../ being away from my family for sure, parents, Alberta and especially my lady.

BPerez: this is a good question...

Question: Hi Kurt: My son wants to know if you think pros should be able to compete in the next Olympics.

SOI Kurt: Sure,, I was thinking the downhill. lol ... ballroom dancing maybe?/


BPerez: Wow, the time has really gone by quickly tonight!

SOI Kurt: it is almost tomorrow here in Halifax.

BPerez: Kurt it was really a pleasure to have you with us

SOI Kurt: Oh, your so sweet. everyone say thanks to Bob for helping us out.

BPerez: :-D Hope you can drop in again soon

CLCDN DJ: Thanks Bob, and as always its great having you here Kurt

SOI Kurt: I hope so too, it is a good way to talk to lots of people at once.

CLCDN DJ: I can hardly wait to see the show in Vancouver...good luck with the rest of the tour

BPerez: Check out the Stars On Ice schedule and take in a show, its always incredible!!

SOI Kurt: We could talk longer but the staff here wants to go home. Close up shop.

SOI Kurt: My only wish is that Canada had more cities.. thank you everybody for hanging out with me and Bob and Aol Canada.

SOI Kurt: Lights are out in the arena,, soon to be out in this office.

SOI Kurt: Signing off from Halifax

CLCDN DJ: night everyone :)

BPerez: check out the AOL Canada people connection for more celebrity chats! Goodnight everyone

(c) 2000, AOL Canada