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Kurt Browning CBC Newsworld Interview Transcript

Dec. 3, 2002
Transcribed by Kirsten in PEI

CBC Newsworld host Colleen Jones interviews Kurt via satellite from Lake Placid Stars on Ice rehearsals.

CJ: Colleen Jones
KB: Kurt Browning

CJ: It's another busy season for one of Canada's brightest figure skating stars. He joins us from Lake Placid, New York, where he's busy training for Skate America. And Kurt, welcome back to the show. You know, you remind me of the Energizer Bunny. You just keep going and going and going. Now you're 36 years old. In skating terms, you're almost a grandfather!

KB (laughs): It's getting there! I don't know how that happened, but I must be having fun on the way because time is flying. It's not easy, but the hard work is worth it because you do get a lot of energy from the audience and if I look like I'm having fun, it's because I am. Being on the HSBC Stars on Ice--it's like, become...Stars on Ice has been kind of like home for me and it's the place where I've been able to grow as a skater and work and hopefully matured to this ripe old age (clip of Kurt's Elevation program from the 2002 CBC Stars on Ice broadcast) and I'm really happy, actually, at 36, to still have this job! (laughs)

CJ: You keep doing new and different things. I remember last year, you were skating to that live Barenaked Ladies show and you also did that "Gotta Skate" with your wife. Is that the key to staying fresh and coming up with new ideas?

KB: Well, as you age, obviously, certain things leave you. Like, the triple axel's just not an easy move for me anymore and technically, I'm not the skater I used to be. (clip of Kurt's Crash program from 2000 Ice Wars)But if you want to stay in this job, you really have to stay competitive with the young talent that's always coming up. That doesn't mean you have to be better than them, but you have to create a space in the show for yourself that sort of becomes necessary. And I've worked really hard on trying to make sure that the relationship I have with my audience is one that's trust and that every time I do step on the ice, I have something not necessarily new, but at least I'm trying. And you're right, you can't recreate the wheel, but, like, this year, I'm doing basically a comedy number which I have yet to reveal, so I don't know if it's funny yet. But by the time I get up to Canada, I hope it's hilarious!

CJ: How scary is that, doing a comedy number and skating? Because often when you guys are doing your performances, I know you've got a little theme you're trying to show the audience and sometimes we in the audience just don't get it. But I mean, when you're doing comedy, you're putting yourself out there!

KB: Yeah, it's...I mean, I did a clown routine a couple of years ago, a few years ago. Like you said, time flies and this is...it's almost like an extension of that. It's not a clown character, but it's--hopefully, he's funny. We'll see.

CJ: I'm sure he will be!

KB: But it's like you said, as you age, you have to find new ways to present yourself and necessity is really the germ of creation, so...

CJ: You talk about not being able to do the triple axel anymore.

KB: Not every day!

CJ: Well, no, let me rephrase that! You know, that the triple axel's sort of harder to come by. Is that sort of a key, now that you're getting a little bit older, of just trying to find new ways of doing it? Is there a joy in that?

KB: Oh, all these questions about being old! Okay, yeah, you do miss it. I mean, I watch Alexei Yagudin, who's in the show. He just won the Olympic Games, and I know it's not easy to do a triple axel, but boy, he makes it look easy! And Todd Eldredge, who's also in the show, he does the triple axel, triple lutz, triple-triple...I mean, these guys are amazing athletes. (another clip from Kurt's Elevation program) And I still do great jumps and I'm very happy with where I am, but I feel like I'm jealous. You know, you're a little bit envious of not necessarily them, but of the younger you. (laughs) And you do really need to sort of stretch out and try and find a way to recreate yourself every year and it is a challenge, but if you can pull it off, then it feels great and just try to extend your life as an athlete and as an entertainer.

CJ: Kurt, good of you to join us, and you just brought up the age thing, by the way, the aching joints and all of that. It wasn't me that brought it up this time! Thanks for joining us!

KB (laughing): Just come to Stars on Ice and you'll just see how aching my joints are! I'm feeling pretty good.

CJ: Excellent! You always look good.

KB: I try.