Ice Wars 1997 Review
written by Tina
Having recently only become a figure skating/Kurt Browning fan, I haven't
had many opportunities to see Kurt skate, much less compete, live in person.
Part of the reason is that I live in a section of NY state where no figure
skating competition is likely EVER to be held. Imagine my delight, then,
when I found out that Ice Wars IV was going to be held in Albany, NY, where
my best friend was going to school, a three hour drive away. I was even
happier to find out that one of my friends was willing to drive me there.
So I quickly arranged an overnight stay with my best friend,
and got tickets, towards the back of the first section, right over center
ice, to see my favorite skater in the whole world, Kurt Browning. Although
the evening started off with a snow storm that looked like it was going to
make us late, we arrived in time to watch the skaters be introduced. I
was going nuts pointing out the kiss 'n cry area and the skaters warming
up along the sides.
Kurt skated amazingly, as usual, especially in his first number to
the Counting Crows' I'm Not Sleeping. Now, I usually hate this band, but
the combination of Kurt's skating with this rather dramatically emotional
song was wonderful and I only wish he'd do this program again sometime!
He pulled off a beautiful triple axel/double loop? combo right in the
same spot that Brian Boitano messed up his, as well as a number of other
wonderful jumps. His second program, to Elvis Presley's Are You Lonesome
Tonight, was less "on" but still beautiful. I think Kurt has a sense of
musicality that is rare, an ability to bring out the best in the music
he skates to.
Some of my favorite moments, though, were the off-ice antics that
Kurt is famous for. For instance, at one point Kurt was sitting in the
Kiss 'n Cry area and there was this camera mounted on an arm in his face,
and he was mugging for the camera, sticking his tongue out at it,
making faces, and generally acting silly. And when he started to turn
away, the camera swung around in front of his face again, so he did the
whole Karate Kid pose - one leg up, both arms up, and then kicked out at
the camera with the other leg. At another point after his performance,
two fans handed him two heart pillows, so while he was waiting for his
scores, he was goofing around, stuffing them under his shirt, pretending
to get smothered with them by Oksana, etc. During the second half, Kurt
and this absolutely huge bag of popcorn sitting next to the couch, and
a fan in the stands near him wanted a refill, so he ran over, took her
bag, ran back to the popcorn bag, scooped some in, and went running back
with it - Kurt the concession guy!
There were also some other small moments - he asked Josef for a bottle
of water at one point, took a swig, and spit the water out on the ice..
everyone kind of gasped and he looked around semi-innocently like, what?
what'd I do? and then scraped the water off the ice with his skate blade.
During one of the warmups, this lady at the bottom of the aisle on my
side whistled at Kurt so he whistled right back at her. There were a lot
more moments, Kurt being Kurt, but I won't go into them.