kurtfiles

 
Home
Profile
Record
Articles
News
Photo
Stars on Ice
Music
References
Miscellaneous
 
News
History
Articles
Photos
Reviews
Merchandise
Skaters
Retrospective
Kurt in SOI
Creative Team
FAQ
Links
 
SOI Pre-2000
SOI 2000-01
SOI 2001-02
SOI 2002-03
SOI 2003-04
SOI 2004-05
SOI 2005-06
SOI 2010-11
SOI 2011-12
SOI 2012-13
CSOI Pre-2000
CSOI 2001
CSOI 2002
CSOI 2003
CSOI 2004
CSOI 2005
CSOI 2006
CSOI 2008
CSOI 2009
CSOI 2010
CSOI 2012
CSOI 2013



Two-time Olympic champ has parlayed her fame into more tangible success

Source: Daily News Los Angeles
Date: January 17, 2002
Author: Jerry Rice

Katarina Witt knows capitalism.

The two-time Olympic figure-skating champion -- with TV production credits on her resume, appearances in films like "Jerry Maguire" and "Ronin," a fitness book and even her own line of jewelry -- is an industry unto herself.

"Well, I like making money and the independence that comes with it," Witt says.

This weekend at the Arrowhead Pond and Staples Center, she'll be collecting a check for what she does best: wowing audiences with other world and Olympic champions in Stars on Ice. Also appearing will be Tara Lipinski, Kristi Yamaguchi, Kurt Browning and Ilia Kulik, among others.

It's a different life than the one she knew as a successful young skater behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany -- even after she gained international attention as the 1984 Olympic gold medalist in Sarajevo.

"I didn't really grow up with a lot of stardom, which in some ways was good for me," she says. "It kept me grounded. It kept me going into more world championships and into another Olympics and winning another Olympics."

Witt, 36, knows plenty about winning. She started skating at the age of 5, and four years later came under the direction of famed skating coach Jutta Muller. When she first advanced to international meets, the 1982 European and world championships, she placed second at each. The performances were significant because after them she put together an impressive string of 13 first-place finishes at the amateur and professional levels, interrupted only once by a second at the 1986 world championships.

While she won't be skating to the opera "Carmen" during Stars on Ice, like she did for the 1990 HBO special that earned her an Emmy Award, Witt will demonstrate her unique blend of spins, loops and sex appeal.

"For a figure skater, it's the ultimate show to be a part of because you are featured and highlighted in your best way," Witt says.

When Stars on Ice is on hiatus during next month's Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Witt won't be taking time off. She'll be working as a commentator for German television.

Trying to remain impartial, Witt isn't about to pick a favorite in a competition that features home-country favorite Michelle Kwan.

"It really comes down to who will rise to the occasion, and who will be able to keep their nerves together and give it their best under a lot of pressure," Witt says.

Having done it twice, she has some advice on what it takes to win at the Games: "Block everything out of your mind, concentrate on your competition, and go for it."