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Twice On Ice

Kurt plays it again; Elvis a hit in Prague

Source: Edmonton Journal
Date: March 12, 1993

PRAGUE--He hit all of Casablanca's major themes this week.

"You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh..."

"These moments come so quickly and leave so quickly and the difference is so small between winning and losing, you really do have to savor them," said Kurt Browning, after winning his fourth world men's figure skating championship in five years, Thursday.

"The fundamental things apply, as time goes by..."

"I watched these young kids all week in practice, doing amazing technical things, and I wondered if maybe this might not happen for me. But experience can be a good thing," he said.

And of course...
"This could be the start of a beautiful friendship."

Kurt Browning can utter that line because if there's one crystal-clear conclusion to be drawn from the comeback of the 26-year-old from Caroline, Alta., to the top of the world, it's that coach Louis Stong and the choreography team he assembled were all the difference Browning needed--and it could be the start of something even better.

"I really believe, as I've said, that we haven't even seen a small part of what Kurt Browning can do," said Stong.

After the agony of Albertville and a good but not great rebound at the '92 world championships in Oakland, Browning decided to uproot from Edmonton and surround himself with new people--Toronto people--which must have really put that western heart of his through the wringer.

There was Stong, choreographer Sandra Bezic-Ricci, music and dance consultants Clarence Frod and Tomas Schramck.

But the bottom line was the jumper had grown older. It was time to become an actor. That whole side of Browning, a side every bit as deep, apparently, as his athleticism, has knocked out the judges at every level this season--and it carried him to the world title Thursday on the strength of seven 5.9s and a 6.0 (from the French judge) for artistic merit.

It was even great for the No.2 Canadian Elvis Stojko, who nailed eight triple jumps in his long program, made a brilliant surge from fifth place to second, got the evening's top technical marks, put Canadians 1-2 on the podium and kept alive a neck-and-neck battle that figures to rage until the '94 Olympics in Norway and Worlds in Japan.

Technically, Browning wasn't even as good as bronze medallist Alexei Urmanov of Russia--the Canadian landed only four triple jumps, down-graded both his triple-triple combinations to triple-doubles, and two-footed the troublesome triple lutz.

But, proving that figure skating is not just a game of adding up the tricks and subtracting the misses, Browning skated one of the great performances of his career--he had the audience spellbound.