Ice is nice
Performing or competing, skaters go for the glory
||January 25, 2002|
Can't make it to Salt Lake City for the Winter Olympics? Head to
Dallas to see some of the best skaters of the past two decades when
Target Stars on Ice slides into town. Gold medalists Tara Lipinski,
Kristi Yamaguchi, Katarina Witt and Ilia Kulik, along with world
champion Kurt Browning, will highlight the professional ice skating
Browning, who won consecutive world championships from 1989 to
1992, explains that skating competitively and skating professionally
are very different for the athlete.
"Kristi's married to a hockey player [Bret Hedican of the Carolina
Hurricanes,] and every night after the show she gets on the phone and
he either won or lost," Browning explains.
"Sometimes I would like to do Target Stars on Ice and know if I
won or lost," he says. "Lately, we've had some audiences that really
let us know we won."
Browning performs to a guitar solo - an original piece written by
his friend Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies - and to Elevation by
U2, appropriate for the first athlete to successfully complete a
quadruple jump in world competition, a feat that got him listed in the
Guinness Book of World Records.
"I attempt eight or nine jumps in each program," he says, "but
there are only four or five that are difficult."
Browning quickly turns the spotlight on teammate Kulik, who won a
gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics.
"Ilia's doing two triple axels every night," he says with
enthusiasm. "He's having the best run I've ever seen. He's like a
Although Browning went to three Olympics, the Canadian never
brought home a medal.
"The first one, it wasn't my turn. The next one I had a bad back,
and the next one, I just screwed up," he says.
"You go to the Olympics and you think it's going to be perfect,"
Browning continues. "But there's the agony and the ecstasy of
sports. Now that I'm a professional, there's no medal on the line, but
if I have a bad night, it sticks with me."
He hasn't decided whether he'll be going to the Olympics in Salt
Lake City, but he'll definitely be watching.
"I don't miss them," he says. "But you do reminisce."
Now, at age 35, he's at a different place in his life.
"When I was young, I wanted to compete," Browning
remembers. "Winning is very cool. Now, the show must go on."
Browning says he enjoys the effect skaters can have on the
"There's not a whole lot of things better than making a whole lot
of people emotional."