Nothing Stops A Blade Stunner: Kurt Browning, 'Stars on Ice' at Verizon Center
Kurt Browning likes to joke that he's old. At 44, that's really only
by figure skating standards. Still, the former four-time world
champion is what he calls the "veteran-ist" of the performers taking
over the Verizon Center this Sunday for the 25th anniversary of
Smucker's Stars on Ice tour.
||Express Night Out|
||March 1, 2011|
He'll be sharing the rink with some of the sport's biggest names,
including Olympic medalists Evan Lysacek and Sasha Cohen. But rather
than try to compete with their flashy moves, Browning says his role is
to play the storyteller and remind audiences of the history of the
show. His solo number toys with the idea of what's going through these
athletes' minds. "It's 'Did I forget my cell phone in the hotel?' and
'My knee hurts,'" explains Browning. "But halfway through, I realize
I'm doing what I love and I should shut up and skate."
That's pretty much his workout plan these days, too — constant
performing is what's keeping him in shape. When he's on his own,
Browning's pre-skating ritual involves stretching in a steam room. But
before each show on this tour, he instead sets aside time for a
30-minute soccer match with his co-stars. "We just put two chairs down
for the goals anywhere, and we play hard," he says. It's competitive
and bonding, but mostly, it's fun. "We're not just standing in a
tunnel waiting," he adds.
Don't expect this to be the last you see of Browning, who's started
commentating for Canadian television but plans to keep his feet in the
rink as long as possible. "The other day I was goofing around with an
entrance to a jump, and I realized in 34 years of skating and 30 years
of doing that jump, I'd never done that entrance," he says. So,
there's always something new to discover, even for such an
If Browning were your coach, he'd offer these tips:
» Keep your body on a lean. "A good skater is hardly ever standing straight up."
» Wear padding. It lets you have fun without worrying so much about falling.
» Loosen up. When you inevitably hit the ice, you're less likely to get injured if you can fall into a roll.
» Tickets are $28-$143. The performance is at 4 p.m. this Sunday at
the Verizon Center (601 F St. NW; Starsonice.com).