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Kurt Browning reflects on career and life at the cottage

Figure skating champion at his home away from home

Source: County Voice Blog
Date: August 27, 2011
Author: Joanne Irvine
Kurt Browning's permanent residence is in Toronto, but from the sounds of it his heart lies in the Highlands.

"We're very lucky to have access to something as wonderful as this," said Browning in an interview on Aug. 18 at a charity golf tournament for Haliburton County's volunteer dental outreach. "I grew up in the country in Alberta and coming up here keeps me sane."

The Canadian figure skating star, who currently hosts Battle of the Blades with Ron MacLean on CBC, was featured at the event on the 17th hole in the "beat the pro" challenge. Browning managed to perform fairly well despite sleep deprivation and jet lag after an eight-day trip to South Korea.

"I was doing six hours per day on the ice and skated for an audience of 7 million people," he said, adding that the fans for the show were unlike anything he's ever seen. "The fan base for skating there is like The Beatles. Lots of screaming."

The 45-year-old, who possesses a professional skating career that spans 21 years, has been cottaging near Minden for the past 10 years. His neighbours and the founding members of the volunteer dental outreach, Bill and Lisa Kerr, convinced Browning to be part of the event.

Browning commended the Kerr's for leading the charge on the local project, which provides urgent dental care at no cost to low-income residents.

"Every once in a while you need someone to take the lead, charge forward and do that right, big thing … I didn't really know that I was cottaging close to angels of mercy, but I guess that I am."

Though Browning doesn't get up to the area in the winter season as much as he'd like, he does have couple of big dreams for retirement.

"My dream would be to own my own Zamboni, zam' my lake and have fantastic, huge skating and curling parties," he said, grinning.

He also sees a bright future ahead for his golf game.

"If I'm lucky, I'll be golfing at Blairhampton when I'm 70."