A Kurt Browning Frequently Asked Questions Page


by Sita Ismangil
updated April 1997

Table of Contents

Who is Kurt Browning?
What about his Competitive Record?
Can you list his competitive and exhibition numbers?
What about his TV specials? And his home video?
What is this book I keep hearing about?
I heard Kurt has won some awards in Canada. What are they?
Is it true that he now works for NBC as a commentator?
What happened between Kurt and Tom Collins? Did he ever appear in a Tom Collins tour?
What really happened at the 1996 World Figure Skating Championships in Edmonton?
OK, so who really landed the first quadruple toe loop in a competition, Kurt or Jozef Sabovcik? How many times has Kurt landed the quadruple toe loop jump in a competition?
Other activities off the ice?
Does he have any brothers and sisters?
Tell me more about Sonia. When and where did they get married?
Where can I write to Kurt?
Who wrote this FAQ?

Who is Kurt Browning?

Kurt Browning is Canada's Four Time Canadian and World Figure Skating Champion (1989-1991, 1993). He is also a three time Olympic Team Member (Calgary 1988, Albertville 1992, Lillehammer 1994). He was the first skater to land a quadruple jump (a quadruple toe loop) at the World Championships. This feat was achieved at the 1988 World Figure Skating Championships in Budapest.

Kurt announced his retirement from eligible ISU competition on March 2 1994. He is now a professional touring skater, under contract with The Discover Card/Chrysler Stars on Ice tour until 1998. He also performs in Canada's Skate the Nation tour-- a sister tour of Stars on Ice that tours smaller cities in Canada and features an all Canadian cast.

What about his Competitive Record?

Amateur:
In Canada:                          		International:

1994 Canadians - 2nd                    1994 Olympics           - 5th
1993 Canadians - 1st                    1993 Skate Canada       - 1st
1991 Canadians - 1st                    1993 Worlds             - 1st
1990 Canadians - 1st                    1992 Worlds             - 2nd
1989 Canadians - 1st                    1992 Olympics           - 6th
1988 Canadians - 2nd                    1991 Lalique            - 1st
1987 Canadians - 2nd                    1991 Worlds             - 1st
1986 Canadians - 5th                    1990 Nations Cup        - 1st
1985 Canadians - 1st (jr)               1990 Skate Canada       - 1st
1983 Canadians - 1st (nov)              1990 Goodwill Game      - 1st
1982 Canadians - 12th(nov)              1990 Worlds             - 1st
                                        1989 NHK                - 3rd
                                        1989 Skate America      - 3rd
                                        1989 Worlds              - 1st
                                        1988 NHK                 - 3rd
                                        1988 Skate Canada        - 1st
                                        1988 Skate Electric     - 1st
                                        1988 Worlds              - 6th
                                        1988 Olympics           - 8th
                                        1987 Skate Canada       - 4th
                                        1987 St Ivel             - 2nd
                                        1987 Worlds              - 15th
                                        1986 NHK                 - 7th
                                        1986 Oberstdorf          - 3rd
                                        1986 St. Gervais         - 2nd
                                        1985 St. Gervais        - 2nd
                                        1985 Oberstdorf          - 9th

Note: In 1992, Kurt did not compete at the Canadian National Championships
due to injury.


Professional:

1996    The Ultimate Four Challenge                           - 4th
1996    World Professional Championships                      - 1st
1996    Canadian Professional Championships                   - 1st
1996    U.S Professional Championships                        - 1st
1996    Fox's Rock n'Roll Championships                       - 2nd

1995    Canadian Professional Championships                   - 1st
1995    World Professional Championships                      - 1st
1995    The Ultimate Four Challenge                           - 1st
1995    World Challenge of Champions                          - 4th
1995    Starlight Challenge                                   - 1st
1995    Fox's Rock n'Roll Championships                       - 2nd

1994   Canadian Professional Championships                    - 3rd
1994   World Professional Championships                       - 4th
1994   World Challenge of Champions                           - 3rd
1994   Paris Miko Masters                                     - 2nd


Note:

Kurt has also competed as part of a team in competitions like "Ice Wars",
"World Team Championships" and "Battle of the Sexes".

Can you list his competitive and exhibition programs?

I'm sure I'll miss one or two, but I'll try.

Competitive:
(Names in brackets indicate the choreographer of the program)
                          Short                           Long

1993 - 1994 season: St. Louis Blues                  Casablanca
                    (Sandra Bezic)                   (Sandra Bezic)
1992 - 1993 season:  Bonzo's Montreux                Casablanca
                     (Sandra Bezic)                  (Sandra Bezic)
1991 - 1992 season  The Hindu War God                 Firebird
                    (Brian Powers)                   (Brian Powers/Renata
Jiranek)
1990 - 1991 season: The Hindu War God                Sons of Italy
                    (Brian Powers)                   (Brian Powers)
1989 - 1990 season: Lone Bank Blues/                 Gaiete Parisienne/Le Cid
                   Toast of the Town/Speedway        (Kevin Cottam)
                   (Kevin Cottam)
1988 - 1989 season:  The Cotton Club                  Gaiete Parisienne/LeCid
                      (Kevin Cottam)                  (Kevin Cottam)
1987 - 1988 season:  Tequila                            Grand Canyon Suite
                     (Sandra Bezic)                     (Sandra Bezic)
1986 - 1987 season:   Relax                             Grand Canyon Suite
                      (Sandra Bezic?)                   (Sandra Bezic)



Exhibition numbers:

Music                                           Choreographer

1996-1997 season:

If I Only Knew (Tom Jones)                       Kurt Browning (?)
Hat Trick                                        Sandra Bezic/Michael Siebert
Summertime                                       Alexander Zhulin
Serenade to Sonia                                Sandra Bezic


1995-1996 season:


Color My World                                   Sandra Bezic (?)
Brick House                                      Michael Siebert
Masks and Morning Dance                          Kurt Browning
Lightning Crashes                                Kurt Browning
That's Entertainment!                            Sandra Bezic


1994-1995 season:

Hey Pachuco                                      Sandra Bezic
All Alone                                        Michael Siebert
Blues Berry Hill                                 Michael Siebert
The Rocketeer                                    Sandra Bezic


1992-1993 season:

Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me                  Sandra Bezic
As Time Goes By                                  Sandra Bezic
Cavelleria Rusticana                             Sandra Bezic (?)


Before 1992:

O Canada                                         Kevin Cottam (?)
Johnny Guitar                                    Kevin Cottam
Charlie Brown                                    Kevin Cottam
Here I am/She's Hot To Go                        Kevin Cottam
What a Wonderful World                           Kevin Cottam
Sign Your Name/Hey Little Sister                 Kevin Cottam
Bring Him Home                                   Kevin Cottam

What about his TV specials? And his home video?

Kurt has starred in three specials: Tall in the Saddle, You Must Remember This, Life on the Edge and has made one home video: JUMP.

(1) Tall in Saddle (1990)

This is Kurt's first TV special, produced by CBC. It was filmed in Caroline (Kurt's hometown) and Edmonton, Alberta. It builds around Kurt's Western heritage. Also featured in the special: Kristi Yamaguchi, Michael Slipchuk, Norm Proft, Gary Beacom, Skaters from the Royal Glenora Skating Club. Highlights include: a skating tribute to "Walter" -- a person that Kurt met one day in Toronto that changed his outlook on skating, Kurt skating pairs with Kristi, and Kurt skating on a frozen lake.

(2) Life on The Edge (1992)

"Life on The Edge" is a documentary on Kurt's career up till 1992, made by the Canadian Film Board. It starts off with Kurt at the Albertville Olympics and goes back in time from there. It centers on his "rivalry" with Viktor Petrenko, the struggle with his back injury and the creation of the "Firebird" program. It ends with Kurt's decision to stay eligible until the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. This special is also available commercially.

(3) You Must Remember This (1994)

This is Kurt's most recent special, produced by CBC. Inspired by the sucess of the "Casablanca/Bogie" program in 1993, this special has (in part) a Hollywood theme. Although there was the obvious Bogie-like sketch ("The Big Melt"), where Kurt plays a hardedged private eye ala Bogie, "You Must Remember This" will be remembered mostly for the "Singin' in the Rain" number. In this number, Kurt portrays Gene Kelly and skates to "Singin' in the Rain", under pouring rain. Other skaters featured in this special are Kristi Yamaguchi, Josee Chouinard, Christine Hough and Doug Ladret, among others. In 1995, "You Must Remember This" won several Gemini Awards (Canada's equivalent of an Emmy Award) including "Best Variety Show".

(4) JUMP! (1990)

This is a commercially sold home video, produced by Aquila-BKW Productions. It features interviews with Kurt, his parents, his coach, and his clubmates at the Royal Glenora Skating Club in Edmonton. Highlights: Complete performances of Kurt's 1989 and 1990 competitive programs.

(5) Other videos

You can also see Kurt in the Eaton's Skate the Nation home videos : "Inside Edge" (the 1994 Skate the Nation tour) and "Get What U Need" (The 1995 Skate the Nation tour).

Note: All the commercially sold videos are available through Sportsbook in Canada. For more information, you can contact them atsportsbk@uniserve.com.

(6) Other notable television appearances

Kurt made his acting debut in 1994, making a guest appearance on Canadian TV show for teenagers "Ready or Not" (Global Network). He had no trouble getting into character--he was playing himself. In the US, you can catch "Ready or Not" on the SHOWTIME cable channel (and on the Disney Channel?).

Also, Kurt played Aladdin in the one hour Disney special "Aladdin on Ice" which aired on CBS (in the US) and CBC (in Canada) in November 1995. Kristi Yamaguchi costarred as Princess Jasmine.

What is this book that I keep hearing about?

Kurt has written an autobiography called "Kurt: Forcing The Edge". Unfortunately, it is not available outside Canada, but you can order it from some bookstores in Canada.

Here is the info on Kurt's book if you wish to order:

Kurt: Forcing The Edge
by Kurt Browning
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
Suite 2900 55 Avenue Rd, Toronto Canada M5R 3L2
ISBN number: 0-00-637885-4

There are two editions of this book. The 1st edition (hardcover) was published late 1991, prior to the Albertville Olympics. The 2nd edition (paperback), contains 4 extra chapters covering his experience in the Albertville Olympics and the 1992 Worlds.

I heard Kurt has won some awards in Canada. What are they?

As one of Canada's celebrated athletes, Kurt has been honored with various awards.

    1994 - Sports Federation of Canada       - Top Male Athlete
    1991 - Lionel Conacher Award              -  The Canadian Press Male Athlete of the Year
    1990 - Lou Marsh Award                       -  Canada's Outstanding Athlete
    1990 - Lionel Conacher Award              - The Canadian Press Male Athlete of the Year
    1990 - Recipent of  "Order of Canada"   - Canada's most prestigious civilian award
    1990 - Sports Federation of Canada       - Top Male Athlete

In 1994, Kurt was inducted into Canada's Sport Hall of Fame.

Is it true that he now works for NBC as a commentator?

Well, he has done some broadcasting work for NBC. His first big job was the providing color commentary at the 1994 World Figure Skating Championships. The most recent commentary job he did for NBC was at the 1995 Gold Championships in Vancouver. However, he has also done some backstage reporting for CTV at the 1993 Canadian Nationals, and he was also seen a couple of times on FOX Network, doing commentary on the "Rock n'Roll Figure Skating Championships".

What happened between Kurt and Tom Collins? Did Kurt ever appear in the Tom Collins Tour of Champions in the United States?

Yes, Kurt toured with the Tom Collins tour in 1988, 1989 and 1990. Things took an ugly turn while Kurt negotiated with Collins for the 1991 tour. Because of other commitments, Kurt couldn't commit to the Tour of Champions full time. Tom Collins then claimed that Kurt asked for an obscene amount of money and wanted to "control" the tour. According to Kurt, money wasn't the issue. Kurt claims that the main issue was the lack of a written contract and personal insurance in case of injury. It was a business deal gone bad.

What really happened during the 1996 World Figure Skating Championships in Edmonton?

Kurt was scheduled to skate during the opening ceremonies of the 1996 World Figure Skating Championships in Edmonton, Canada. He planned to skate to one of his classic exhibition numbers: "Bring Him Home" accompanied by Michael Burgess singing live. However, the ISU declared that this was against the ISU rules (just in case anyone is wondering, it's rule 128.5 (b)) and banned Kurt from skating. In his place, Canadian junior skater Ben Ferreira from the Royal Glenora skated to the number. The local organizing committee then arranged for Kurt to sing the national anthem with Michael Burgess.

This caused an uproar in Edmonton and thousands of Edmontonians signed a petition demanding Kurt be allowed to skate in the closing ceremonies. Ottavio Cinquanta, the ISU president, claiming to have "found a way out" decided that Kurt (and Kristi Yamaguchi) can skate alongside the Royal Glenora skaters during the closing ceremonies because the official Championship was over. So at the end of the Gala performances, Kurt and Kristi joined the skaters from the Royal Glenora Club and skated in a small group number called "Futurescapes".

OK, so who really landed the first quadruple toe loop in a competition, Kurt Browning or Jozef Sabovcik? How many times has Kurt landed the quadruple toe loop jump in competition?

Well, the name recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records is Kurt Browning, so who do you think landed the first quadruple jump?

Recently, the discussion about the first skater to land the quadruple toe loop (aka "the quad") in competition has been brought up again due to statements made by certain TV networks during the past season that Jozef Sabovcik was the first person to land the quad.

Kurt Browning certainly wasn't the first person to attempt the quad. In the 1980s, several skaters were already trying it, including Brian Boitano, Brian Orser and Jozef Sabovcik. At the 1986 European Championships, Jozef seemed to have succeeded in landing the quad. However, replays showed that Jozef's free foot brushed the ice when he landed the jump, and the ISU didn't give it credit as a "successfully landed jump."

When Kurt landed the quad at the World Championships two years later, he needed to do a move called a "three turn" in order to help control the landing of the jump. However, it was landed on one foot and the ISU officially recognized it as the first quadruple toe loop jump landed in a competition.

After landing it for the first time at the 1988 World Championships in Budapest, Kurt successfully landed another quad at the 1989 Canadian Championships in Chicoutimi, Quebec. A few other attempts (1989 Skate America, 1989 Worlds) weren't quite successful. The last time he attempted a quad in a competition was at the 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle.

Besides the distinction of being the first man to land a quadruple jump in competition, Kurt was also the first skater to land a triple salchow-triple loop jump combination in competition (at the 1990 Nations Cup in Germany). This combination is considered very difficult because the 2nd jump is a triple loop which takes off the same landing foot of the triple salchow. This requires an incredible amount of control from the skater. At the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, he performed a difficult variation of this jump combination by entering it from a spread eagle position.

Another technical achievement worth noting is that at the 1991 World Championships in Munich, Germany he became the first skater to land three triple-triple jump combinations in a freeskating program (the triple axel-triple toe loop, the triple flip-triple toe and the triple salchow-triple loop).

Other activities off the ice?

Kurt's involved in a number of charities in Canada. For the past several years he's the host for the Muscular Dystrophy telethon that airs every Labor Day. He's also done work for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Kids Helpline, and some other charities. Together with Kelloggs, he's established the "Kurt Browning Junior Skating Fund" which awards training grants to young skaters at the junior level.

This year Kurt is one of the people featured in the "Champions Read" posters distributed by the Canadian School Libraries Association.

Does Kurt have any brothers and sisters?

Kurt is the youngest of three children. He has one brother, Wade, and one sister, Dena. Both have families of their own now so Kurt is a proud uncle who has one nephew and two nieces. His mom and dad, Dewey and Neva Browning are frequently spotted at competitions, cheering for Kurt.

Tell me more about his wife Sonia. When and where were they married?

Sonia, whose full name is Sonia Rodriguez, is a ballet dancer (a second soloist) with the National Ballet of Canada in Toronto. They first met in Edmonton in 1991, and started dating when Kurt moved to Toronto in 1992. During a break at the taping of the 1995 Stars on Ice show in Toronto, Kurt proposed to her on the ice, in front of 16,000 people in Maple Leaf Gardens. They were married on June 30, 1996. The wedding ceremony was held at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto.

Sonia has also performed in an ice skating special. You can see her as "Venus" in the Duchesnay's (1992 Olympic Silver Medalists in ice dance) skating special "The Planets" which aired on CBC (in Canada) and A&E network (in the US). Two time Olympic Silver Medalist Brian Orser also performs in this special, which is available commercially. She also made a cameo appearance in "You Must Remember This".

Where can I write to Kurt?

You can write to Kurt via his agent, Kevin Albrecht at IMG-Toronto:

Kevin Albrecht
IMG
1 St.Clair Ave. E #700
Toronto ONT, Canada M4T 2V7

Note about writing to Kurt: People ask if this address "works" and if Kurt esponds to his fan mail. I think I can safely say from personal experience hat this address "works" and you do get a reply from Kurt. HOWEVER, just ike other skaters or celebrities Kurt gets a lot of fan mail so it might take awhile for him to repsond to your letter. So, be patient.

Who wrote this FAQ?

My name is Sita Ismangil and I am a big fan of Kurt Browning. I have not been following his career for a long time (I fell in love with his skating in 1993), but thanks to kind friends in Canada and USA (and many hours of reading old newspaper articles on microfilm), I have managed to gather a lot of information on Kurt. In early 1996 I decided to put together a FAQ file as a reference guide for Kurt Browning fans on the Internet. All the stuff that I know about Kurt is here, so if you have any questions about things that aren't on the FAQ, then I probably can't answer them. Sorry. However, if you have any information on Kurt that you think belongs in the FAQ, I would be more than happy to include it in the FAQ. Please email me at sitaresmi@hotmail.com or sita@kais.kyoto-u.ac.jp
CLW

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Creation Date: Friday, 01-Sep-95 14:30:03 PST
Last Modified:Tuesday, 03-Jun-1997 05:12:10 UTC
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