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KurtKountry: An Unofficial Kurt Browning Website

Stars On Ice:
Los Angeles, CA
January 16, 2000


Backstage with Tara Lipinski

I was really anxious to get to this show because I had heard so much about the Staples Center, which had opened just a few weeks earlier. This was sort of a blessing, since I'm usually very sad by this point, being it is the last show I will see, and consequently, the last time I will see my friends for quite some time.

It wasn't difficult to find the arena. It is a very large building, and can be easily spotted as you approach from the freeway. What was more difficult, however, was finding a parking space. The adjacent Convention Center was hosting an auto show. So, it was very crowded. Once parked, things couldn't have gone more smoothly.

In fact, finding Kurt was a breeze! When I realized the backstage area was enormous, I thought it would take a while. But there he was at the edge of the ice, ready to take me across to a safe place, before he began to practice. He didn't take me for a "spin" this time because he was sharing the ice with the pairs and ice dancers. So, he was afraid we'd get run over or something.

I watched him warm up with a great spin combination, and follow that up with an attempt at getting his triple axel back. He had to try several (he was popping them mostly) before finally landing one… and turning his attention to the triple lutz. He made a few tries at that. And then decided to come over and chat for a while. We talked about being back on tour, and the new sponsor: Target. But he soon got up and got back to work. Before long, however, he was ready to call it quits. Kurt helped mom back across the ice. Todd Sand took my wheelchair, threatening to do a throw double axel along the way! Fortunately, he didn't go through with it! Kurt saying he needed some physical therapy on his sore neck, (He does a lot of acrobatics as "Raggy the Clown.) asked if we could wait about 20 minutes to go to catering to get something to eat. It wasn't like I had anything better to do. Actually, entire passed pretty quickly. We watched some of the singles skaters' practice, and spend time talking to Todd & Jenni, Sandra Bezic, Scott Hamilton and Tara Lipinski.

Kurt was ready to eat, opting for an omlette, and some iced tea, after abandoning some extremely sour lemonade. We discussed the merits of our favorite TV shows (mine is: Buffy, The Vampire Slayer; his is: The Simpsons). Neither one of us have ever seen the other show. Although, Kurt does read Anne Rice vampire novels, but I don't think that is really the same thing!

Sandra Bezic joined us at this point, and she and Kurt began to suspect discuss some details about the Canadian tour. So, I just listened quietly and, I hope, politely. Tara came by and joined us while we were discussing Kurt's future plans. He doesn't have any. "I'm just taking it year by now." When Kurt got up to get more food, it gave me a chance to tell Tara how much I enjoyed the number that she does with Kurt. Sandra said she liked it too. My buddy returned. Sandra had to leave, and Tara had guests to attend to.

That left me with time to say good-bye and thank you to my pal. Due to some contractual obligations, he wouldn't be able to see me after the show. His beard scratched me when we hugged. Of course, he hadn't shaved in 12 days. He was on his way to do just that, because it was beginning to show under the stage lighting.

On the way out, we stopped to thank Scott Hamilton and Todd Sand for all they had done. They said they hoped to see us again soon.

They show, itself, was great, of course… And Kurt almost made that pesky triple lutz! In the concourse, of the beautiful new STAPLES CENTER, I ran into my ol' friend, Peter Carruthers, and his lovely wife, Dina. It's always great to see them. I even got to meet Olympic champion gymnast, Bart Conner, who was enjoying the show, as well.


...With Bart Conner

And that, as they say, was that!

SPECIAL THANKS TO:
The cast and crew of "TARGET STARS ON ICE," especially David Baden, David Hoffis, Jenni Meno, Todd Sand, Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton... and, of course, Kurt Browning & his family -- all of whom helped make this wonderful weekend possible!
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