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KurtKountry: An Unofficial Kurt Browning Website

STARS ON ICE 2000:
SAN DIEGO,CALIFORNIA
(January 14, 2000)

I am always excited when the Stars On Ice tour comes to Southern California. The show is great year after year, but the thing I look forward to most of all is the opportunity to spend time with friends like Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi, Jenni Meno and Todd Sand. I was especially thrilled this year because my buddy, Kurt Browning was back on the U.S. tour, after a one-year absence.

When Mom & I arrived at the San Diego Sports arena, we found Scott Hamilton hanging around outside the tunnel, trying to get his cell phone to work in order to pick up his messages. Scott looks great, strong and happy.

Once inside, we quickly found Todd and Jenni, who were extremely happy to have the opportunity to sleep in their own beds during this leg of the tour, as they would not be back home again until May.

Kurt eventually made his way out of the dressing room, and we got his attention. Of course, we exchanged the customary big hugs and kisses. And then Kurt opened his Christmas gifts… OK, so it was a little late… it was the best we could do… He, then, shared the news of a new arrival in the Browning household… a puppy named Lea. They thought it was going to be a male, and they were going to name it Leo…but…well… This is a new experience for Kurt. Though there were many animals on the farm where he was raised, this is his first actual pet. He never really wanted one, but his wife, Sonia, did. Since he was going back on tour, he felt it would be good company for her.

Kurt went out to practice. We followed along to watch. He didn't stay out there very long. Things weren't going very well. So, he hustled back into the dressing room. KB didn't come out for quite a while. I didn't really mind. It gave me a chance to catch up with Kristi Yamaguchi, who I had not seen in about two years. She spoke excitedly about her upcoming wedding. She also talked about her Always Dream foundation, and how she feel that it is so important for celebrities to use their recognition to help others, and how fortunate she feels to have a sponsor, like Mervyn's, to help her achieve these goals.

Then, Kurt, crawled out of the dressing room. It seems he had intended to come out and visit some more, but he rested his head against the wall for a moment and did not wake up until his fellow skaters started playing music back there… You could see it he was telling the truth, as he made his way through the door, his eyes still hadn't adjusted to the light. Todd Sand joined us about then. We began reminiscing. Todd competed at the first World Championships I attended in Hartford, Connecticut in 1981.Todd was the Danish Mens' Singles Champion at that time. This was a fact of which Kurt was unaware.
"Really?" Kurt asked. "Did you get a medal? Do you have a picture?"
Todd said that he did. When Tara Lipinski walked by Kurt asked her where she was in 1981.
"My mom was still waiting for me," She replied.

It was time to get ready for the show. But not before KB got a souvenir program for me. He takes very good care of me. When he returned with the program, Scott Hamilton was with him, and it was noted that Scott won his first national title in that building in 1981, as well.

It was a great show, as always. For this performance, I had a front row, on -ice seat. It was fun. Kurt had quite a bit to do! I especially enjoyed the number he did with Tara. I was also impressed that the jumps that were giving him so much trouble in practice, were coming off easily during the performance. I certainly wasn't going to mind seeing this show two more times.

I didn't get to see much of my buddy after the show. He was busy making sure his costumes got to the right place to be laundered, and signing autographs,etc. He barely had time to sit down and a box and mention that his brother, Wade, was in town, along with some other people, and would be at the performance in Anaheim. I met Wade a couple of years earlier at an SOI show in Anaheim. He was very nice, so it would be good to see him again! Then, the bus was about to leave, but we would find more time in Anaheim.

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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