|KurtKountry: An Unofficial Kurt Browning Website
Stars On Ice 2002
San Diego, CA: San Diego Sports Arena
January 18, 2002
I always love going to San Diego. The staff at the Sports Arena is so friendly -- and they actually remember me from year to year. Everything is so easy and stress free… That is when I do things correctly… This year Mom and I got a bit of a late start leaving our home… Then we had to stop and eat along the way… I just couldn't wait… Then there was traffic (a usually 90-minute trip took about 2 hours)!
I arrived at the ice just in time… for Kurt to finish his warm-up and get off! (Tardiness would become a theme for the weekend, as you'll read in future stories.) That's O.K., Mom and I got big hugs and kisses anyway. It had been a while! Immediately asked Kurt what was new. He said nothing. I hadn't heard from him since May and he couldn't come up with anything! I really wanted something big to pass on to all of you. His response: "Tell 'em Steven (Cousins) and I are dating!" Just like him, isn't it? I asked if Sonia knew. He said, "Of course not. I haven't even told Steven yet." He can be so weird.
WEBMASTER'S NOTE: I KNOW THERE IS A RULE ABOUT DISCUSSING SKATERS PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS ON THIS SITE, BUT THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF KURT JOKING, GET IT?!
Then the subject actually did turn to Sonia. Apparently, there are areas in Toronto where you can actually drive down the street and see posters of her advertising the National Ballet. He's quite proud. I said I was glad someone in the family was successful.. and that if he stuck with her, she might be able to do something for him.
"Oh, I think she has plans for me." he mused.
Kurt had a physiotherapy appointment to go to, so I stayed behind to watch the pairs and ice dancers practice. I also had the opportunity to meet Lucinda Ruh of Switzerland. And may I say that her personality is as sweet as her spinning. She seems to really be enjoying the tour as well as her newfound freedom as a professional.
I was looking through the tour program when KB wandered out of the treatment room. I must admit it’s a beautiful book this year. The main photos are what are called "hero shots," due to the strong lighting and powerful expression. Kurt is particularly proud of his. "They even made me look good." He pointed out. They really did. "Must be all the air brushing!" I joked. He also talked about the opportunity to perform during the Olympic closing ceremonies in Salt Lake City. He has never done that before, but the big attraction is the opportunity to work with one of the late Gene Kelly's choreographers. "Who knew a number I did 9 years ago (Singing In The Rain) would get me a job today."
On our way to catering, we talked about minor changes to Kurt's life: Such as the fact that he and Sonia now have a cat as well as dog. Once we arrived, Kurt got his food (A pork dish and some iced tea.). I just got some dessert, as I said Mom and I had eaten on the road. The conversation somehow turned to the attack of September 11, 2001. KB said he could not believe his eyes, seeing an American city experience such devastation. I told him it was particularly difficult for me -- being New York is my hometown.
Kurt was never afraid to fly. "What is going to happen, is going to happen…" he said. He just wishes the security would be more consistent from person to person and airport to airport.
Kurt only follows the war in dribs and drabs. When it gets to be too much, he stays away from newspapers… but our discussion of newspapers led to something else you'll find in them: gossip. I wondered how he handled the stories about him that sometimes pop up in the press and on the Internet. Truthfully, he doesn't pay much attention. Although, he confided that gossip can be fun (as long as it not malicious). "I like to gossip," he said, "about other people!" I told him if he was going to gossip about me, he should make it really good or really bad. "Don't worry," he assured me. "… National Enquirer bad!" Some friend, huh!
Kurt excused himself to speak to costume designer, Jef Billings. By then, Jenni Meno and Todd Sand had joined us. We had seen them just a week earlier, as they had come down to Los Angeles for a day to cheer on Todd Eldredge at the U.S. Championships. They're always happy to do the Southern California shows, so they can stay at home and sleep in their own beds.
Todd was telling us about his plans to return to college to complete his degree in kinisiology. He was looking into courses he could take on the road via computer. His first love is American History (like my mother, so they had plenty to talk about…), it's not a very practical major, though.
Kurt returned long enough to say he'd see my after the show. It was time to get ready. I watched Steven Cousins, Ilia Kulik and Tara Lipinski play ping-pong. They're not bad. Steven's ball hit me in the head once… but, otherwise, not bad.
The show was fun. I had an on ice seat for this performance, so I got a few winks and "Hi John"s from KB as he skated by. Most of the fun was watching the reaction of the children in the audience getting as up-close glimpse of heroes they had only seen on TV.
Afterward, Kurt was the last one out of the dressing room, as usual… so there was only time to walk him out to the tour bus. He was pretty pleased with the performance. However, he was sure I was jealous of the pink tights he wears in the first act finale. Next time, he threatens to do it without the black panties. "I don't think anyone want to see that," I said, "but you should shave your legs."
"It lends atmosphere!" he replied.
"See you in Anaheim…" I yelled as he boarded the bus.
"I'll be there!" My buddy yelled back.
READ KURT'S THOUGHTS ON BEING A LEADING MAN IN STARS ON ICE HERE!
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
The entire cast and crew of "TARGET STARS ON ICE," especially David Baden, Lonnie Biegel, David Hoffis, Jenni Meno, Todd Sand, Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton... and, of course, Kurt Browning -- all of whom helped make this wonderful weekend possible!
We thank you for the
hits we have received here!
Copyright 2002 by John H. Baker, unless otherwise indicated.