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Kurt Browning

  • Categories: Athlete,  Figure Skating
  • City or Town: Caroline
  • Year Inducted: 1992
  • Gender: Male
  • First name: Kurt
  • Last Name: Browning

Biography

Kurt Browning began skating at the age of three and his debut as a figure skater came when he was six. Time, talent and training in the following years contributed to his quick rise through the ranks of local, regional, provincial and national events and his first Canadian Novice Championship in 1983. He first appeared in international competition at the 1985 Coup d' Excellence in Montreal. More international events followed, and through much dedication, Kurt Browning emerged as a forerunner in men's figure skating. In 1988, he made his first Olympic appearance finishing eighth. Within a month of the Olympics, he made sports history and entered the Guinness World Book of Records by becoming the first skater to perform a quadruple jump in a competition in Budapest, Hungary. He went on to win both the Canadian and World Championships from 1989 to 1991. Kurt Browning was an outstanding competitor for Canada at the 1992 Winter Olympics with a sixth place finish.

Since Induction:

Figure Skating has continued to dominate Kurt's life. He won his fourth World Championship gold medal, in Prague, Chechoslovakia in 1993. He retired in 1994 from amateur skating and began his professional career. Kurt has competed in many competitions open to professionals, winning three World Pro titles and Canadian Pro, four times. He also skates in many team competitions including "Ice Wars". Kurt joined the American Stars On Ice Tour and continues performing in the Canadian Stars On Ice Show as well. Touring North America over five months of the year, Kurt brings his varied styles of programs to life night after night.

Kurt has appeared in many television skating specials: as guest skater, host, and four times as the headliner. His "Tall In The Saddle" special filmed in central Alberta in 1990 set the standard, showing Kurt and his Dad on their horses, Kurt as a rodeo clown, and skating freely on a frozen mountain lake. This special was surpassed in 1994 by "You Must Remember This", featuring Kurt performing Gene Kelly's memorable "Singing In The Rain", and as a Philip Marlowe-style detective, a rock star, a classically trained dancer, and a vaudeville entertainer. The show won five Gemini awards including Best Variety Special. "Kurt Browning's Gotta Skate" in 2001 and 2002 pushed the envelope of skating shows with the addition of live ballet (featuring his wife), renowned performers from stage and theatre, and live musical quests. Kurt has also made several videos. "Jump" was made early in his career and "Kurt By Request" includes a selection of his most requested programs from competition and exhibition performances.

Kurt has gone on to be a figure skater choreographer, commentator, host, co-host, and creator of television shows, and a mentor to Team Visa athletes training for Olympic Games competitions. He is the creator and sponsor of the annual Kurt Browning Junior Skating Awards. He was a recipient of the Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

A highlight of his career was performing for Queen Elizabeth in her Jubilee year at the International Skating Gala at Nottingham, England. Kurt is one of the best entertainers the sport has ever seen, his natural humour and rapport with the audience make him adored and admired wherever he goes.

“First” achievements

  • Quadruple toe-loop (Worlds, Budapest, Hungary: March 25, 1988)
  • Two triple axels in the same original program (Worlds, Paris, France; 1989)
  • Triple-salchow/triple-loop combo (Nations Cup, Belsenkirchen, West Germany; 1990)
  • Three triple-triple combinations in one program (triple axel/triple toe loop, triple salchow/triple loop, triple flip/triple toe loop) Worlds, Munich, Germany; 1991)
  • First to win Novice, Juniors, and Senior Canadian Championships
  • First Canadian to win three consecutive Worlds.
  • Only person to win Worlds with and without figures.

Kurt’s repeats:

  • Four-time World Champion
  • Four-time Canadian Champion
  • Three-time Olympian
  • Three-time World Professional Champion
  • Four-time Canadian Professional/Open Champion
  • Two-time US Professional Champion

Achievements & Awards:

  • 1988 First person to successfully complete a quadruple toe-loop (World record)
  • 1989 Gold World Figure Skating Championship - Paris, France
  • 1989 Sports Federation of Canada Award - Top Male Athlete
  • 1990 Gold - World Figure Skating Championship - Halifax, Canada
  • 1990 Lionel Conacher Award - The Canadian Press Male Athlete of the Year
  • 1990 Lou Marsh Award - Canada's Outstanding Athlete
  • 1990 Sports Federation of Canada Award - Top Male Athlete
  • 1990 Order of Canada (C.M.)
  • 1991 Gold - World Figure Skating Championship - Munich, Germany
  • 1991 Sports Federation of Canada Award - Top Male Athlete
  • 1991 Lionel Conacher Award - The Canadian Press Male Athlete of the Year
  • 1992 Silver - World Figure Skating Championship - Oakland, USA
  • 1993 Sports Federation of Canada Award - Top Male Athlete
  • 1993 Gold - World Figure Skating Championship - Prague, Czechoslovakia
  • 1994 Canadian Sports Hall of Fame
  • 1997 Jacques Favart Trophy - ISU
  • 2000 Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame
  • 2001 Canada's Walk of Fame
  • 2005 Alberta Centennial Salute For Sport and Recreation Award
  • 2006 World Figure Skating Hall of Fame (ceremony March 23, 2006 at Worlds in Calgary)
  • 2006 Author: A is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet
  • 2008 Professional Skaters’ Association Gustave Lussi Award
  • 2010 Gemini Awards nominee "Best Performance or Host in a Variety Program or Series (Individual or Ensemble)" for "Luck Be a Lady" at Battle of the Blades
  • 2012 Recipient of the Diamond Jubilee Medal

Commentator:

  • 1994 Gold Championships (NBC)
  • 1994 Worlds (NBC)
  • 1994 Fox Rock 'n Roll Skating Championships (FOX)
  • 1995 Fox Rock 'n Roll Skating Championships (FOX) (backstage interviewer)
  • 2005 Campbell's International Figure Skating Classic (ABC)
  • 2005 Skate America (ESPN)
  • 2005 Marshalls U.S. Figure Skating Showcase (ABC) (on-ice interviewer/introductions, also skated to "Brickhouse")
  • 2006 U.S. Nationals (ABC/ESPN)
  • 2006 Olympics prime-time men's figure skating analyst (CBC)
  • 2006 Worlds (ESPN)
  • 2006 Skate America (ABC/ESPN)
  • 2006 Marshall's US Figure Skating Showcase (ABC)
  • 2007 U.S. National Championships (ABC/ESPN)
  • 2007 World Championships (ESPN)
  • 2007 Skate Canada (CBC)
  • 2008 Canadian National Championships (CBC)
  • 2008 World Championships (CBC)
  • 2008 Skate America (CBC)
  • 2008 Skate Canada (CBC)
  • 2008 Cup of China (CBC)
  • 2008 Trophee Eric Bombard (CBC)
  • 2008 Grand Prix Final (CBC)
  • 2009 Canadian Championships (CBC)
  • 2009 World Championships (CBC)
  • 2009 Trophee Eric Bombard (CBC)
  • 2009 Cup of Russia (CBC)
  • 2009 Grand Prix of Japan (CBC)
  •  2009 Skate America (CBC)
  • 2009 Skate Canada (CBC)
  • 2009 Grand Prix Final (CBC)
  • 2010 Canadian Championships (CBC)
  • 2010 World Championships (CBC)
  • 2010-2011 Season Grand Prix events and Worlds (CBC)
  • 2011-2012 Season Grand Prix events and Worlds (CBC)
  • 2012-2013 Season Grand Prix events and Worlds (CBC)
  • 2013-2014 Season Grand Prix events and Worlds (CBC)
  • 2014 Winter Olympics (CBC)

Other:

  • Co-host, Battle of the Blades (2009, 2010, 2011) 
  • Judge, Battle of the Blades (2013)
  • Actor starring as Peter Pan, "Peter Pan, the Family Musical that's Silly, Very Silly!" (late Nov 2007 - early Jan 2008) 
  • Team Visa Mentor for athletes training for the 2006 Torino Olympics
  • Skating Consultant, The Granite Club
  • Author, A is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet and Kurt Browning: Forcing the Edge (with Neil Stevens)
  • Regular host, Biography Channel (Canada). (Debut: Apr. 14-18, 2003)
  • Creator and sponsor, Kurt Browning Junior Skating Awards, awarded annually to the Novice Men's Champion, Novice Ladies Champion, Junior Pair Champions, and Junior Dance Champions. Additional awards may also be granted.
  • Honorary Campaign Chair, Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada (Co-hosted Muscular Dystrophy Telethon 1993, 1994, 1995)
  • Host of Canada's Walk of Fame Tribute Gala (2000, 2002, 2008)
  • 1991 Honorary Captain of the Edmonton Oilers