When I found out that Investors Group Stars On Ice was coming to Ottawa’s Scotiabank Place (4pm on April 21st), my first thought was about how great it would be to be able to interview one of it’s stars, Kurt Browning, who is also a Canadian Dad and one of the best skaters that has ever come out of Canada. He is definitely the most entertaining figure skater I have ever watched and is actually the reason I ever got into watching figure skating in the first place. Honestly, he oozes Canadian in everything he does and I’m proud that he’s one of ours.
Kurt has always had a knack for entertaining crowds with his amazing routines, crazy footwork and infectious personality. Seriously, this guy seems to be always smiling and it’s something that I try to model my life after as well. Kurt was gracious enough to grant me the said interview and I have included his answers below. They are a mix of skating and fatherhood questions and it was an honour corresponding with him. I’ll be heading over to Scotiabank Place with my daughter today to catch the show and we are both very excited.
1. How do you feel about the state of Canadian Figure Skating at the moment and do you feel there is enough support from fans and government alike?
After the World Figure Skating Championships in London, Ontario it would seem that the fan base is strong for Canadian skaters and that the skaters themselves are doing very very well. With medals in 3 of the disciplines and even our lady skating to a wonderful standard in the short program shows a strong all round team.
2. Are there any charities that are close to your heart, and why?
I have never really supported one charity more than another actually. It seems that as a skater I have been pulled down certain paths by my career or by the people that I have met along the way.
3. How has fatherhood changed you and has it affected your skating, whether it be the types of routines you do or ability to train as much as you’d like?
Fatherhood has made training harder because I get caught up in lego or tag and sometimes don’t even make it to the rink to practice. Lego is really tough on training 🙂 On a more serious note I have made a few programs that were for my sons and will skate with them in a show featuring skaters with children this fall. My boys don’t really take serious lessons, but they can certainly skate and have fun on the ice.
4. What has been your biggest challenge as a father?
My biggest challenge has been my schedule. Because of what I do I have to travel to do shows and being away from them has been the toughest part.
5. Other than skating, what is your favourite activity to do with your kids?
Other than Lego, we enjoy video games and bouncing on a trampoline as well as playing in the snow in winter. My family in Alberta own off road vehicles and any visit out west is very high on their list of ‘cool things to do’.
6. If you could only choose one, would you rather be a friend or a hero to your children, and why?
I would be selfish and choose friend but maybe a bit of both would be great if it was not asking too much.
7. How hard was it to learn how to jump on hockey skates? Were you scared?
Jumping on hockey skates is super tricky but I have been skating on them since I was a kid and actually enjoy the challenge.
8. Often in sports, we talk about home ice advantage. Have you found that the quality of ice in different rinks around the world creates an advantage for the hometown skaters?
Actually, we very rarely train on the exact ice we compete or perform on so we hardly ever have an actual home ice advantage. It is mostly the fans that create our advantage when we compete.
9. Finally, what is next for you after Stars on Ice? Any plans to hang up the blades? Maybe a Major League Baseball career?
After Investors Group Stars On Ice I will switch back to fatherhood and enjoy a couple of weeks off before going to China and Korea for 3 weeks to skate more shows.
I’d like to say thank you to Kurt for taking the time to answer all of my questions. It’s just one more reason why I love this space so much. The Investors Group Stars On Ice hits Scotiabank Place in Ottawa at 4pm on Sunday, April 21st and tickets are still available by visiting the Scotiabank Place website. Along with Kurt Browning will be other Canadian stars such as Patrick Chan, Joannie Rochette & Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. I hope to see you there!