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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

KURT BROWNING

Inducted in 1994

Member Details

Date of Birth: June 18, 1966
Place of Birth: Rocky Mountain House, Alberta
Sport: Figure skating
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1988

First skater to successfully execute quadruple toe loop in competition

1989-91,93

World Figure Skating Championships - Gold Medal

1990

Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's Athlete of the Year

1990,91

Lionel Conacher Trophy as Canada’s top male athlete of the year

1992

World Figure Skating Championships, Silver Medal

Honoured Member KURT BROWNING
Inspire

Story

The son of a rancher and hunting guide, Kurt Browning grew up in the tiny foothill town of Caroline, Alberta. While rural Alberta may be an unlikely place for a boy to take an interest in figure skating, Browning fell in love with the sport as a teenager. It was the support of Browning's family and friends which allowed him to pursue his sport and develop into a world champion. Browning first caught the world's attention at the 1988 World Figure Skating Championships in Hungary. His ground-breaking performance included a perfect quadruple toe loop, the first of its kind to be successfully executed in competition. Placing sixth, Browning may not have earned a place on the podium, but he certainly earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. He returned to the World Championships in 1989 with a program chock full of technically difficult manoeuvres. With six triple jumps, a triple-triple combination, and his trademark quadruple toe loop, Browning dazzled the judges and claimed the world title. He reclaimed his crown in 1990 and 1991, becoming the first Canadian to win three consecutive world titles. Browning was awarded the Lionel Conacher award as Canada's male athlete of the year in both 1990 and 1991, marking the first time that this honour had been bestowed upon a figure skater. In 1990, he was also awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's top athlete. Despite being plagued by back problems in 1992, Browning still managed to claim 6th place in the Olympic Games in Albertville and a silver medal at the World Championships in California. He returned to top form at the World Championships in 1993 with a memorable program based on the 1942 film Casablanca. Revealing a more artistic and expressive style previously unseen in his performances, Browning brought the movie's main character, Rick Blaine, to life and claimed the world championship once again. Browning was a favourite going into the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, but a 12th place finish in the short program left fans wondering what had happened to the star skater. Browning miraculously rebounded, however, with a spectacular performance in his long program, finishing in 5th place. While Browning failed to reach the number-one spot on the Olympic podium, he was still number one in the hearts of Canadians. Following the 1994 Olympic Games, fans from across the country collected gold bracelets, brooches, wedding bands, even teeth, and melted these down to make a 1.35kg gold medal which was lovingly awarded to him. Shortly thereafter, the champion skater announced his retirement from amateur sport and his intentions to enter the world of professional skating. The only Canadian to win the World Championship four times, Browning not only claimed accolades for his athletic and artistic prowess on the ice but also for his personable and charming nature.


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