Kurt: Forcing the Edge
Virginia Gillham is Associate Librarian of the Public Service Library at
the University of Guelph.
The progress of Browning’s figure skating career has been charted to
its culmination with an Olympic medal in 1992. When he won the World
Figure Skating competition in 1989—two years before most prophets
expected it—he introduced a number of question marks into the mix. Had
he peaked too soon? Could he sustain the momentum, not only of his
training, but of life as a celebrity, for three more years?
What is it like to be a world champion, a famous celebrity, and at the
same time an athlete in training? What is Browning really like? Is he as
wholesome and charming as his public image? What is the history of this
young man from Caroline, Alberta?
Kurt’s fans, including the country’s more than two hundred thousand
amateur figure skaters, will find the answers to many of their questions
in this book. They will also not be disillusioned. He comes across as
wholesome, charming, fun-loving, and basically decent. A few public
furors are explained. The sometimes less-than-balanced contribution of
the press is noted. His continuing pursuit of his Olympic goal is
described, and his reactions to the unexpected aspects of life as a
celebrity are detailed.
One reviewer has expressed disappointment that more sordid details have
not been revealed. Perhaps there are none. Athletic training is very
time-consuming. Most readers will enjoy this volume for what it offers,
and not worry about what may be missing.