I recently had the chance to speak with Kurt Browning, one of Canada's favourite figure skating champions. He will be skating along with a star-studded cast including Sale and Pelletier, Virtue and Moir, Joannie Rochette and Jeffrey Buttle in the upcoming Stars On Ice show. He took some time out of his busy schedule to give us a glimpse into his life as a professional figure skater and father of two.
What kinds of things can we expect to see on Stars on Ice Show upcoming?
It's a collection of just the best of the best as far competitive skating. There is exceptional talent. Very exciting. The group members make it exciting and allow skaters' personalities come through.
How long will you be away on the road with Stars on Ice?
I'll be away from home for 2-1/2 months intermittently.
How do you stay connected to your kids (now two and six years old) when you're working away from home?
They're two kids who are used to be me being gone so it's not such a huge thing. The trouble is [my son is] six years old now and feeling a little like he wants Dad around to do things with. It's hard, but I do want to capitalize on the time I have left on the ice.
How would you describe yourself as a dad?
I'm dangerously on the edge being dad and friend. Sometimes, my son doesn't know when I'm joking or when I'm being serious. But I want to be a leader. They need to know that the people taking care of them are serious about taking care of them. Definitely, I need to be a parent first.
Does anyone help you and your wife take care of the kids?
Our nanny, Luci, takes care of kids. Without her, we probably couldn't do it.
Do you have time with your wife as a couple?
The reality is she gets home around 7 pm almost every night and leaves house at 8. And I'm away with Stars on Ice. So it's hard to find that time.
What's your guilty pleasure?
It's "Lost." My wife and I watch it and try to tape it and watch it before the next one.
What's your family day look like?
We don't really know what that is. We're both so busy working. But we do go to the lake in the summer, which we really enjoy, and in the city, we go to the Science Centre, which the kids love.
Will you have more kids?
We're done. Our jobs are so all-encompassing, and take so much time. Plus I'm in physiotherapy almost all the time trying to maintain my skating career.
After skating, what's the plan?
I'm going to try to learn Spanish so that I can speak with the rest of my family. My wife speaks Spanish and we're working on getting our children fluent.
Canadians really love you. Why do you think that is?
I had a long extended amateur career with lots of ups and downs. That gave people a chance to connect with me -- they feel for me, they got to know me..it's a sport that can make people feel like they know you. And I like people, meeting them, and I love entertainment. It's a nice relationship I have with the fans. They're forgiving and trusting.
Stars On Ice comes to Vancouver's GM Place on Friday, May 14. For tickets, visit www.starsonice.ca.