World figure skating champion Kurt Browning is in Kingston to help the city celebrate its annual Feb-Fest activities.
The 52-year-old native of Rocky Mountain House, Alta., is conducting a series of seminars for young skaters in the Kingston area at the Cataraqui arena.
“Kids are a tough audience,” said Browning, a four-time Canadian and world champion.
“If you’re not there for them, they know it,” continued Canada’s athlete of the year in 1990.
“I never really grew up, so I love playing, and that’s what my seminars are about. Young skaters need to find a way to enjoy their skating even more because the tests and jumps are hard and sometimes skaters can get down on themselves. My message to them is a simple one. You’re better than you think you are. Not everybody is going to be an Elvis Stojko or a Patrick Chan so you have to get as much out of your skating as you can.”
Browning, who now lives in the Forest Hill area of Toronto, says he owes everything he has to the sport of figure skating. For him, it’s a life long passion.
“Skating has been so good to me,” continued Browning, who represented Canada in three Olympic competitions.
“I had people like Brian Orser to look up to. I was so fortunate to be a competitive skater for Canada at a time when figure skating was a big thing.”
Browning’s name is listed in the Guinness Book of Records. At the 1988 World championships in Budapest, he landed the first ratified quadruple jump in competition.
READ MORE: Interview with figure skater Kurt Browning
“I have a lifelong love affair with skating,” added Browning, who received the Order of Canada in 1990.
“Through figure skating, I’ve made such good friendships. I love competing and I love jumping. I’m not jumping as much these days but I still love to perform and I love the relationship I have with the audience.”
Browning will perform on Saturday in Kingston’s outdoor facility in Springer Market Square at 1 p.m.