John Curry 1987 Interview

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by BigB08822, May 24, 2011.

  1. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    20,818
    2,371
    113
    This is a quite random posting but I felt compelled to share.

    Here is a documentary/interview with John Curry that was done in 1987. It includes discussion with him spanning his beginnings in skating to his professional career. Also included is his entire Olympic winning free skate as well as clips from other programs. The program is a classic and Mr. Curry was such a well spoken person. I really was intrigued and found myself listening intently to what he had to say. There are 5 parts, I have linked to the 1st. The others can be found to the right in the related videos section.

    http://youtu.be/0Yh2a0OMGf8

    This was inspired by someone else who, in another thread, linked to Curry's 1976 Olympic LP. From there I found these videos.
     
  2. viv

    viv New Member

    497
    29
    0
    Thank you very much for posting this - I always loved Curry skating, though he died when I was just a kid. For me, he is one of the most elegant skaters ever.

    (Adam Rippon sometimes reminds me a bit about him.)

    :)
     
  3. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    14,558
    2,438
    113
    It's thanks to floskate that the program is shared there.
    A very insightful, important documentary.
     
  4. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    8,815
    2,318
    113
    Thanks skatesindreams ;) and to the OP for posting this here. In retrospect this is a very imporatant interview. John would never again be so candid and open about his career in skating. Disregarding the Back Ice biography by Elva Oglanby released in 1995 and subsequently the subject of an injunction by Curry's family, this interview with sportscaster and sometime skating commentator Barry Davies is about as in-depth a legitimate record as we have of John Curry's thoughts on his own career.

    His comments on judging may still be perceived as controversial, but in hindsight and having seen the majority of John's amateur career now on video, I think he was actually being very diplomatic!

    What is most upsetting out of this is how little joy he gleaned from winning the OGM. This is a man who tolerated the amateur sports system as a means to an end - i.e. his own skating theatre company. It's such a sad fact that his victory was robbed of any satisfaction or joy by the asshole UK journalist that decided to out him the day after winning! :mad:
     
    Lanna and (deleted member) like this.
  5. IceJunkie

    IceJunkie Well-Known Member

    2,140
    251
    63
    One of my favorite interviews ever with a skater.
     
  6. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    14,558
    2,438
    113
    That made my blood boil.
    If I was upset, I can only imagine how John felt!
     
  7. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

    7,833
    2,166
    113
    I get the impression that a lot of Oly Gold medalists (in all sports) don't feel satisfied. Clearly some do, but I think there's a fair share of them who are just glad it's over (aka: David Jenkins).

    Which is not to say that the reporter wasn't an asshat. I just was making a general observation.
     
  8. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    8,815
    2,318
    113
    John was interviewed in the ISU Centenary documentary in 1992 and looking back seemed very proud that in the 1976 season in his own words, 'I finally got it right'.

    Despite his later claims that 'The Olympic thing' (again his own words) was just a means to an end, I think he took a great deal of pride in his competitive achievements after all those years of struggle. But that was robbed by the UK journalist who outed him the day after his victory. The Channel 4 documentary, The Real John Curry, interviewed a sportswoman who was at some event later that year and the after dinner speaker made very homophobic jokes at which she was shocked and John absolutely mortified. They were apparently very clearly aimed at him.

    While John chose to make the majority of his professional career in the US, the British people still cherished him and even now, over 17 years after his death, his 1976 victories remains one of the great sporting achievements in UK sporting history. Whatever his sexuality, the British loved him and respected him and my only hope is that he knew that love and recognised his own place among the very greatest of skaters. There will never be another John Curry. What better compliment could you make?
     
  9. BittyBug

    BittyBug Kiteless

    15,476
    3,800
    113
    It says something that 35 years later, John Curry is still held up as the artistic standard for figure skating.

    That's a wonderfully candid interview, and I think the interviewer posed a very interesting question at the end - did Currey wish he could have been a ballet dancer instead? Our sport certainly would have been poorer for it, but I wonder if Curry would have been happier.
     
  10. Jaana

    Jaana Well-Known Member

    3,884
    168
    63
    I have understood that Curry was never hiding the fact that he was gay, but it was not spoken of during his eligible years. Anyway, that outing did not hurt Curry, he was selected as the British athlete of the year.
     
  11. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    8,815
    2,318
    113
    And that's relevant why? Did you watch the interview? Of course it hurt him - personally - which is far more important than whether or not he won Sports personality of the year despite everyone knowing he was gay. Whether he was openly gay within his own circle before then is really not the point. To make that public to the world should have been John's decision and John's alone. No one else had the right to do that.
     
  12. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    14,558
    2,438
    113
    floskate, I couldn't agree more!

    I'm sure that being "outed" like that didn't help him with the funding he was trying to get for the Company he wanted to begin - in addition to any other issues involved - personal or professional.
    Corporate organizations who "support the arts" don't like "negative" publicity even now.
    They really avoided anything that might be seen that way by the public in 1976!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  13. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

    3,226
    187
    63
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  14. AJ Skatefan

    AJ Skatefan Well-Known Member

    2,201
    505
    113
    I know, at one point in the interview he looked like he was going to start crying. Thanks for the link. It was a wonderful interview and it inspired me to look at some of the videos.
     
  15. Jaana

    Jaana Well-Known Member

    3,884
    168
    63
    John Curry was a huuuge favourite of mine. I understood that even press knew about him being gay during those eligible days, so more than just some little inner circle must have known. I agree that it should have been left for Curry to announce that he was gay, if he wanted it to be known. On the other hand if lots of people know about something, it is not a secret anymore. If one wants/needs to have a secret, it should be in the hands of only a handful of people one can really trust. One cannot eat the cake and save it in the same time....

    No, I did not watch the interview, just could not. I remember what a terrible shock it was to read about his death.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  16. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    14,558
    2,438
    113
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  17. Kelvster

    Kelvster Well-Known Member

    1,627
    115
    63
    thanks for the link. john curry really is an amazing (and revolutionary) skater. what a tragic end to his life though :-(
     
  18. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

    2,587
    227
    63
    I thought I remembered the commentators talking about his sexuality, or rumors about, during the Olympics, so the outing afterwards really wasn't a surprise for anyone.
     
  19. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    14,558
    2,438
    113
    Even if that were true; as floskate said; it should have been done by John himself, if he decided to do so; not by the media - without his permission.

    No wonder he didn't trust them. thereafter,
     
  20. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

    2,587
    227
    63
    John's life would make a great film or even a play. I wonder why one has never been done. Even with his great successes, his life was in the end a tragedy. This is a cautionary tale for those who think that fame and success are the ingredients of a genuine happiness. Some persons are just too damaged (by others) in their youth to ever overcome those blows even if they were to have many years of psychoanalysis or other therapy. In Oglanby's bio, she mentions that he had undergone some kind of mind control therapy. Unfortunate that some critics of her book feel that much of it is contrived. I hope someone has or will do a well researched book. Sadly many of the principals are now dead, but were available to Oglanby, who evidently chose not to interview some of the important ones. An opportunity missed. I am glad I got to see these interviews, but they have left me with a profound feeling of sadness. Does anyone know what, if any, comments those in the skating community made after the interview was aired?
     
  21. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

    2,786
    370
    83
    First of all, thanks to floskate for uploading this!!!

    So many things come to mind after watching this interview.

    I was most fascinated and impressed with Curry's dedication to skating as an art form first and foremost. I think he and Dick Button have probably had a larger impact on the sport than any other men in history. The way he describes being unable to listen to music without seeing movement is so obvious in his style and choreographic ability. I do feel that it probably went unnoticed to a degree, and I think abilities such as his are very often overlooked today. :(

    I could not help but notice many similarities between Curry and Johnny Weir in terms of the way they viewed their skating and also in their personal battles/disagreements with the skating federations, judges, coaches, and especially the media.

    I think the elimination of figures was a great day for figure skating, and John's description of the corruption matches what I have always thought to be true.

    Lastly, I wonder what John would have thought of CoP. On the one hand, I do believe it has lessened the corruption to a certain degree but at what price? It has surely stifled the artistic possibilities. What would an all-time great like John think of our sport if he were able to see it today?
     
  22. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    12,544
    1,328
    113
    John Curry is my favorite skater ever, and I share his point of view about figure skating. But honestly, he wouldn't have been able to skate like this without figures. It's such a joy to watch his performances that I don't care about corruption from this time. :)
     
  23. MR-FAN

    MR-FAN Kostner Softie

    5,586
    491
    83
    Question: since I never read the article in question, all I know are the headlines that we see in the few interviews with John that discussed this issue... did the article say he was gay/John told the journalist he was gay (off the records as John mentioned, which wasn't honored by the moron journalist) or that He didn't want people to think he skated like a gay person?
     
  24. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    14,558
    2,438
    113
    John's ability to do figures was a crucial advantage during much of his career.
    Jumps weren't usually his forte'.

    One of his most famous programs is an "exploration" of figures:

    "After All":
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXJqsoFwUic

    Heartbreakingly beautiful.
     
  25. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

    2,786
    370
    83
    That wasn't his point. He wasn't complaining about his own personal results, and admitted that he didn't really care what the judges thought. His point was that the judges payed little attention to the actual tracings, and basically looked at the score cards from the previous year and tried to replicate them as to help a skater maintain their reputation and to not score out of line with the other judges. He also spoke openly about the "deal making" between federations.
     
  26. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    14,558
    2,438
    113
    Triple Butz, I didn't make my post because of what John said.
    It was simply an observation; and my opinion.
     
  27. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

    2,587
    227
    63
    His entrances to his jumps were cop, before there was cop.