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  1. #1

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    John Curry 1987 Interview

    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.
    -Brian
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    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.)


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    It's thanks to floskate that the program is shared there.
    A very insightful, important documentary.

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    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!

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    One of my favorite interviews ever with a skater.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post

    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!
    That made my blood boil.
    If I was upset, I can only imagine how John felt!

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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    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!
    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.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    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.
    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?

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    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.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    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!
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaana View Post
    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.
    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.

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    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 by skatesindreams; 05-26-2011 at 07:40 PM. Reason: to add thoughts

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    Tai posted video of John's last performance on her facebook today. Going to find it now.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMsCT...&feature=share
    Last edited by skatemommy; 05-26-2011 at 11:16 PM. Reason: added link
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    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.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    Did you watch the interview? .....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.
    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 by Jaana; 05-27-2011 at 06:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatemommy View Post
    Tai posted video of John's last performance on her facebook today. Going to find it now.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMsCT...&feature=share
    Here's a better version of the clip:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbOrk_DDdrk

    Tai and Randy hosted the special from which it came:
    "The Ice Stars Hollywood Revue" - 1989
    Last edited by skatesindreams; 05-27-2011 at 04:12 PM.

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    thanks for the link. john curry really is an amazing (and revolutionary) skater. what a tragic end to his life though :-(

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    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. #19

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    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,

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    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?

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