And his willingness to creatively collaborate and lend his body as canvas to other artists I think is something special in and of itself as well. Like with Nyah: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0Izl1CA1uA or this year's Downstream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ear0K2kRP_U or last year's Spirit of Adventure (not on YouTube).
(I may just be having fun linking Kurt videos)
BTW, Toni, what you said made me look up a quote from "Talking Figure Skating" from choreographer Bob Paul: "Paul says four-time world champion Kurt Browning is the best of the lot from Canada, because he can portray any style: humorous, dramatic, classical - right down to the proper line - or even a Gene Kelly dance routine. 'That's a God-given thing,' Paul says. Some can learn how to use body language somewhat, but many are moulded to only one emotional interpretation, and cannot go further. To do choreography for a pliable skater like Browning, who opens his skating heart to all, would be a real joy, Paul says."
I'm not sure which of the interviews you're talking about (or that Toni is talking about, for that matter) since Kurt has given a bunch in recent weeks. In one recent interview, they called him an Olympic champion and he was very very quick to correct the interviewer to say he'd never won the Olympics. He's always been very self-deprecating about that, and quick to give credit to others. On the other hand, he's not an idiot. He has a healthy sense of self-confidence (I'm not sure you can get to his level of success without one), and he'll be self-deprecating without being disingenuously modest. The guy's been very successful and worked hard to get where he is, and he has every reason to be proud of that, IMO.If it's the recent interview that Kurt gave about his participation on SOI that seems egotistical to some, I was annoyed for him with the interviewer who basically wanted to talk about Kurt being an over the hill old man.
Though he does have an amusing tendency to look embarrassed or make a quick self-deprecating joke, or redirect praise at someone if the interviewer gets to listing all his accomplishments or praising him a lot. While being quick to defend his honor if they try to write him off as an old has-been .
And for the record, as someone who's had the opportunity to interact with Kurt a reasonable amount over the years personally, I can say - he's playful, likes to joke, has a healthy sarcastic streak and often teases, he's human and has better and worse moods and definite opinions about things, but he's always self-deprecating, giving and generous towards fans and other skaters, is quick to give the benefit of the doubt, to praise, and to give credit to others, and he takes his sport very seriously. Which is why I think he constantly tries to improve as a commentator...
Oops, babbled on enough. Back to your regularly scheduled topic...
Aww. I hope I'm not *that* reflexively defensive about Kurt =).(and here I was worried you were going to come down on me for saying Kurt has an ego )