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Thread: Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry by Bill Jones

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    Hate fake smiles and horrendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry by Bill Jones

    I am very curious about this book. Has anyone here purchased it? Here is the link:
    http://www.amazon.com/Alone-Triumph-.../dp/1408853434

    I hope to get more insight of this genius man. His skating is beyond refined.

    My favorite performance of his: http://youtu.be/se19k1ZvLSw

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post
    I am very curious about this book. Has anyone here purchased it? Here is the link:
    http://www.amazon.com/Alone-Triumph-.../dp/1408853434

    I hope to get more insight of this genius man. His skating is beyond refined.

    My favorite performance of his: http://youtu.be/se19k1ZvLSw

    Check out this Daily Mail article which provides quite a lot of information on and extracts from it. The article is by Bill Jones himself - the author of the book

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    Hate fake smiles and horrendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mao88 View Post
    Check out this Daily Mail article which provides quite a lot of information on and extracts from it. The article is by Bill Jones himself - the author of the book
    Thank you very much. actually I rarely venture to Daily Mail thanks to their reputation. But a good read is still a good read. I love John Curry's works so much. He is a diamond.

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    Custom Title chapis's Avatar
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    Super interesting, I am going to read it, definitely

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    Cheering Wildly from the stands
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    Just reading the article made me want to cry. It's very sad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post
    My favorite performance of his: http://youtu.be/se19k1ZvLSw
    It's amazing how well the performance has aged. Often, even stuff from the '80s/early '90s already look aged (Hamilton, Orser, Fadeev, Manley, Petrenko...). But this still looks stunning, and probably always will.

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    Hate fake smiles and horrendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newbiespectator View Post
    Just reading the article made me want to cry. It's very sad.
    Yes, such a tragedy for such a great artist. There are some performances of him on youtube, very haunting and mesmerizing. Those were after he knew about his illness.

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    Were you just giving some random names as to dated skates because wouldn`t clearly Sumners, Chin, Zayak, Boitano also fit the mode too then. I am not sure you couldn`t say Curry is dated. He is like the protopopovs there is something very slow about their skating and almost unrefined or bent. Not the crispness or pure speed we some of some skaters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skater Boy View Post
    Were you just giving some random names as to dated skates because wouldn`t clearly Sumners, Chin, Zayak, Boitano also fit the mode too then. I am not sure you couldn`t say Curry is dated. He is like the protopopovs there is something very slow about their skating and almost unrefined or bent. Not the crispness or pure speed we some of some skaters.
    Actually, I didn't pick names out of a hat. I think Boitano holds up comparatively well, due to his better attention to line (vs. Orser). Same goes for, say, Paul Wylie's Olympic skate (which, artistically, holds up waaay better than Viktor Petrenko's). Who holds up or not is subjective, but don't assume people who disagree with you (or, god forbid, thinks one or two people hold up at all) are just making it up. Btw, for Scheherazade, the slowness is what makes it work.

    And of course, everyone I named actually came after Curry, and should hold up better, except they don't. That is not to say they weren't incredible skaters, or they didn't make huge contributions to the sport just like Curry did (Orser helped push the 3A; Fadeev was one of the first to attempt the quad, in an age where Hamilton was winning Olympic gold with four double axels). But for me personally, as someone who never watched these people while they were still competing, I'd say Curry holds up much better than he has any right to.

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    What a heartbreaking article. I don't think I could read an entire book in that mood.

    To me, Curry's program holds up. Of course there aren't as many triple jumps because of the era, but the masterful ease with which he combined technical prowess and artistic splendor created a program that still seems powerful to me. His posture is dance based, so it retains its wonderful lines. I only wish he had had a happier life.

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    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    Short excerpt of the book:

    EXCLUSIVE: An extract from the new biography of Olympian John Curry
    Author Bill Jones also writes a foreword for the extract, detailing the gold medalist's coming out...


    via @iceskating

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    Thank you so much for starting this thread! I'm buying the book this weekend!

    Without question, John Curry is my all-time favorite skater. ABC only ever showed brief clips of him in the late 80s and early 90s. Still, Dick Button mentioned him all the time during competitions as an ideal skater to strive to emulate, which peaked my interest. I read about him in books often and was impressed to see that, other than Button, he was the only male skater written about in any real detail in general sports books and encyclopedias. Each article was written with the same near-reverence about how his Olympic programs changed the sport. That was striking for me. What made this man so remarkably special that his achievement was remembered so fondly 15 years later? When he died my senior year of high school, I kept the newspaper article about hime for some time and noted comments from many of the quoted skaters.

    Finally, when I was in college I was able to order the VHS copies of Magic Memories on Ice that had is Olympic free skate (Don Quixote) and (Scheherazade)exhibition. I was not disappointed.

    It probably helped that Men's skating was at one of it's lowest points creatively in the mid-90s. Spinning was virtually dead and footwork was an afterthought. Curry paid equal attention to those details: spinning in both directions (with ideal positions), deep edges, line, stretch, turnout, toe point, musicality, and choreography with purpose and clarity. Simplicity was an ideal to strive for not to obscure with unnecessary excess.

    All of those qualities only elevate him in my eyes.

    Yes his death and much of his life was sad and tragic, but I find inspiration in his resilience and the purpose with which he pursued his skating. He was a bright light I'll remember forever.

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    Landing 3As in my dreams! skatedreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcoates View Post

    Curry paid equal attention to those details: spinning in both directions (with ideal positions), deep edges, line, stretch, turnout, toe point, musicality, and choreography with purpose and clarity. Simplicity was an ideal to strive for not to obscure with unnecessary excess.
    Well said. In a nutshell, this is why all of Curry's programs hold up for me. Thanks, jcoates!

    I've loved figure skating for many years but never knew much about Curry until reading about him here on GS. When I clicked a link in another post to the program below, my jaw just about hit the floor as I watched; then my eyes started to well up at the sheer beauty, elegance, and simplicity of the skating. Wanted to share it again here in case you've never seen it.

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

    The program is titled "After All," with choreography by Twyla Tharp; music is Albinoni's Trumpet Concerto in B-flat.

    One of the comments on YouTube about this program tells an incredible story about Curry:

    This piece is quintessential John, and sums all…he wanted to do to making skating an art form. Here to me he achieved that goal. Others have commented on John's 'simple edges and basic skills': I saw a good example of that when John was filming a show for the BBC. During a lull while the technicians were moving the lights around, he came over to the barrier and amused us by spelling out 'j-o-h-n' on the ice, on one foot, without putting his free foot down. Now *that's* control of your edges!
    A bright light, indeed. There may never again be another skater like him -- but we can always hope.

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