How They Met: Kurt Browning takes a spin at love with Alissa Czisny

Canadian skating legend Kurt Browning has done it all. He’s a four-time world champion; an Olympic flag-bearer; a Canada Sports Hall of Famer; was a judge, performer and co-host on CBC’s Battle of the Blades; and is the first person in history to land a quadruple jump in competition. He’s also in his 30th year performing with the Stars on Ice tour — and this year, he gets to do so with his new wife, U.S. national champion figure skater Alissa Czisny. Ahead of the tour coming to Toronto on May 5, the couple shares how they re-met on the rink and their accidental first date.

How they met

Face to face, at an ice rink! We have known each other for years through skating. We “re-met” in 2015 when we were both performing in a skating tour together.

The first date

Syracuse, New York, when we were on the tour together (October 2015). A group of U.S. skaters went to a mall in Syracuse. When an incredibly small and minor emergency occurred, the group disbanded, leaving us looking at each other and saying, “Lunch?” Our lunch turned into an entire afternoon of exploring the city together … and the rest is history, as they say! Many years of friendship and trust evolved into something else that day, and we quickly realized that we enjoyed who we were with each other.

The courtship

We spent the first five or so years long-distance dating, travelling between Detroit and Toronto to visit each other. It gave us time to really get to know each other better and figure out what our lives would become if merged. We had many adventures together, including participating in a single-day, 100-mile bicycle ride and a cross-country road trip, highlighted by a visit to the Grand Canyon and  Grand Teton National Park.

The proposal

Fittingly, we were on another skating tour together.

Spontaneity factor: 5 out of 5

Eloquence factor: 4 out of 5

Romance factor: 3 out of 5

Setting factor: 2 out of 5

Creativity factor: 1 out of 5

Ring factor: 0 out of 5

She-said-yes factor: perfect 10

The wedding and honeymoon

We were married in a small, private ceremony in an enchanted forest on the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario on Aug. 11, 2022. We often travel together for work, so we have not yet taken an official honeymoon, but we will be going to Australia together this upcoming summer!

The kids

Kurt has two wonderful, amazing, handsome boys — they made us write that! — Gabriel and Dillon, ages 19 and 15.

Balancing careers and a marriage

On thin blades of steel! With both of us being figure skaters, there’s a complete understanding of what the other one is going through. How many other couples at the end of their work day get to hold hands and bow together!

Shared hobbies and interests

Kurt: We share all hobbies — except for reading. I leave that to Alissa! We both love biking, hiking, rollerblading, antiquing, rock climbing, playing tennis, playing pool, working out, going on adventures, pretty much everything… and we both rather dislike cooking.

The secret to success

Alissa: He buys me a constant stream of blueberries!

Kurt: I like that the further away she is from her glasses, the better looking I get! The most important thing is that we laugh together every day.

The future

If we could look into the future, we would have bought stock in Apple, Google, Netflix and Amazon. But even though we don’t have any stock in those companies, we are very happy with our investment in each other. When we look forward to our future together,  there is likely less time on the ice, but more time off the ice to do lots of other things that we enjoy together!

For our 2013 profile of Kurt Browning, click here.

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