John Curry’s distinctive style made him one of figure skating’s greatest Olympic champions.
As a young boy, Curry wanted to take dance classes but his father disapproved. Instead, Curry took up skating, a sport he naturally excelled at. After his father’s death, Curry moved to London to be coached by Arnold Gerschwiler. Curry won his first British title in 1971.
Elegance over athleticism
Curry tended to emphasise grace and artistic expression over athleticism, a style that cost him points with the judges at times. But at the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Games he combined his natural elegance with a series of stunning jumps, performing his freestyle long programme to Ludwig Minkus' ballet Don Quixote.
Curry was rewarded for his bold routine with victory. Although the Soviet and Canadian judges awarded first place to their own skaters, overall the nine judges gave Curry 105.9 points out a possible 108 points. This remains the highest point total in the history of men's figure skating.