John Curry

1976 Olympic champion
Order of the British Empire

John Curry died of an AIDS-related heart attack in April, 1994, at the age of 44.

According to Toller Cranston's autobiography Zero Tollerance, Curry confirmed that he was gay at a 1976 press conference, and the information was published in a German tabloid, although it was not discussed widely at the time. But about a year before his death, Curry gave an interview in which he attempted to demystify homosexuality and AIDS for the public. He spoke openly about being gay and HIV-positive, and losing his entire circle of friends in New York to AIDS in the 1980s.

Curry is widely considered the purest male skater in living memory. His ice theatre work, both solo and ensemble, is still revered today, and his influence is felt through the work of such protégés as Moira North, Lori Nichol and Katherine Healy. As a pro, he combined the disciplines of dance and skating, sometimes taking his skates off entirely and choreographing ballet or modern dance pieces for his shows. Skaters such as Paul Wylie, in his Schindler's List exhibition, and Ice Theater of New York member Alizah Allen, in her "Don Quixote" competitive program, continue to pay tribute to Curry.

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