Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry

Written by | Books

john curry

Bloomsbury Sport; $33
By Bill Jones

One might assume figure skating (with all its sparkle and grace) might be more hospitable to gay athletes. But how many openly gay skaters can you name? If Johnny Weir is one, consider that he only came out publicly after his Olympics career ended. In fact, when Eric Radford came out last year, he was the first skater to do so while still Olympics-eligible. Nearly 40 years earlier, John Curry was outed by a journalist hours after having won the gold medal for the U.K. in the 1976 Olympics at Innsbruck. This was after coming of age in an England where homosexuality was still illegal and discovering skating only because his father prohibited his taking the more “sissy” ballet. Bill Jones’ new biography presents the facts of this remarkable athlete, but draws its title, Alone, from his struggle to guard his private life. Given that many who best knew Curry were, like him, lost to AIDS, it’s impressive Jones was able to craft such an intimate portrait.

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Last modified: May 22, 2019