Jones, Bill. “Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry”, Bloomsbury, 2015.
A Gay Athlete
It was in 1976 when the world watched John skate to Olympic glory at an ice rink in Austria. On that night, he became on the most famous men in the world and by himself he changed skating from a marginalized event for men to what we refer to as high art. Men’s skating had been the sport of muscular men and not of the sensual and ambiguous sexuality that Jones was. He dazzled the world with his beautiful movements and yes privately he was a man who was tortured often with his own complexities. “Alone” looks at Jones and his life that was troubled and ended much too soon.
As a child, he suffered from nightmares and homophobia. He was bothered by the politics of the Cold War, his finances were not good and he had more than his share of deep personal tragedy. This is not a regular biography of a sportsman but rather this is the story of a man who was restless and impatient and he possessed a dark soul yet a man whose skating moved people. Like so many others of our gay greats, he died at the age of 44 suffering from AIDS and a severe heart attack.
The book is a reminder of how close art and sports are and how much courage it takes to follow a dream and how much mettle it takes to be a gay athlete and sportsman. One cannot read this and not be moved by the book’s sensitivity and emotion.