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Old 01-12-2008, 06:43 AM   #1
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Skater Christopher Bowman found dead

From the NY Times:

Christopher Bowman, Skating Champion, Is Dead at 40

By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN
Published: January 12, 2008


Christopher Bowman, a two-time United States figure skating champion acclaimed as a stylish, crowd-pleasing performer despite a long struggle with drug abuse, was found dead Thursday in North Hills, Calif., near Los Angeles. He was 40.

Christopher Bowman won the U.S. men's figure skating title in 1992. Bowman’s body was found by a friend at a motel, the police told The Associated Press.

Ed Winter, the assistant chief of the Los Angeles County coroner’s operations and investigations section, said in a telephone interview that a prescription drug had been found in Bowman’s room but that no illicit drugs had been found. He said that an autopsy might be performed Saturday, but that a final determination would probably require six to eight weeks of toxicology tests.

Mr. Winter said there were no signs of trauma and that the death could have been accidental or from natural causes.

Bowman captured the United States men’s singles championship in 1989 and 1992, and he won a silver medal at the 1989 world championships and a bronze the next year. He was seventh in the 1988 Calgary Olympics and fourth at the 1992 Albertville Games.

“If I had to pick the three most talented skaters of all time, I would pick Christopher as one,” the former Olympic champion Brian Boitano told The Chicago Tribune. “He had natural charisma, natural athleticism, he could turn on a crowd in a matter of seconds and he always seemed so relaxed about it.”

A former child actor, Bowman displayed a crowd-pleasing flair that brought him the nickname Bowman the Showman. But another part of his life — long rumored and denied while he competed — was reflected in the tattoo on his left shoulder with the words “Nobody’s Perfect.”

Bowman was quoted by the sportswriter Christine Brennan in her book “Inside Edge” (Scribner, 1996) as saying he had “a $950-a-day cocaine habit” while in his prime.

“I was heavily into cocaine use for over ten years,” he said. “I did everything. I mean, I was a human garbage pail. You name it and I would try it because to me, I was invincible.”

The absence of random drug-testing by skating authorities and Bowman’s ability to stop using drugs shortly before events, in anticipation of drug testing, kept him from being caught.

But Bowman took pride in what he saw as immense dedication to his sport, while never taking himself too seriously.

“I practiced 5,000 hours, to perform for four and a half minutes,” he told The New York Times in 1993. “I always worked very hard, but my approach was very different. I didn’t treat it as a do-or-die situation. I tried to emphasize the human side of it.”

Bowman grew up in the Los Angeles area and began skating at 5. His mother persuaded Frank Carroll, a leading coach, to give him lessons. “He had tremendous ability,” Carroll told People magazine in 1996. “And he looked like a toy-store doll. The perfect little child.”

While training with Carroll, Bowman acted in the TV show “Little House on the Prairie” and appeared in many commercials. But skating dominated, and he became a national junior champion in 1983.

Bowman won a silver medal in the 1987 senior nationals, and then, as he told People, he grew his hair long, pierced his ears and began using drugs.

At Carroll’s urging, Bowman entered the Betty Ford Clinic for substance-abuse treatment shortly before the 1988 Olympics.

Carroll had been frustrated with Bowman’s poor work habits and he was angered when Bowman improvised much of his long program at the 1990 world championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia, although he finished third.

“You can’t train someone who’s untrainable or coach someone who’s uncoachable,” Carroll said afterward.

Carroll and Bowman parted the next July.

Bowman faced troubles beyond the rink. In 1991, he reported being beaten and mugged in Toronto, the circumstances murky. In 1993, the police in Pittsburgh said he reported being beaten at a $26-a-night hotel while touring with the Ice Capades. In January 2005, he was sentenced to 18 months probation for possessing a gun while drunk.

Bowman had coached at Detroit-area skating clubs in recent years and returned to California early last year. At his death, he weighed an estimated 300 pounds, The Associated Press reported. He is survived by his mother, Joyce, and a daughter, The Detroit Free Press said. In April 1993, while skating to Wild West music in the Ice Capades, wearing a cowboy jacket with leather fringes, Bowman reflected on his ice-show skating style, and on his life as well.

“I’m somewhat of a personality,” he told The New York Times. “I cultivate that. People are not there to see my skating, but to see me. I don’t expect to be in an American Express commercial. I’d have to be the guy who lost his credit card.”
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:23 AM   #2
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I was so sad about this yesterday. I had a crush on him in his heyday - I used to be a big skating geek.

Drugs are bad, mmkay?

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Old 01-12-2008, 12:01 PM   #3
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I had a crush on him in his heyday


I thought you were a woman?


If I were a figure skater, I would develop a drug problem as well.
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Old 01-12-2008, 12:07 PM   #4
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Um, anyway-yes I remember him, so talented but had all those demons. I read that book Inside Edge.

What a shame, RIP
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:20 PM   #5
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by corianderstem


Drugs are bad, mmkay?

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Old 01-12-2008, 03:07 PM   #7
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What a shame. I remember him in the 92 Olympics. He had loads of talent and seemed so natural on the ice. I always thought he could have been one of the truly great skaters had he been able to get his personal life under control.

RIP Bowman the Showman.
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:02 PM   #8
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I thought you were a woman?


If I were a figure skater, I would develop a drug problem as well.
Oh, go be a stereotyping asshole somewhere else, okay?
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:32 PM   #9
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Oh, go be a stereotyping asshole somewhere else, okay?

Is there a more appropriate place to be a stereotyping asshole?
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:53 PM   #10
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Is there a more appropriate place to be a stereotyping asshole?
We'd all prefer it if weren't a stereotyping asshole here. I know it's probably a stretch for you but why don't you give it a try? Hmm?
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:57 PM   #11
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We'd all prefer it if weren't a stereotyping asshole here. I know it's probably a stretch for you but why don't you give it a try? Hmm?

See, now you're just being redundant. We've already established that you (I'm stereotyping again here, but it allows me to lump you and the other one together) don't want me to be a stereotyping asshole here.

Again I will ask, is there a more appropriate place for this behavior?
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:28 PM   #12
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Anywhere but a thread about his death.

And that doesn't mean going to another thread and asking if anyone else is going to come in here and make snide remarks.

Maybe the best place for you to demonstrate this behavior is your own head. Keep it there.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:40 PM   #13
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Is this the guy who always did backflips in exhibition skates? I loved that guy
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:42 PM   #14
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No, I think that's Kurt Browning (the Canadian, natch) who did all the backflips.

Chris Bowman is the guy who would change his routine in the middle of the competition and switched coaches every five mintues before it was fashionable. And, apparently, according to another skater, would say he was going out for a loaf of bread and be gone for four days.

Very talented, but a wild child with addiction problems. Bad times.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:55 PM   #15
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Sad news.
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