Elvis Stojko

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Elvis Stojko
ElvisStojko2002.jpg
Stojko at Canada House during the 2002 Winter Olympics
Personal information
Country represented  Canada
Born (1972-03-22) March 22, 1972 (age 42)
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Former coach Uschi Keszler, Doug Leigh
Skating club Richmond Hill FSC
Retired 2006
Olympic medal record
Men's figure skating
Competitor for  Canada
Silver 1998 Nagano Singles
Silver 1994 Lillehammer Singles

Elvis Stojko, MSC, MSM (born March 22, 1972) is a Canadian figure skater. He is a three-time World champion (1994, 1995, 1997), two-time Olympic silver medalist (1994, 1998), and seven-time Canadian champion (1994, 1996-2000, and 2002).

Personal life[edit]

Stojko was born in Newmarket, Ontario Canada to a Hungarian mother and Slovenian father and was named after Elvis Presley, of whom his parents were fans.[1] His father arrived in Canada on a boat in 1955 and his mother, Irenee, escaped through the Soviet Invasion in 1956. Stojko grew up in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Stojko began skating at the age of 4 and won his first trophy when he was 6; as a child he also studied karate, earning a black belt when he was 16. He has sometimes incorporated martial arts moves into his skating. He competed in the 2005 WKA Canadian Championships and placed first in the Chinese martial arts division. He also likes to ride dirt bikes.

Stojko has written a book about his career called "Heart and Soul" and he has been involved with Ronald McDonald Children's Charities in Canada.

Stojko settled in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico in 2001.[2] On June 20, 2010, he married Mexican figure skater Gladys Orozco in Las Vegas.[3] They reside in Ajijic.[4]

Career[edit]

1991–1993[edit]

At the 1991 World Championships, Stojko became the first person to land a quadruple-double jump combination. He later said he had studied VHS tapes of Kurt Browning, Brian Boitano, Alexander Fadeyev, and Jozef Sabovcik to help him master the quad.[5]

At the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, he finished 7th despite skating a technically strong routine, but a month later he made his first appearance on a major international podium when he placed 3rd at the 1992 World Figure Skating Championships behind winner Viktor Petrenko and Kurt Browning. In 1993 at the World Figure Skating Championships he finished 2nd, once again behind Kurt Browning.

1994–1998[edit]

Stojko made his mark on the figure skating world in 1994, beginning with the Canadian National Championships in Edmonton. Skating to the soundtrack of "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story," he defeated Kurt Browning in the free skate to win his first Canadian National Championship. At the 1994 Winter Olympics at the Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre, he skated well enough in the short program to place second, putting him in good position heading into the free skate, after three of the pre-Olympic favourites (Brian Boitano, Viktor Petrenko & Kurt Browning) had disappointing short programs. Stojko had a strong performance in the free skate, despite popping a planned triple axel combination (which he later replaced by doing another triple Axel combination spontaneously) and won the silver medal. Stojko entered the 1994 World Championships in Chiba, Japan, as the favourite and won his first world championship with a performance that included another quadruple jump.

Stojko suffered a serious ankle injury during practice for the Canadian Championships in 1995, but was determined to compete anyway. He began his short program but was not able to complete it due to the injury, and was awarded a bye to the 1995 World Championships. His 1995 World Championship skate is regarded as one of his most impressive competitive outings because he completed his full routine despite his still-unhealed injury. Although in second place after the short program behind American Todd Eldredge, Stojko won the free skate - and his second world championship - with a performance that included a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination in the closing seconds of his program.

At the 1996 World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta he fell on his triple axel combo jump, leaving him in 7th place after the short program. In the free program, he included a quadruple jump combination (the only one in the competition) and moved him all the way up to fourth, just off the podium behind American Rudy Galindo, who won the bronze. His quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop was the first ever performed by a skater in a major competition.

Stojko won the 1997 Grand Prix Final in Hamilton, Ontario, skating to the movie soundtrack of "Dragon Heart". Two other skaters also landed quad jumps during the free skate (Ilia Kulik & Alexei Urmanov), but not in combination as Stojko did. At the World Championships later that year, he again had a strong short program and placed fourth going into the free. Approximately halfway through the free skate, Alexei Urmanov, leader after the short program, withdrew from the event with an injury, while Ilia Kulik, in third, had a performance that put him out of contention. Stojko then took the ice and landed his quad-triple combination to earn two perfect scores of 6.0 and another world title.

Stojko entered the 1998 Winter Olympic games in Nagano, Japan as the heavy favourite, and was expected to become the first Canadian man to win an Olympic gold medal. He did not disclose to the media that he had suffered a groin injury and was also recovering from a flu that had struck many other athletes during the Games. He was unable to take painkillers due to the possibility of failing his drug test. He later stated in an interview that he was already feeling stiff and sore during the warm-up prior to the long program, and therefore downgraded his planned quadruple toe loop to a triple, likely costing him a chance at gold. Later in the program, on the landing of a triple Axel, he aggravated the injury even further, saying he "felt something snap." He still managed to successfully complete four more triples after that point, showing no indication of his injury until the end of the program when he doubled over in pain and had to be helped off the ice by his coach and choreographer. He won the silver medal, although he found it too painful to skate during the medal presentation ceremony, and limped onto the podium wearing sneakers. He chose not to attend the World Championships that year to avoid aggravating his groin injury.

1999–2002[edit]

Stojko finished 4th in the 1999 World Championships. After the 1998–99 season, Stojko changed coaches from Doug Leigh to Uschi Keszler and Tim Wood.[6]

He won silver at the 2000 World Championships. At the Salt Lake Winter Olympics in 2002, he placed 8th.

He turned professional in 2002 but briefly reinstated as an Olympic-eligible skater and publicly declared his intention to compete in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, before changing his mind and resuming his professional skating career.

2003–present[edit]

Stojko was a commentator for CTV/TSN for the men's event at the 2003 World Figure Skating Championships in Washington, D.C. In 2006, he was a celebrity judge on the WE tv series Skating's Next Star, created and produced by Major League Figure Skating. The show was hosted by Kristi Yamaguchi.

He retired from skating on August 10, 2006. His farewell performance was a gala performance for the Mariposa skating club, where he trained most of his amateur career. He took part in ISF Entertainment's acrobatic ice show, "A Rock & Roll Fantasy", in the July 2010 Calgary Stampede.[7]

Stojko provided commentary and analysis for Yahoo! Sports during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.[8] He wrote an article criticizing the judging system during the 2010 Olympics, saying that it did not reward athletes for undertaking quadruple jumps. Criticism followed, as there are those who believe figure skating should be a combination of athleticism and artistry, whereas Stojko's comments advocated that figure skating tallies should be based on athleticism, e.g. jumping abilities. He later commented that to reward Evan Lysacek with the gold medal during the 2010 Olympics meant that Johnny Weir was underscored and should have been awarded a bronze medal rather than placing 6th in that competition.

Since 2011, Stojko has been racing karts in the Canadian Rotax DD2 Master Class and the SKUSA Mexico Series (S1 and S4 classes). He is currently being sponsored by emzone,[9] a brand of Empack Spraytech Inc.

In 2014, Stojko joined the national tour of Chicago The Musical as Billy Flynn.

Media appearances[edit]

  • Stojko performed nine o'clock hour of the Today Show on October 14, 2013, opening the 77th season of the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink.
  • Stojko performed on Braided's CD "Casey, Ashley and Amber", singing "Before You".
  • He guest starred as himself in "Kill Gil: Vols. 1 & 2", an episode of The Simpsons that aired December 17, 2006.
  • He appeared as a guest star as himself on the Canadian T.V show Chilly Beach.
  • He choreographed and performed the ice skating sequences in the film Death to Smoochy.
  • He performs a few skating sequences in CNE's Movie Magic.
  • Played a hockey player in the skating/hockey movie Ice Angel.

Accomplishments[edit]

  • 3-time World Figure skating champion: 1994, 1995, 1997
  • 2-time Olympic Silver medalist: 1994, 1998
  • 7-time Canadian Figure skating champion: 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002
  • 1-time Four Continents champion: 2000
  • 1-time Grand Prix Final Champion: 1996/1997
  • 1-time winner of the Lionel Conacher Award: 1994
  • First man to land a quadruple jump in combination (quadruple toe-loop, double toe-loop): 1991 World Championships
  • First man to land a quadruple/triple jump combination (quadruple toe-loop, triple toe-loop): 1997 Grand Prix Final

Programs[edit]

Season Short program Free skating
2001–2002
[1]
  • Lion
    (from The Best of Kodo album)
    by Kodo
Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
by Randy Edelman
  • Dragon Theme
  • The Dragon's Heart Beat
  • Chopsaki
  • Victory at Ed Parkers
2000–2001
[6]
Cirque du Soleil: Gladiator
by Hans Zimmer, Lisa Gerrard
  • The Battle
  • The Might of Rome
  • Slaves to Rome

Results[edit]

Results[1][6]
International
Event 1984–85 1989–90 1990–91 1991–92 1992–93 1993–94 1994–95 1995–96 1996–97 1997–98 1998–99 1999–00 2000–01 2001–02
Olympics 7th 2nd 2nd 8th
Worlds 9th 6th 3rd 2nd 1st 1st 4th 1st WD 4th 2nd 10th
Four Continents 3rd 1st
Grand Prix Final 2nd 1st 2nd 2nd
GP Skate America 8th 4th 3rd
GP Skate Canada 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd
GP Nations Cup 1st 1st 6th
GP Lalique 3rd WD
GP NHK Trophy 2nd 1st 1st WD
Piruetten 1st
Karl Schäfer 2nd
Universiade 2nd
National
Canadian Champ. 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
GP = Became part of Champions Series in 1995–1996, renamed Grand Prix in 1998–1999.
WD = Withdrew

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Elvis STOJKO: 2001/2002". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on October 16, 2002. 
  2. ^ Doolittle, Robyn (October 24, 2011). "Stojko swaps frigid rinks for tropic sun". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Stojko marries Mexican figure skater". Calgary Herald. CanWest News Service. July 7, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ Buffery, Steve (October 16, 2011). "Stojko jumps from the spotlight". Toronto Sun. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ Kwong, PJ (October 29, 2010). "The Quad and The Canadians". CBC Sports. Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "Elvis STOJKO: 2000/2001". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on April 17, 2001. 
  7. ^ http://cs.calgarystampede.com/blog/2010/07/09/spotlight-on-everything-else/
  8. ^ http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/olympics/expertsarchive?author=Elvis+Stojko
  9. ^ http://emzone.ca/news/press-release/emzone-sponsors-olympic-medalist-elvis-stojko/

External links[edit]