Jeffrey Buttle

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Jeffrey Buttle
Jeffrey BUTTLE 2008 World Championships – Men.jpg
Buttle on the podium at the 2008 World Championships
Personal information
Country represented Canada
Born (1982-09-01) September 1, 1982 (age 32)
Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario, Canada
Home town Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Former coach Lee Barkell, Rafael Arutyunyan, Doug Leigh, Wendy Philion
Choreographer David Wilson, Linda Garneau
Skating club Sudbury SC
Former training locations Barrie, Ontario
Lake Arrowhead, California
Retired September 10, 2008
ISU personal best scores
Combined total 245.17
2008 Worlds
Short program 83.85
2008 Four Continents
Free skate 163.07
2008 Worlds

Jeffrey Buttle (born September 1, 1982) is a Canadian figure skater. He is the 2006 Winter Olympics bronze medalist, the 2008 World champion, the 2002 and 2004 Four Continents champion and the 2005-2007 Canadian champion. On March 22, 2008, Buttle became the first Canadian man since Elvis Stojko in 1997 to win the World Title. He announced his retirement from competitive skating on September 10, 2008.[1][2][3]

Personal life[edit]

Buttle was born in Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario and raised in Sudbury.[1] During his career, he lived in Barrie, Ontario.[4]

He attended École Don Bosco, a French-language elementary school.[citation needed] While Buttle's family is not French-Canadian, Buttle attended French language schools as a child and is bilingual in English and French.[5] He studied chemical engineering at the University of Toronto part-time before taking time off to focus on his skating.[6]

Buttle is gay and married Justin Harris in February 2014.[7] Buttle currently plays ice hockey for a team in the Toronto Gay Hockey Association.[8][9]

Career[edit]

Buttle began skating at age two and competing at age six.[10] He did competitive ballet to improve his skating.[10][11] Buttle also competed in ice dancing with his elder sister, Meghan.[10] He trained at the Mariposa School of Skating in Barrie, Ontario.[5]

Early career[edit]

Buttle won the silver medal on the junior level at the Canadian Championships in 1998. The next year, he placed in the top ten at his first senior nationals. He rose steadily through the ranks, gaining experience on the junior level. He made his senior international debut in the 2001–2002 season, making his mark immediately by winning the silver medal at the 2001 NHK Trophy behind Takeshi Honda. At the Canadian Championships, Buttle made his first run on the podium and placed third. It earned him a trip to Korea for the Four Continents, where he won his first gold medal.[3][12]

Buttle's bronze medal finish at Nationals was not enough for him to be qualified as an alternate to the Canadian 2002 Olympic figure skating team. He hadn't met Canadian Olympic Association criteria.[13] Silver medalist Emanuel Sandhu withdrew from the competition while Buttle could not replace him.[14] Instead, Buttle went to the 2002 Worlds and placed high enough to earn Canada two spots to the next World Championships.[3][15]

The next season, Buttle repeated his podium finish at Nationals, but was unable to defend his title at Four Continents. He worked to turn things around in the 2003–2004 season. He won his first Grand Prix gold medal at 2003 NHK Trophy, followed by his second silver, at 2003 Skate Canada.[3] Buttle qualified for the Grand Prix Final, but was forced to withdraw.[16][17] After that setback, he had a disappointing Nationals and did not earn a spot to Worlds. Buttle was instead sent to the Four Continents, which he won for the second time.[18][19] Buttle spent that summer training in Lake Arrowhead with Rafael Arutyunyan,[20] who would remain as his secondary coach with Lee Barkell.[6][21] He recovered in the 2004–2005 season. He qualified for the Grand Prix Final a second time and won the silver medal.[22] He went on to win his first National title. He finished the year with a silver medal at the 2005 Worlds.[3]

Senior success[edit]

Buttle and Evan Lysacek performed a throw jump at the 2008 Four Continents exhibition gala
Buttle performs a Lunge at the 2007 Skate Canada.

In the 2005–2006 Olympics season, Buttle won the 2005 Trophée Eric Bompard and came in second at the 2005 Skate Canada.[23] He had a wardrobe malfunction at Skate Canada when his pants split during his performance.[6][24] With a gold and a silver medal, he qualified for the 2005–2006 Grand Prix Final and captured his second consecutive silver medal at that competition.[25] He went on to win his second National title at the 2006 Canadian Championships and went into the Olympics as the reigning World silver medalist. While not a favorite to win, he was a favorite to medal.[26]

At the Olympics, Buttle's short program left him in sixth place going into the free skate. Two days later, during the free skate, Buttle fell on his attempt at a quad toe jump and then put a hand down on the ice after a triple axel, where he ended up losing to Evgeni Plushenko from Russia. In the free skate, he scored a personal best and place second in the segment, third overall, winning Canada's first bronze medal in men's figure skating since Toller Cranston in 1976. Buttle later said that he kept thinking of winning a medal in his short program but later focused on simply enjoying himself in the free skate program, and it paid off.[26]

After the Olympics, Buttle went on to the 2006 Worlds, held in Calgary. He placed sixth.[3]

Buttle withdrew from the 2006 Grand Prix series due to a stress fracture in his back.[27][28] He began his season at the 2007 Canadian Championships, where he won his third consecutive national title.[29] After Nationals, Buttle went on to the 2007 Four Continents in Colorado. He was the leader after the short program, and became the first male under the Code of Points system to gain level fours on all spins and footwork. A free skate in which he only did a double axel without combination and a single on the second attempt left him with the silver medal, behind American Evan Lysacek.[3][30][31]

Buttle then competed at the 2007 Worlds. In his second international competition of the season, Buttle was second after the short program with a new personal best. He placed eighth in the free skate, dropping down to sixth place overall.[32] His placement, combined with that of Christopher Mabee, earned Canada two spots to the 2008 World Championships.

For the 2007–2008 season, Buttle started off slow, placing third and fourth at his two Grand Prix events.[33] At Nationals, despite taking the lead after the short program, he ended up losing his title to a rising star Patrick Chan. At the 2008 Four Continents, after a third place finish in the short program, Buttle went on to place second in the long and consequently won the silver medal.[34]

Buttle (left) during the awarding of the "ISU small medals" for the men's free skate during the 2008 World Championships closing banquet.

At the 2008 Worlds, Buttle placed first in the short program. He then went on to deliver a personal best performance to win the gold medal by a 13.95 point margin over the defending world champion, France's Brian Joubert.[1][35] Following his win at Worlds, Buttle appeared as a guest on many TV shows including CBC's Air Farce Live.[36][37]

Assigned to the 2008 Skate Canada and 2008 Cup of China for the 2008-2009 season, Buttle prepared a new short program to "M.A.Y. in the Backyard" (Ryuichi Sakamoto) and a new free program to "Eclogue" (Gerald Finzi).[38] However, he announced his retirement from competitive skating on September 10, 2008, saying that he had achieved his goals in skating, and competing was no longer in his heart.[2][39] He represented the Sudbury Skating Club throughout his career.[9]

Skate Canada published a Jeffrey Buttle Tribute Book on December 15, 2008.[40][41] A second book about Buttle, Jeffrey Buttle Artist Book chapter TWO, was published in 2009 in Japan.[42] Buttle served as the athlete representative on the Skate Canada Officials Advisory Committee.[34][36]

Buttle acted as the Athlete Ambassader for the 2010 and 2011 Canadian Nationals.[43] On November 15, 2012, Skate Canada announced he would be inducted into Skate Canada Hall of Fame in the athletic category.[44][45]

Post-competitive career[edit]

Buttle has toured with Canadian Stars on Ice since his eligible days, and continued to skate in shows after his retirement. He appeared in the 2009 US "Smuckers Stars on Ice" tour and has skated in several shows in China, Japan, Korea, and Europe.[46][47][48][49][50]

In addition to his skating, Buttle works as a choreographer.[9][51] His past and current clients include:

Also, he has choreographed ensemble numbers for Stars on Ice.[48][49][7]

Programs[edit]

Buttle performs his exhibition Personal Jesus at the 2008 Canadian Stars on Ice in Halifax.
Season Short program Free skating Exhibition
2007–2008
[64][65][66]





2006–2007
[66][67][4]



2005–2006
[66][68][69][70]




2004–2005
[66][71][72]


2003–2004
[66][73][74]


2002–2003
[66][75]


2001–2002
[66][76]

2000–2001
[77]

Competitive highlights[edit]

Buttle (center) with other medalists at the 2008 World Championships.
International[3]
Event 1997–98 1998–99 1999–00 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08
Olympics 3rd
Worlds 8th 15th 2nd 6th 6th 1st
Four Continents 1st 4th 1st 2nd 2nd
Grand Prix Final WD 2nd 2nd
GP Bompard 1st
GP Cup of China 1st
GP Cup of Russia 4th
GP NHK Trophy 2nd 5th 1st
GP Skate Canada 7th 2nd 3rd 2nd 3rd
Bofrost Cup 2nd
Karl Schäfer 3rd
Nebelhorn 7th 2nd
International: Junior[3]
Junior Worlds 7th
JGP China 4th
JGP Germany 6th
JGP Japan 6th
JGP Slovenia 4th
JGP Ukraine 3rd
National[3][4]
Canadians 2nd J. 10th 6th 9th 3rd 2nd 3rd 1st 1st 1st 2nd
GP = Grand Prix; JGP = Junior Grand Prix; J. = Junior level; WD = Withdrew
Team events[3][78][79]
Event 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15
Japan Open 2nd T
(2nd P)
2nd T
(6th P)
1st T
(4th P)
2nd T
(3rd P)
2nd T
(5th P)
2nd T
(5th P)
T = Team result; P = Personal result; Medals awarded for team result only.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Jeff Buttle wins world figure skating title". CBC Sports. March 22, 2008. Archived from the original on March 26, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "Jeffrey Buttle retires from figure skating". CBC Sports. September 10, 2008. Archived from the original on September 24, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Competition Results: Jeffrey BUTTLE". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on December 28, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "National teams: Team profiles - Jeffrey Buttle: 2006/2007". Skate Canada. Archived from the original on July 5, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b "Athlete Profile - Men - Jeffrey Buttle". Skate Canada. Archived from the original on July 5, 2006. 
  6. ^ a b c Kempf, Susanne; Flade, Tatjana (2006). "Jeffrey Buttle interview, part II". AbsoluteSkating.com. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Smith, Beverley (May 20, 2014). "Jeff Buttle's creative ideas come alive on the Stars on Ice tours" (Press release). Skate Canada. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014. 
  8. ^ Campbell, Ken (December 6, 2012). "It's Never Too Late". The Hockey News. Archived from the original on December 15, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d Young, Laura E. (December 27, 2012). "Buttle busier than ever on the ice". The Sudbury Star. 
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  11. ^ a b c d e Brannen, Sarah S.; Meekins, Drew (June 3, 2011). "The Inside Edge with Sarah and Drew - June 3". IceNetwork. Archived from the original on September 22, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
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External links[edit]