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Ahead of Victoria show, Elvis Stojko continues to thrill audiences with skating magic

Stojko skates with Stars on Ice at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria on May 16
Elvis Stojko performs with Stars on Ice in Victoria on May 16. (Courtesy Stars on Ice)

By Tim Collins

Figure skating, it’s been said, is a mixture of art and sport.

It certainly has its theatrical elements, seamlessly combining music, costumes and dance into a magical presentation that rivals musical theatre, opera or ballet. But the sheer athleticism of the art can be lost on those who haven’t had the opportunity to witness great figure skaters firsthand.

It’s also incredibly fast, and perhaps it was the speed of the sport that first attracted Canadian figure skating icon, Elvis Stojko to the sport.

“I was actually interested in being a race car driver as a child,” said Stojko in a recent CBC interview. “My neighbour used to race dirt bikes and he would come and get me when I was six or seven years old and would get me onto a bike.”

He described the moment when he was training as a figure skater in Toronto when his father, a singer, approached him and told him that he had a chance to be the best, but that it would require him to give 100 per cent to the sport. He did.

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Figure skating was another way of feeling the thrill of speed and it’s where Stojko first excelled.

“What I enjoyed about skating was the speed. I loved the jumps and the feeling of the g-forces and doing all the tricks,” Stojko said.

Those ‘tricks’ made Stojko world famous at the 1991 World Championships in Munich when he became the first figure skater ever to land a quadruple jump in competition, performing a quad toe loop-double toe-loop in his free skate.


He went on to the 1992 Olympics and followed up a solid performance there with his first world championship medal in 1993. He then won the 1994 Canadian Championship and captured the silver medal at the Lillehammer Olympic Games.

In the world championships in Japan the following year, he finished first in both the free skate and the short program. Those victories earned him the title of Canadian Male Athlete of the Year.

It was Stojko’s integration of new elements into the sport of figure skating that set him apart from other skaters at the time.

His love of speed, riding dirt bikes and incorporation of martial arts into his skating routines attracted a new audience to the sport.

“I started talking to blue-collar guys … welders and guys like that… who were watching me skate. It was very exciting,” he said.

Incidentally, none of that means that Stojko ever abandoned the dream of racing motor vehicles. Despite his spectacular success in skating, he’s recently been racing karts in the Canadian Rotax Master Class and the SKUSA Mexico series since 2011.

He’s also acted in several television and TV movies.

But skating will always be a part of Stojko’s life. He relocated back to Canada from Mexico (where he’d been living) and is now one of the stars in the Canadian tour of Stars on Ice.

While he acknowledges that he won’t be skating forever, he still manages to thrill audiences with his athleticism and style.

He’s joined on the ice by some of the greatest skaters of our time, including Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, Madeline Schizas, Patrick Chan, and Keegan Messing. This ensemble of skaters has already wowed audiences across Canada with reviewers describing their performances as “breathtaking, fun and enchanting.”

For Stojko, the shows are just a continuation of his approach to life.

“When you’re younger, your inspiration is there. As you get older it tends to waver. (But) once you find it – and I found it again – that’s where you can draw from. That’s where you draw your strength,” Stojko said.

Stars on Ice appears in Victoria at the Save on Foods Memorial Centre on May 16 for one show only. Tickets are available at

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