Elvis Stojko

Elvis Stojko with a copy of Taking The Ice by Pj Kwong

It has been a busy couple of weeks – and I know I am not the only one who has been up to their eyeballs over the last little bit! I took advantage of being on a radio show together with Elvis Stojko a couple of nights ago to entice him with a cup of coffee and a copy of my book (Taking the Ice) to come and meet me for a quick interview. (Actually it was a couple of interviews – some stuff for you here and more cool stuff for my piece that will appear on CBC Sports next week). In any event – talk about busy! First of all – those of you lucky enough to live in Peterborough, Cornwall, North Bay, Kitchener and Sarnia – starting on January 4, 2011 Elvis Stojko’s show “Rock The Ice” Tour is coming to your town. He chuckled when he told me that the nickname for the show is The Tour of The Rebels and in tellng me about the cast I can see why: Elvis who will not only skate but sing as well, his wife Gladys Orozco-Stojko, Gary Beacom, Emanuel Sandhu, Surya Bonaly can all explain the rebel part. The rest of the show is rounded out with some really cool acts provided by Violetta Afanasieva (from Battle of the Blades) and husband and partner Pete Dack as well as a couple of other adagio teams and spectacular aerialist Emmanuelle Balmori who was once a Quebec ice dancer. When the N’Ice Guys were in Italy last year, it was with a bunch of people from this same show, co-produced with Daniel Weiss and is well worth the effort to come out and see them – you won’t be disappointed!

I am always delighted to speak to Elvis. He and I both agree that we would rather have a healthy discussion filled with opinion rather than a wishy-washy exchange of pleasantries. We went over his retirement from amateur skating after the Olympics in 2002 and taking some time to do other things. I didn’t know that his love of music and singing dates way back to childhood and singing at school and then taking guitar in high school – although more formal voice training has been ongoing since about 2002. He talks about skating to “Lift you Up” by Gotthard and how he relates to it; a ‘ringleader’ pulling people in to a common effort. His other piece, When a Hero Cries by Ed Guy, is the perfect way to express that no matter how strong a hero is – there is still room for emotion. He says with a smile that it reminds him of his favourite show – Smallville. Today’s Elvis says that when listening to music, he was always thinking about how he would move to it on the ice. What he would like people to know about his skating is that he was drawn back to it by the joy he saw on student Umberto Contreras’ face as he skated, and it made him want to help skating and skaters in Mexico move towards more and better training facilities. He is back to training 2 -3 hours per day and still does 3Axels and “on a good day” can do quads. He says: “It’s not ballet on ice or contemporary dance on ice. It can be anything on ice.” Despite what you may have thought or heard, Elvis clearly wants the world to know that there is room for everyone in skating. Follow me on Twitter @skatingpj and Elvis @therealestojko Check out Elvis’ Show and Happy Holidays to everyone!

*** Get Taking The Ice by Pj Kwong at www.cbcshop.ca and www.takingtheice.com **

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