As a writer, it is a blessing when you come across people who know how to give good talk. The 3 time World champion and 2 time Olympic silver medallist Elvis Stojko is one of those people. Like him or hate him, the man is an original, doesn’t ever drive me crazy by giving me the what I call the “I’m giving it 100%” answer, nor does he back away from any questions.

For this catch-up, I went to Richmond Hill where he and wife Gladys Orozko-Stojko were on the ice. They had been in Toronto for a good portion of the summer teaching and Elvis was also keeping in shape for the many shows he still does.

“The body always follows the mind”

Elvis’ way of thinking about things is to competely eradicate the negative from his mind.”As a competitor one of the biggest mistakes people make is to worry about what other people think and it can be a huge distraction. The truth is many people who are negative don’t have the guts themselves to do something.”

I like the way that when he talks about young skaters it is in a protective way – wanting to help them benefit from the lessons that he has learned. “The strategy for skaters has to be to consistently keep skating. You can’t stop. You have to continuously make the muscles go through what they have to go through in order to be able to make things happen.”  As a coach and a man who still performs as well as offering seminars, he has this to say: “Consistency in performance is what would contribute to the sucess of more skaters.” He counsels: “Stop worrying about the outcome of the event and what is expected of you and focus more on what your own goals are.”

Elvis’ shares his point of view regarding the sport this way: “Every aspect of this sport is subjective. the thing is when you do well, you are liked and I don’t think searching for approval from the outside is the way. The key factor is to not fall into the trap and to follo your own path.” good advice from a man who is well known for marching to the beat of his own drum.

In Elvis’ time as an amateur skater, there were lots of ‘characters’ and we talked about the fact that under the current system which he feels is controlled at every level giving the appearance that many of the skaters are looking the same. “I think that too much structure isn’t a good thing and there has to be room for the skaters to have freedom of expression.”

We both agree that skating is like everything else and has peaks and valleys as it contunes to evole. For his part, Elvis is still very much involved and skating ‘his way’ to excited crowds in packed arenas as his schedule confirms:

October 29 7pm Progressive Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular at iWireless Centre Moline, Il air date: NBC january 2012; November 18 7pm

Kaleidoscope at Bojangles Coliseum Charlotte, NC air date: Fox November 24 4:30pm eastern follow NFL game cancer awareness – tribute to cancer survivors;

December 18 Bathurst, NB; December 19 St John, NB; January 1st 2pm Symphony on Ice Mclintyre Arena Timmins, ON -100th anniversary celebration; February 15

Rock the Ice III Peterborough, ON

According to Elvis, success is a process with the mental preparation aspects playing a key role. It would appear as if some things haven’t changed.


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