Videos: Elvis Stojko, Figure Skating
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The Olympic Games in ’92 ... when I really started to feel what direction I wanted to go and who I really was, and I started working with another choreographer by the name of Uschi Keszler along with Michelle Lee, at the time it was my coach’s wife Michelle Lee. And going into the ’93 season that’s when it really started developing... where Elvis wanted to go with his skating and who he was. And that year was kind of another breakthrough year which catapulted me to ’94 with the martial arts.
The challenge was trying to make sure I didn’t lose who I was in the process of creating a program or a product. Because there was so much exterior input in regards to what direction I should take, what I choose musically, what I choose stylistically - like how they wanted to package it. And I was like you know I don’t like the packaging that a lot of people were saying that skating should be.
Everyone thought well if we bring ballet on the ice, well that’s what it’s supposed to be. So all the artistic types kind of jumped on the bandwagon and went well, this is how skating should be. And that kind of limits you because yes, ballet is wonderful, it’s beautiful, it’s athletic, yet it’s not something for the masses, right! And skating it’s a sport, in order for it to survive you need to have the masses be there and watch, but you have to have a bit of everything.
You know, and so for me the difficult part was really trying to pinpoint exactly where I wanted to go and see a vision of myself and not be interrupted by the impressions and criticisms of others to try to change who I was. And that was the that was the toughest part about all of it, and maintaining my confidence because I was growing up in front of millions of people.
I came off the Olympic Games in ’94 with another controversy in regards with Alexei Urmanov because my style was different yet I still out skated the guy. And it was very interesting. And for me it was, I liked the fact that it was just, I liked being the underdog. Even though not winning it was still a good spot to be. I won a Silver medal, it was a great feeling. And I was, I was driven and I went okay the World Championships I’m going to have to do it again, because people are expecting it. And I skated even better at the World Championships and I earned that spot. I was first in every ordinal from every judge for the short and long program. First right across and there was no, there was no contest that year.
When you touch people by the work of your craft not by the result of your craft, it’s watching you work your craft that really gives that feeling. And being a part of these individuals through history in Canada is such a, such an incredible honour.