Archive Record

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Catalog Number 2013.55.65
Object Name Video
Title Elvis Stojko
Scope & Content Elvis Stojko:
1 of 2; 00:27Childhood: skated at 4, also dirt biking, swimming, motocross, snowmobiling, jetskiing, hockey, martial arts at age 10, his parents let him try anything he was interested in
01:47First skates: not able to get men's skates, so his mother painted the white skates black
02:13Did you like it right away: started skating at 4, wanted to be athletic on the ice, not full time until about 7 when his coach said he had talent and need to train
03:21Childhood idols: names figure skaters, Brian Orser, Brian Boitano, Scott Hamilton, Robin Cousins, all inspired him
04:02Did you always skate singles: did test portion of dance but his partners, who were older, were taller than him, really wanted to be athletic
04:20When did you start to take it seriously: about 8 or 9, coach told him he had talent but needed to go to a club with stronger skaters, went to do a test with Ellen Burka and she like him because he did what she said, had talent but was rough, "I always had a great work ethic but she took it to the next level and really pushed me"; progressed quickly from ages 9 -14, "all I had to do was look up to see someone better than me", learned through osmosis, from the energy around him, that was when he realized his ability for his sport was truly there, that he could take it somewhere, started to really see progress and move forward
07:23Was there a time competing when you looked higher: talks about his first international competition in East Berlin at a junior event at age 14, "I knew this was my door to really make an impression"; first time competed against Phiippe Candelloro; realized competing against some of the best in the world at his age level and that he was in the hunt, finished 3rd, big confidence booster
10:281990: things happen for a reason and make you stronger; won the Canadian Juniors, missed Seniors in 1989 and was frustrated and angry but trained hard, next year had one of the best performances of his life against Kurt Browning, he worked so hard he had tunnel vision, wanted to get better, focused not on the placing but skating clean, after the nationals realized he was on the world scene, people talking about him and only 17
13:06In 1990 what were your strengths and weaknesses: strengths - at that point although very raw, were his focus to get the job done, hard work, athleticism and ability to do it when it counted; weaknesses - artistically still searching for Elvis, completely different in style, no one else like him, difficult to find his place, athletic ability overshadowing it as well, raw and green, needed to be worked on, bloomed into something that skating wasn't supposed to be and made a place for himself
15:45Was it difficult to get the physical and artistic together: not difficult to combine, the challenge was not to lose who I was in the process of creating a programme or a product because there was so much exterior input into the line he should take, musically and stylistically how they wanted to package it and he didn't like the package; talks about the change in more balletic and artistic style in men's skating, found that limited him, the difficult part was in saying where he wanted to go and not be interrupted by impression and criticism of others to change who he was, that was the toughest part and maintaining confidence
18:32On the judging process where marks are given to the top skaters: never applied to him when he became the champion; he had to skate well to get the marks; knew that and didn't mind that, made him tougher, wanted what he deserved, up to him to make the results happen; there is more to being a champion or winning, it's more about being who you are, really had to focus on what he wanted and not what was going on around him
20:38On Albertville 1992: still progressing, was #6 in the world, the year was building; 1991 had been a break-through year "I have something to offer and to show and I am a force in this sport even if I don't fit the mould"; went in confident, to make a statement, when he was dropped in the placings people noticed; at the Worlds he skated the same way, tougher because people expecting much, "this is my door, my opportunity", made sure he produced and earned his 3rd place on the podium, looked up at Browning and Petrenko and knew he was right up there and it was a good feeling
24:03How did it feel: Worlds 2 years later he had earned the Gold, was first by every judge, no contest that year; talks about the 1994 Olympics and being judged because his style was different, great feeling because he went from 7th to Silver; talks about how the Americans were looking at his style against the more balletic Russian styles
26:07On choosing music and costume: different people had different input, mother made his costumes, Frances Dafoe designed them, he worked with his coaches, listened to music and watched movies to get an idea of where he wanted to go; it was my own group, we all had the same vision
27:25On the quad jumps: describes the jumps and when he landed each in competition; training and getting the jumps ingrained in his body; the year he had gained inches and weight and how it affected his timing
31:23On the possibility of a quad/quad: it is a possibility but it needs speed and focus, getting it done under the pressure of competition
32:41Talks about the groin injury in 1998: felt a lot of pressure that year, lot of external things affected him, pulled him away from training he wanted to do and the emotional toll
38:29What was your psychology of your career: hard because his body had never let him down, big blow to his confidence, took years before he learned how to let go of it, there is a pre-98 Elvis and post-98 Elvis, difficult process to go through but the belief process was gone
2 of 2, 00:08Do you think your body was telling you something: in September his timing was off, so he worked harder, "I was a fighter and was going to fight through it", held it together through the Olympics, he has just started to heal lately and realized there is more to Elvis than skating
02:03On the longevity of his career: loved competition, if he had won the Gold in 1998 would have considered staying on for 2002; not about the winning and still wanted to compete, felt something was missing and realized later when he was away from skating what the missing piece was; his body was trained in so many other sports, knew his technique so well that the best technique kept his body together, before he had been emotionally and spiritually in line and his body was an extension of that, knew his body very well, it was a fine line that kept his career going; mentally he could have competed in '02
05:29Were you at peace with yourself when you were skating: most of the time, never perfect, had to fight through turmoil to find peace, eventually it gets to you as in '98, on ice place of work but also place of reflection
06:47Life lesson: Listen to your heart. Don't listen to the intellect because the intellect is a reflection of the material world. The heart controls everything, controls the thoughts. The heart knows what you really want and don't shut it out because it knows the truth. You got to love what you do and where you can be at peace and by truly who you are. Listen to your heart and be truly who you are ... Be fulfilled in what you are doing.
08:38On winning/losing: when you win it's great. You don't think about it, you just enjoy all the great feelings you had. When you lose or you didn't achieve your goal, that's when you go back and ponder where you went wrong. That's when the juices flow and you get the energy to progress further. You'll do one of 2 things - back off or go further. Process is the key and the results will happen if you focus on the steps to get there ... It's not a mistake, it is learning. That is where you understand yourself. Keep on going, it might even put you in another direction.
10:39Talks about a funny moment
13:40When did you learn who Elvis was: at the Olympics in 1992, started to feel who I was and in the '93 season started developing who Elvis was and where he was going
14:40On being inducted: honourable way to finish off my career, knew he was retiring, "Being part of the amazing individuals and champions, regardless of what they won but it's who you are and it's the way you pursue your craft and the excellence you expect of yourself and the process and the ethic and the moral standing you portray during your time of your working craft; and when you touch people by the work of your craft and not the result is what really touches people.
16:24What are you going to do now: fully retired, pursuing a singing career
17:30Shows his figure skates

Year Range from 1989
Year Range to 2006
Subjects figure skating
Silver Medal
1998 Olympic Winter Games Nagano
World Championships
1992 Olympic Winter Games Albertville
Search Terms believe in yourself
challenge
competitive
focus
determination
excellence
goal setting/achievement
hard work
honesty
integrity/ethical
passion
principled
self-respect