Is Elvis Stojko underrated these days?
You hardly ever hear any talk about Elvis. This is amazing considering all he accomplished- 3 World titles in 4 years, 2 Olympics silver- one denied by questionable judging and the other by injury, and an extremely long career at the top. Most of all he pushed the technical side of figure skating so far forward with his huge jumps, and also brought his own unique artistic style to things. Is he overlooked and undervalued today.
Originally Posted by hertmirsh
I always got the impression that he preferred a low profile, such as coaching in Mexico instead of Canada - it allowed him to be more independent.
Last edited by aliceanne; 10-18-2013 at 04:58 AM.
He toured quite a bit last year. He had two very good programmes in Holiday on Ice, and (I think) was in n Canadian Stars on Ice. I was pleasantly surprised since his previous professional work and performances on TV shows seemed far less exciting than his amateur career was. It was his competitive edge that made him compelling to watch. I seem to recall reading that he moved to Mexico for personal reasons, and his wife is Mexican, and according to an interview I saw, just fell into coaching, because of a Mexican skater in need of coaching that he met at a rink. He was with this skater at a major completion a couple of years ago. He always said he more interested in singing, movies and shows.... which I confess I took very much with a grain of salt, but looks like he's doing it. Elvis has a very different personality than Kurt, Brian or Jeff or Patrick. He's a loner, not a joiner.
He was not in Canadian Stars on Ice this spring. But he was a part of Celebration on Ice tour in Canada last December, along with Browning, Buttle, and Chan.
Originally Posted by Corianna
- Rep Power
I agree with Corianna that Elvis was compelling to watch during his competitive years. He did bring his own style to figure skating and I don't think he was 'under-rated' then. Looks like he is happy where he is, doing his own thing in Mexico, under the radar. Comes across as a highly independent personality - I suppose his forthrighteouness is telling.
"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye" in The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The newer fans may not recognize his achievements but those of us who have been watching FS for years can still appreciate what he brought to the sport. He was the single most skater who made the quad a regular thing in skating, particularly in the SP. The ISU had to change its rules to allow a quad and later a quad combination in the SP. I don't hear much about him today probably because he is in Canada, but I still think highly of him. I am sure other skaters respect him even now.
One of the reasons he does not get a lot of attention today could be because of COP. Elvis was definitely a 6.0 skater. The rules have changed since he retired from eligible skating, but today's skaters can thank him and those who followed to make the quad a necessity in their programs. I am sure he influenced (directly or indirectly) Kulik, Yagudin, Plushenko and other skaters he competed against to go for the hardest jumps and keep pushing themselves technically.
Many skaters that achieved great things and retired from eligible skating are not in limelight anymore because of the lack of pro competitions and not many tours in the USA (I think Canada still has those).
I think those of us who valued Elvis during his career continue to value him today.
And how much he is valued depends on your view of his skating. Many people thought he was no more than a strong and consistent jumper, when (IMO) he had other strengths. He was fast and nimble on the blade and a decent spinner. His programs were usually interesting and I never found myself wondering when they would finally be over.
Elvis did land his jumps awkwardly, with his upper body forward - not very aesthetically appealing. And he did lack the grace and line of some other skaters.
But his competitive fire was a thing of beauty. Watching him compete was always exciting, especially given that he was always the underdog. And, he did push the envelope artistically as well as technically. His Bruce Lee program and taiko drums programs are good examples. I thought the Bruce Lee was a masterpiece and think Elvis was the first skater to ever bring martial arts to the ice. Well, maybe others attempted it before him, but not so successfully?
Elvis didn't seem to grow much after the Bruce Lee, though. This was clear when he brought the program back eight years later for the 2002 Olympics. There was just something really sad about that, especially since he skated it so much poorly than he had in 1994.
The judging in 1994 wasn't questionable. Urmanov won 6-3 and both skaters made the same number of mistakes. Elvis didn't have the quad and when it comes down to artistry, Urmanov had it in spades.
Originally Posted by hertmirsh
Elvis had to perfect to win, most times, and have higher technical content.
And in 1998 there was no way he was going to beat a perfect Kulik, even if he was perfect himself.
My favourite Stojko programs were 1993's Far and Away and the iconic, Dragon, skated the following season.
It was not questionable judging. The results were correct. He did not do the quad, which he needed to win. He popped his first triple axel, then he put a triple axel where he would have done the quad. He lost his edge over Urmanov there. Urmanov had one bad landing on the 3 flip, but rest of his program was clean, his jump technique was superior to Stojko's and he had better artistry than Elvis.
Originally Posted by hertmirsh
I wonder if Elvis should have still done the quad-triple combo after popping the first triple axel in his Lillehammer LP. Then again if he missed the quad after already missing the first triple axel he would have been in really rough shape. Might have placed as low as 5th or 6th in the LP and dropped to 4th overall in that case. So probably it was the smart move to replace it with the triple axel combo which knowing him he was never missing twice, and helped him salvage his silver and still gave him a fighting chance at the gold depending how Candelero, Urmanov, and Davis all skated.
One thing nobody can deny about him is he is one of the gutiest competitors in history. To win his Nagano Olympic silver when he could barely walk and had to wear running shoes to the podium was just insane.
Spikey, I assume what started this thread was the announcement that Elvis has a major role in David Mirvish's production of Chicago- and added to that, he's just been announced as the replacement for performances in the US , He's fulfilling his long stated ambition to do musical theatre. Did you miss that?
Originally Posted by spikydurian