Fig­ure skater Elvis Sto­jko re­cov­er­ing af­ter fall­ing, hit­ting head in Hamilton

Taken to hos­pi­tal af­ter Stars on Ice per­for­mance

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - STEVE MIL­TON

Elvis Sto­jko wants skat­ing fans — par­tic­u­larly those who saw him in­jured at FirstOn­tario Cen­tre Satur­day night — to know that he feels all right, and is re­cov­er­ing from his head in­jury.

“I’m a bit dizzy, but I’m fine,” the three-time world fig­ure skat­ing cham­pion and dou­ble Olympic sil­ver medal­list told The Spec­ta­tor about noon on Sun­day.

Sto­jko, 45, was in­jured when he caught the edge of his skate blade on the ice, dur­ing “re­takes” for “Stars On Ice,” the skat­ing show which is cur­rently tour­ing Canada. The show played the Air Canada Cen­tre in Toronto Thurs­day and at Lon­don’s Bud­weiser Gar­dens Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Satur­day’s show in Hamilton was be­ing taped for a CBC-TV broad­cast later in the year. When live shows are taped, any el­e­ments of a skater’s rou­tine dur­ing the live per­for­mance in which an ob­vi­ous mis­take is made are reskated at the end of the show dur­ing the “re­takes” in front of the live au­di­ence. Those se­quences are then edited into the fin­ished prod­uct.

It was not, as first re­ported, on a dou­ble Axel that Sto­jko was in­jured, but rather be­fore he got to that rel­a­tively easy (for him) jump.

“It was a sec­tion when I do a slide,” he told The Spec­ta­tor from Toronto. “The ice was pretty chewed up from the skat­ing. I caught the edge, it turned me the other way and shot my feet right over my head.

“The only thing that saved me (from a worse in­jury) was my abil­ity to stay loose. My body was limp.”

He learned that re­lax­ation tech­nique from a life­time of study­ing mar­tial arts, he said.

Sto­jko says he was taken to the Ju­ravin­ski Hos­pi­tal but was re­leased af­ter be­ing ex­am­ined by

emer­gency staff, and says there was no con­cus­sion. He spent the night in a Toronto ho­tel, but had to be pe­ri­od­i­cally wak­ened as part of head­in­jury pro­to­col in­sti­tuted by “Stars on Ice” phys­io­ther­a­pist Marla Pich­ler.

“Marla and the first aid staff at the arena were in­cred­i­ble,” Sto­jko said. “So were the EMS peo­ple, the am­bu­lance peo­ple and the emer­gency staff at the hos­pi­tal. They de­serve thanks.”

Be­fore depart­ing the arena, Sto­jko waved to the au­di­ence, hop­ing to as­sure them that he was all right.

“I didn’t want peo­ple freaked out,” he said. “Peo­ple were there to en­joy them­selves, not see that kind of thing. I scraped my head along the ice when it hap­pened, so I had blood on my hands.

“I don’t want peo­ple to worry. Tell them I’m fine, I’m re­cov­er­ing.”

Sto­jko still has to fol­low, and fin­ish, the “Stars on Ice” pro­to­col for con­cus­sion-like symp­toms so did not ac­com­pany the trav­el­ling troupe to Lon­don. The tour re­sumes in Win­nipeg Wednesday night, and fol­lows with five more western Cana­dian stops.

Sto­jko, who says he’s still a bit dizzy, doesn’t know if he’ll re­join “Stars on Ice” on the western swing.

“I’ve got a pro­to­col I have to fol­low,” he told The Spec. “But I’ve got three days to get back.

“The big thing is to let peo­ple know that I’m OK.”


Elvis Sto­jko: Fol­low­ing con­cus­sion pro­to­col.

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