Skating icon Elvis Stojko inspires St. Martin CES during exclusive visit to Ennismore

Feb. 21, 2019

Canadian figure skating icon Elvis Stojko spun, jumped and showed off some of the talent that made him a three-time world champion, two-time Olympic silver medalist, and seven-time Canadian champion during an exclusive visit with the St. Martin Catholic Elementary School community in Ennismore Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019.

“Now it’s your turn,” Stojko said, as he wrapped up a fast spin to the ovation of students, parents and staff and led students on a free skate. “Have fun.”

Stojko welcomed several waves of St. Martin CES students from kindergarten to Grade 8 at the Robert E. Young Arena, starting each session off with a brief demo of skating moves, before breaking out into a free skate where he skated, mingled, signed autographs and talked with community members.

“I love being with the kids and inspiring them. I remember being their age and having someone like a Don Jackson come and skate with us…you get inspired. You get to see what can be done on the ice,” Stojko said.

Photo Credit: Jason Bain

Parent Rod Darling, who has two daughters in St. Martin CES, organized Thursday’s event. Stojko is a client of Darling’s landscaping company and Darling kicked in some extra service in exchange for Stojko’s appearance.

“I’m going to do him a favour, he’s doing me a favour. That’s how it came together,” Darling said. “I told him if you came to our school, my kids, their peers, the staff and the community would absolutely love it….and he said sure.”

Elaine Hancock, the Learning Commons Specialist at St. Martin CES, has taught figure skating in the community for 32 years. She was excited to welcome one of her favourite skaters and she dedicated teaching time in the learning commons to teach the students about Stojko and his accomplishments.

“It was so exciting because he was such an inspiration as a Canadian skater,” said Hancock, who introduced Stojko on ice. “As a person, he’s such a great role model and it demonstrates how you can have such a passion for sport and take all that passion and turn it into work and determination.”

Photo Credit: Jason Bain, Peterborough Examiner 

Stojko’s biggest piece of advice for the students was to hold onto their youthful love of sport.

“I tell them to enjoy themselves. At this age, it’s just about feeling the ice, being around it…really keeping this youthful enthusiasm. The whole reason for being out here is to have this kind of camaraderie and have a good time, that’s where the love of skating starts. You fall down, you get up and do it again and hopefully you can master it one day,” he said.

Stojko remains an ambassador with Skate Canada. He coaches, acts and performs on tours for shows such as Stars on Ice and the recent Thank You Canada Tour with Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.