Sunday, January 13, 2013

Elvis Stojko's 1997 "Dragonheart"

At the 1997 World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, Canada's Elvis Stojko won his third--and final--World Championship title with his historic "Dragonheart" freeskate. Elvis soared into the record books by landing the first Quadruple toe loop-Triple toe loop combination in World Championship history. A month earlier he made history at the Champions Series Final (now called the Grand Prix Final) by being the first-ever to land it in any competition.

This is one of my favorite freeskates by Elvis. The music is powerful yet vulnerable and beautiful. Many criticized his artistry over the years but I always loved Elvis' athletic, aggressive style. I always feel an authenticity in Elvis' skating, which is his unique style as an artist. Scott Hamilton always says that one of the reasons he loves figure skating is because watching skaters on the ice gives you a glimpse of what kind of people they are off the ice. From watching Elvis, I can glean that perhaps Elvis is focused, determined, aggressive, and genuine off the ice. The fact that he exudes qualities that endear him to skating fans shows, in my opinion, that he did have his own kind of artistry; whether or not the judges liked it is another topic entirely, but no one can deny his athletic contributions to the sport.

Enjoy Elvis' "Dragonheart."

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