Elvis not smilingStojko feeling under the weather, misses training camp
By STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun
KITCHENER -- Elvis Stojko was forced to miss this weekend's national figure skating team training camp and exhibition skate, but not because he ran out of Geritol.
Ol' Elvis, at 31 the senior skater on the International Skating Union circuit, has been floored with an undisclosed, mononucleosis-type virus.
"He has been under the weather for the last two or three weeks," Skate Canada national teams director Gayle McClelland said yesterday. "He's very fatigued and he's disappointed that he's not here. But even with the show (last night), he wasn't up to doing it."
Not exactly the start to the season Stojko was looking for in his comeback. This weekend's event, held at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, allows Canada's national team skaters the opportunity to perform their competitive programs while being marked under the guidelines of the new ISU judging system, which will be used in all senior Grand Prix events this season.
Stojko, three-time world singles champion, is scheduled to compete next month at the MasterCard Skate Canada competition at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.
Skate Canada officials plan to put Stojko, who is making a return to competitive skating this year after retiring following the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, in touch with team physician Dr. Julia Alleyne this week to try to get a handle on his health problems.
As for the rest of the national team skaters, each received a computerized scoring print-out from yesterday's training session from the judges on hand. The print-outs illustrate how they would be marked and how to best improve their programs under the new Code of Points system. Code of Points was implemented this year in the wake of the scoring scandal in the pairs competition at Salt Lake. The system is geared towards forcing the judges to reward skaters specific marks based on technical elements.
"This weekend's event allows us to get some feedback on how to improve (our programs), how to get more points and more bonus points, and that's important knowledge we need to have before we start (the season)," said Jennifer Robinson, reigning Canadian senior ladies singles champion. "There's a lot of hope riding on this new system."
The Code of Points system was used for the first time last week at the Nebelhorn Trophy Grand Prix in Obertsdorf, Germany and Canadian skaters came away with four medals. Based on their impressive results, the feeling was that Canadian skaters were the best prepared for the new scoring system.