Jeff Buttle Q & A

TERRY JONES

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

Q: Do you feel like an Olympic medal winner? Has the bronze medal changed your life?

I've had more opportunities because of it. You medal at the Olympics and it definitely solidifies appearances at shows like Stars On Ice. It hasn't been such that it's changed me at all. But it does make a difference. Before I won that medal, I could go grocery shopping and go fairly unnoticed. After the Olympics, I went grocery shopping and was probably stopped 10 times.

Q: Bronze medals are strange things. Sometimes they're like gold in a sport when they're unexpected. Sometimes they're a letdown because they're not gold. How did that play out for you?

It kind of went both ways. Considering the results of worlds the year before when I was second, a medal was realistic. I was setting my sights on winning one. But after the short program in the Olympics ... Well, I'd skated it clean all year in competition but fell on the triple Axel and finished sixth and was 10 points behind. After that, to win the medal was really unexpected.

Q: Does Vancouver 2010 seem close or a long way away?

After 2002, it seemed to me 2006 came very fast. This one will be different, though, because its in Canada. It's going to be pretty amazing. I know how we're received in Canada in figure skating normally. I can just imagine how it will be like in Vancouver at the Olympics.

Q: I guess we can't hit you with the "So what have you done for us lately?" question, eh?

It's been a fairly uneventful season so far coming off a fracture in my spine. My initial back pains came at worlds last year. When I went back to training, it became intense again. It was too tough to skate with it. I had an MRI and there went my season.

Q: Was it tough getting back?

I was off for two months, came back and I wasn't ready. So I had to take another month off.

Q: Was it painful?

It was about pain management at first. I'm stronger now. Maybe it was my body's way of telling me I needed to take a little time off. My back definitely feels stronger now than it was before. My triple Axel was the toughest to get back in terms of pain. But my triple Axel has really improved. I think it's better now than it was before.

Q: Do you worry about getting hurt again?

I can't spend time worrying about what next injury will be. It's a a self impact sport. You have to be able to deal with them. And I think the result has been that my jumps have improved. They are a lot bigger and stronger than they were prior to injuring the back.

Q: So are you ready to go again?

I'm 100%. My main focus was to be ready for nationals. I lucked out and had a couple opportunities with Holiday Festival On Ice out west to get my programs in front of an think I'm really well but my conditioning isn't at its best.

Q: Do you miss the competition?

I missed the opportunities to travel and compete. I enjoy it. That's why I do it.

Q: Is the Canadian championship devalued to you now that you've won an Olympic medal?

No, not at all. This year it's an important competition for me since it's my first competition. When I was young, before I started qualifying for international competition, it was always the last event of the season. This year, it's my first.

Q: You've won two Canadian titles. But now that you've won an Olympic medal, has the rivalry with Emanuel Sandhu kind of evaporated?

With Sandhu, you never know what to expect. He has so much talent. In Canada, you never enter a domestic competition thinking you've got it won.


Videos

Photos