Not even his coach could forsee this

TERRY JONES

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

GOTEBORG, Sweden -- At least his coach had to see this coming, right?

If nobody else in the world could see that Jeffrey Buttle, the year he was dethroned as Canadian champion, was going to come here and become Canada's first men's world champion since Elvis Stojko 11 years ago, at least coach Lee Barkell had to see it coming, right?

Not really.

"Certainly, at the start of the season I had to wonder what direction we were going," said the coach from the Mariposa training centre in Barrie, Ont.

"But then I saw that light go on again," he said.

"It was about the time when we sat down with him and said to get over the jump-jump-jump thing and do what he does."

Buttle agreed that if you were around at the start of the season, you wouldn't have pictured this at the end.

"This season was not always great. We did a lot of heavy lifting earlier in the year.

"I was pretty disappointed for the longest time there. And then, I just got over it. I just listened to the coaches and trusted them.

To get past the jump-jump-jump thing ended up not only providing a world champion without a quad, but two of the three people on the podium who don't do one.

Johnny Weir of the U.S.A., another quadless competitor, finished third.

"I think it's a very strong statement that this sport is not defined by just one jump or one element," said Weir. "It's the whole combination. The package. It shows that a well-rounded skater who can do all the elements well needs to be rewarded."


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