|Tuesday, January 23
Updated: March 16, 12:41 PM ET
Q & A with Elvis Stojko
ABC Sports: What was your outlook towards coming back for this upcoming season at the very beginning of the year?
Elvis Stojko: Well, I think the biggest thing going into this season was just taking another step forward from what I had done last year. It's been such a growing period since 1998. It's not like I didn't grow before, but I feel the last three or four years have been quite an experience.
Each year takes me to another level. Last year was quite an experience in terms of what I went through. Eventually I got through at World's, placing second. Then coming through the summer and the spring trying to decide what would I like to do? In the spring, I decided okay, I'm gonna go for next year and the Olympic games. It was quite a big decision, but I knew it in my heart that it was the right one for me because I know I'm still competitive.
I know what I can do and what I'm capable of doing. I just wanted to be happy. I think the biggest thing is just to be happy and content with myself.
ABC Sports: You have accomplished a lot. You have Olympic medals, World medals and National medals. What is it you want to try and prove? Where does all your passion come from?
Stojko: It goes beyond trying to prove anything. I don't have to prove anything to myself or anybody. The biggest thing that I want to do is be able to go through the process of achieving my ultimate capability as an athlete.
And you're really trying to work on an insecurity about yourself when you need to constantly prove yourself. There's something that you're lacking. Something that you need to fill. A void. I don't think I have a void to fill. I think I've filled everything. I'm very complete as a human being and that's another level that's taken up from going from adolescence to young adult to adult. And also as an athlete. As a mature athlete. It's a very different mind set or mind frame.
So, in that aspect, it's more or less strictly just reaching my potential and beyond the proving stage.
ABC Sports: Do you feel more free every year that you grow?
Stojko: Oh yeah! Oh, yeah! Every year, every year now since 1988 has been a freeing experience. And whether it's been always the turmoil or whatever I've gone through, it's been very difficult the last number of years.
Whether it be injuries or difficult times or whatever, it's more or less growth spurts. It's not physical but mental, spiritual. That causes a lot of hang ups along the way, but the growing has been huge. I feel like I've done more in the last three years than I've done my whole life. It's been quite the experience. I think it's gonna be slowing down a little bit. So in that aspect I'll be able to get a little bit more centered athletically. When you're doing a lot of growing like that, it's very difficult to center yourself. There's always a pro and a con to it when you're totally centered and you're sort of reaching your plateau.
Reaching your plateau is not exactly flattening out, but it is a chance for you to be very consistent and feel good about what you're doing and your progress on this level. But if you're growing as an individual and you're constantly changing, it's very difficult to feel comfortable because you're constantly adapting to the new you all the time, whether it be physical or mental. So you can't be consistent. How can you be because you're changing every single day? You can't get in a rhythm. You can't get in a groove. And that's what it's felt like the last three years. But I feel it starting to slow down and become normal again.
Well, I've done a lot of growing now mentally and physically or spiritually. Now I feel okay, let me get on with some stuff and go to the lighter side of life where I don't have to analyze things so much. I can just enjoy it as I go through it.