Two-time Canadian Olympic silver-medallist Elvis Stojko and others answered Pj's questions. (Mike Powell/Allsport)
The memories from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics are in our collective consciousness as Canadians. It struck me that it would be interesting to have a sampling of Canadian figure skating Olympic medallists answer the following three questions:
1. What is the one word that would describe the feeling you had as your medal was being placed around your neck?
2. What did you do the night you won your medal?
3. How has your Olympic success impacted your life?
Here, in their own words, are their very telling, emotional and personal answers:
1960: Squaw Valley, United States
Donald Jackson - Men - Bronze medal
2. They had lots of parties but I was so tired that I went to bed -- I don't think I partied that much. Believe it or not, my mother thought I had a girl in my room with me and didn't want to bother me.
3. It opened a lot of doors and I was able to do what I love and I was strongest in the free skating so was able to start coaching and do shows like the Ice Follies.1964: Innsbruck, Austria
Petra Burka - Ladies - Bronze medal
2. The night after the winning my medal went like this: I went back to the Olympic Village to celebrate with all my new friends. The police arrived looking for me! I was told I had to skate an exhibition during the intermission of the final hockey game which was happening now. In the police car, with sirens blaring, I changed into my skating dress and fastened my skates. I arrived just in time for the announcement of my name, and onto the ice I went to skate my exhibition!
3. The Olympic medal launched me to win the world championships the following year.
Also, there is a certain sense of pride that remains with you your entire life knowing you have won this amazing medal for your country, Canada, and acknowledging the hard work and discipline it took to achieve this!
Debbi Wilkes - Pairs - Bronze medal (with the late Guy Revell)
*Ultimately received silver
2. I slept with it (the medal) under my pillow and kept waking up to check if it was still there!
3. Skating became my career.1972: Sapporo, Japan
Karen Magnussen - Ladies - Silver medal
1. Overwhelmed with excitement!
2. Interviews and then I went to two huge celebratory parties: one put on by the Canadian embassy and the figure skating association, and then we were invited to the USA's celebration party.
3. In my day you got a pat on the back and it was back to work, because worlds was being held two weeks later in Calgary -- so no resting!1984: Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Brian Orser - Men - Silver medal
2. Celebrated with Family, coaches, and agent!
3. Total understanding of perspective1988: Calgary, Canada
Elizabeth Manley - Ladies - Silver medal
1. Vindication -- that everything my mom ever said to me was right. All my hard work and commitment paid off. My dream came true.
2. [Laughs] I was stuck in drug testing and press conferences till the wee hours in the morning. No one had a story on me and the media panicked and kept me for hours.
3. I was able to have a career for many, many years as a professional in the sport I loved so much. It helped me realize I could go for anything with determination. I was also able to give back to my mom for all her years of giving up for me and my skatingBrian Orser - Men - Silver medal
1. Not again!
2. I cried myself to sleep in the medical room of the athlete village.
3. Total understanding of perspective.Tracy Wilson - Ice Dance - Bronze medal (with the late Rob McCall)
1. Thank you!
2. I looked for my mom and dad and my husband and celebrated with them.
3. It confirmed for me that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Although you might not achieve your goal you will get a lot further than if you had never tried.
1994: Lillehammer, Norway & 1998: Nagano, Japan
Elvis Stojko - Men - Silver medal (in both 1994 and 1998)
2. 1994: After the medal ceremonies, doping and a ton of media, the usual process was to got to Canada House and celebrate with your family and friends. Lillehammer was tough because many of the locations were spread out and by the time I got out of the rink it was very late. Most of the people at Canada House had left, including my family and friends, who left me a message with a representative from CFSA that they were waiting at another hotel location -- that message was never given to me. I never knew where my family and friends were and I could not get a hold of them. I went back to the athlete village, which was one of the smaller ones, sat down in the cafeteria by myself, put my medal on the table and smiled -- I spent that time alone.
2. 1998 was very tough. The doping committee never allows an athlete to leave the competition area until the process is complete, but since I could not walk and the media was still hounding me after the press conference the head control officer took me to the main village to get some peace and quiet, since he knew I was in a lot of pain. My girlfriend at the time was working for one of the American networks, and she never told anyone about my injury before the event -- she really covered for me and she got in a ton of crap! The control officer allowed her to come with me to the village and stay while everything was completed. My mom and one of my coaches hung out with me as well. When I was done, everyone left and I took a wheelchair to my room. Not the best night for everything, but I still made it through and did not give up. We basically celebrated in the doping area at the village-- fun stuff! Never a dull moment!
3. Insane exposure everywhere in my country and the world. The realization that much of your time is not yours, and when you have time to yourself you better know what to do with it. Your privacy shrinks. Funny how that happens! Many people cheer for you, but many believe they can judge you now for every mistake you make -- the real process of learning is not to worry about what people think.
2002: Salt Lake City, United States
Jamie Sale -- Pairs -- Silver medal (with David Pelletier)
*Ultimately received co-gold as a result of judging scandal
1. Pride and joy.
2. The night we won our silver we were up all night at Canada House celebrating with our families and other Canadians. We went back to the village to eat at about midnight and sat with two bobsledders. We talked about the event that they had all watched that evening in the cafeteria. Then we had to leave to do The Today Show super early, so we never ended up sleeping. It was a long day/night.
3. The biggest change in my life was that I/we got some amazing opportunities that have given us financial stability and notoriety.
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